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 fourth 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, Persona 5: The Day Breakers, and a manga adaptation available on both Shogakukan's Manga One app and the Ura Sunday Website. The game was released in Japan on September 15, 2016, with the North American and European release delayed to April 4, 2017 in order to improve localization and offer Japanese audio as free Day 1 DLC.

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

Persona 5 provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Alice's unique "Die For Me!" Special Attack involves an army of giant Killer Teddy Bears with bombs in their chests rushing the enemy before they explode.
  • Actually Four Mooks: A single Shadow on the field can transform into 2 to 6 enemies when you engage them in battle.
  • 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.
    • 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, raped or sold into prostitution 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.
    • 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.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: the Mental World of the Palace responds to the hidden desires of evil humans by creating massive dungeons, giving you an excuse for Dungeon Crawling and Boss Battles. It's Clap Your Hands If You Believe properties also makes it so even toy guns and fake melee weapons work like real ones, giving your party a way to obtain weapons to fight the monsters that inhabit the Palace, despite the heroes being teenagers in Japan, where real weapons (especially guns) are usually extremely hard to obtain.
  • After-Combat Recovery:
    • the "Victory Breath" and "Victory Cry" auto skills restore part or all of a party member's HP and SP after battle.
    • the Persona 3 DLC "Evoker" accessory will automatically restore one bullet to your gun clip after battle if equipped.
  • Alertness Blink: Blocky white lines will pop from various characters when they first notice you.
  • All in a Row: Party members not only follow around your player character, but will also Take Cover behind him and help out when you open treasure chests.
  • Alice Allusion: Alice returns as the ultimate Persona of the Death Arcana.
  • All for Nothing: Haru joins the Phantom Thieves because she wants to atone for her father's 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.
  • All Myths Are True: Downplayed. Shadows and Persona take the form of mythical figures from every religion and culture on the planet, due to being Anthropomorphic Personifications of the collective human psyche.
  • Almighty Janitor: The ultimate Bonus Boss and toughest enemy in the game, the Twins, are two prison guards in a run down gulag. One of whom is an admin with nothing but a clipboard on her.
  • 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.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Played for Laughs, as you'll discover dirty laundry in some of the game's Inexplicable Treasure Chests, leading your party members to question who would bother putting dirty clothes under lock and key.
  • The Anime of the Game: Persona 5: The Day Breakers, a 30 minute animated special released shortly before the game that shows the Phantom Thieves of Hearts performing a caper in Mementos.
  • 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. This also applies to the localized versions, where the "attack" and "guard" commands were swapped, along with the confirm and cancel buttons.
    • 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, Lavenza can heal you at the entrance.
    • Seeing how detailed and vital the elemental weakness system is to the game, going into a fight with a character or group that is weak to enemy attacks is going to get your ass kicked. Luckily, you can now switch party members during battle. However, you first have to unlock it by starting the Star Confidant.
    • In the previous games, you could only switch Personas once per turn, so if you accidentally switched to the wrong Persona, you were stuck with it. That restriction still applies, but with the skill and Persona options being combined, you can now freely switch between Personas so long as you don't use a skill, so you don't accidentally get stuck with the wrong Persona anymore.
  • Anti-Grinding: The Protagonist's Personas gain experience slower than he does, making it easier to fuse new Personas to get new abilities than fighting random Shadows.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Regularly discussed. Many of the villains bring up the fact they can do the horrible things they've done because the general public are more interested in being told what to do than doing the what's right on their own. The Phantom Thieves also decide to continue their activities after the first dungeon to shake others out of apathy.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only four party members can be used in battle at a time, per series standard since Persona 3. For the first time in the series, you can switch out your party members in battle, but you need to complete the Star Cooperation Link in order to do so.
  • Arc Villain: The first few months of the game has you finding a series of new corrupt target for the heroes' Heel–Face Brainwashing. And while you begin to learn The Conspiracy has been messing with the Mental World of the Palace as well, your targets aren't actual members of the group, and are by design acting on their own personal twisted desires.
  • Arc Words:
    • "It's unforgivable" gets dropped a lot, especially during Persona awakening sequences.
    • As in previous games, Persona will always say "I am thou... thou art I." when they first awaken.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Despite employing demonic avatars of the Seven Deadly Sins as a central motif, the story only uses a few of the standard demons associated with a given sin as popularized by Peter Binsfeld: Asmodeus (Lust), Leviathan (Envy) and Mammon (Greed). Meanwhile, Beelzebub (Gluttony) uses the name of the Semitic god he was a demonized form of, Baal. Belphegor (Sloth), Satan (Wrath) and Lucifer (Pride) are completely replaced by Mementos, the Sphinx and Samael.
  • Asshole Victim: The Phantom thieves specifically target adults who have abused their position and taken advantage of others.
    • A teacher who physically abused and raped students.
    • A parent who stole from his adopted son.
    • A mafia boss who blackmails teenagers with wealthy families.
    • A politician who sacrificed the reputations and lives of innocent bystanders to further his own career.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • Baal's second boss form is a giant vault shaped like a piggy bank.
    • Samael's first boss form is a giant golden lion made up of human bodies
    • The final form of the Big Bad is a 20 story tall giant robotic god covered in gold and crystal armor.
  • Aura Vision: The "Third Eye" ability lets you see the danger level of enemies, which receptacles are hiding treasure, and the identities of potential Confidants by displaying various color-coded auras around the person or item in question.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Most of the Boss Battle themes are techno rock tunes with plenty of electric guitar.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The DLC Persona have endgame abilities you can access within the first hour of the game. Unfortunately, as HP and SP are based on the Protagonist's level, you won't have the reserves to use most of those abilities more than once for 10 to 20 hours.
  • Background Music Override: "Life Will Change" plays on any day you go to challenge the boss of a dungeon, overriding the regular dungeon, safe room, and battle themes. In fact, it only turns off when you challenge bosses or mini-bosses.
  • 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 - and facing her shadow is an unabashedly good thing, since it's her positive side.
  • Battle Couple: If you romance Ann, Makoto or Haru, the Protagonist and his lover can participate in battles together, and gain all the Level-Up at Intimacy 5 bonuses pursuing a romance nets you.
  • Battle Theme Music:
  • Beach Episode: Your Class Trip has you traveling to Hawaii, with one day involving the members of your party hanging out on the beach in swimsuits, Yusuke trying to paint a pair of lobsters, and other hijinks, including the return of Operation Babe Hunt.
  • Beneath the Mask: Shadows and Persona reflect the true feelings of their other selves. For the villains, they generally show the characters' true sociopathic, twisted desires. For the heroes meanwhile, they generally expose their Revenge Before Reason, Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the society and adults that've wronged them. And, taking the trope to its logical conclusion, Futaba's Shadow is the positive side of her personality that's been repressed beneath the crushing weight of her guilt and depression.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but they rule their own Palace and serve as major Boss Battles. They include:
    • A giant headed pink demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants.
    • A gray haired man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky golden kimono, too much white face paint, and giant fake eyebrows.
    • A purple fly man with a mustache, bad comb-over and white tuxedo.
    • A man wearing a copyright free version of Darth Vader's armor, with a generic space helmet instead of the mask.
    • Not to mention the traitor himself, Goro, who has the campiest All-Out Attack in the game, some of the most ridiculous costumes (including DLC), and his Berserk outfit is a direct reference to Featherman. Yet he's still a Wild Card and "Black Mask", the one behind all the deaths caused by the Palaces.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Each Arc Villain was being pressured into The Conspiracy by someone in a "Black Mask". Black Mask was in turn working for politician Masayoshi Shido. And the villains and the heroes were being manipulated by the real Big Bad, Yaldabaoth, God of Order.
  • Bishie Sparkle: When you gain charm points, three small diamond sparkles form next to the Phantom's eyes.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The protagonists' Heel–Face Brainwashing methods would come off as crossing a line if it weren't for the fact their targets are various kinds of serial abusers of children, and a girl who was going to commit suicide otherwise (the latter of whom actually wants the Protagonsts to do it to her).
  • Blank White Eyes: Humans whose Shadows are destroyed end up with pupil-less white eyes and dark blood bleeding out of their mouths. This includes the subway conductor who crashes a train near the beginning of the game and Haru's dad.
  • 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.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • On New Game+, you can optionally fight Caroline and Justine, who serve as the toughest boss fight in the game.
    • If you wait for 5 to 10 minutes on a floor in Mementos, you can fight the Reaper, an insanely powerful Shadow meant for end game parties.
  • Boobs of Steel: Ann, Haru, and Makoto, who all serve as frontline fighters, each have fairly large chests. Meanwhile, Futaba, who is your non-battle Mission Control, has a-cups.
  • Book Ends: "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" plays at both the intro and post-credits sequences of Persona 5.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Similar to Persona 3 in Tartarus, you can end up in a random encounter with the insanely powerful Reaper any time you sit around a floor in Mementos for more than 5 minutes.
  • Bottomless Bladder: As in previous games, there are bathrooms in the game, but you never need to use them - in fact, there's even a toilet in the protagonist's cell in the Velvet Room, and he can sit on it, but it's used for pondering instead of its intended purpose...
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. You can only fire a certain amount of ammo before you run out and have to reload.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Omnipotent Orb, an accessory which blocks all damage other than almighty. However, you have to have already finished the story once and won the toughest fight in the game against Bonus Boss Justine and Caroline to even get it.
  • 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.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The game's paid DLC include accessories that boost your EXP or cash after battles, and overpowered Personas with end game stats and elemental protections that you can summon once for free, even in the very first dungeon.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: One dungeon has you trying to infiltrate a pyramid in the middle of a desert.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the game, the protagonist completes his year long probation, and leaves Tokyo to return to his hometown.
  • 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.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: A glowing blue butterfly appears each time the protagonist is about to die in the story, urging him to overcome his impending doom. This includes when he's about to be executed in Kamoshida's Palace and when he's brought into the interrogation room where the conspiracy intends to assassinate him. Similarly, glowing butterflies surround a fallen character when you use revive items or magic on them.
  • Call Back: The Pyramid, Futaba's Palace, is a massive Call Back and subversion to Persona 4 as well as to Persona 3 FES. Unlike the other Palaces up to that point, the Phantom Thieves are seeking to help someone by healing their mind using the Palaces, just like the characters in 4. At the end, Futaba accepts her Shadow which becomes her Persona. However, the fact that Futaba's Shadow is her repressed positive feelings is a Call Back to The Answer scenario in 3's Updated Re-release where Metis, Aegis' repressed humanity, is undoubtedly a positive influence on her.
  • Calling Card: Played with. You send out a calling card to the target, but it's required in order to materialize the palace's treasure, and unlike most instances of the trope you only send it out after you've already made your way through the palace to find where the treasure is.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Characters shout "Persona!" or the actual name of their Guardian Entity when summoning them, and sometimes the party Combination Attack.
    • Asmodeus will tell you he's about to use his "Super Death Spike" exploding volleyball attack the turn before he actually hits you with it.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The Otherworld Navigation app keeps reappearing on the Protagonist's phone no matter how many times he deletes it, and forcibly sends him to the Palace twice.
  • 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.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: The protagonist always has to be in your party. Every other party member is completely optional, to the point you can even switch them in and out mid-battle.
  • Caper Rationalization: The protagonists conduct heists in order to literally steal pieces of people's psyche and induce a Heel–Face Brainwashing. The people who are targeted are also very corrupt and largely unsympathetic, to the point that their abuse of power ends up ruining the lives of the main cast unless they are dealt with.
  • Cassandra Truth: As part of his interrogation, the Protagonist tells Sae all about the Palace and working with a talking cat right from the start, while leaving out details that would incriminate his allies. It unfortunately takes him explaining half a dozen incidents for her to actually believe it.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Persona Physical and Gun skills require a percentage of your HP to use.
  • 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.
  • Character Customization: You get to pick your hero's name, and personality through Dialogue Trees. Further, the skill card and expanded fusion systems let you customize the skills and stats of his Personas.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Class lectures cover topics like the Cognitive Representation concept that serves as the basis for the cognitive projections you encounter throughout the Palaces, Plato's tripartite theory of soul that explains how you're able to heel-face brainwash the villains, and so on. They are also very conveniently timed. For example, a few days after you recruit Makoto, you'll get a question in class about Pope Joan, her Persona and the figure thought to be depicted on the La Papesse tarot card, her Arcana.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As early as the first dungeon it's explained that the people in control can create "cognitive existences" of other people. Basically copies of a person that's shown as the master of the palace sees them (such as the sexily clad copy of Ann that Kamoshida makes), or wants them to be and this comes up from time to time. This is later used to save the Protagonist from the traitor, because the police station is Sae's palace, and she is the master of it, so the team instructs her how to will a copy of the protagonist into being that the traitor "kills" then thinks they're dead.
    • Used again in a darker note after that. In Shidou's Palace, a cognitive version of Goro as Shidou sees him ( an expendable but obedient underling ) appears, and because Shidou was planning to kill him in the end, he ends up killing the real one.
  • 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.
    • You can find Makoto hanging around the library at school long before she has any involvement in the plot.
    • You can find some of Junya Kaneshiro's henchmen in Shibuya, asking if you're interested in one of the "part-time jobs" that it later turns out they're using to Blackmail students, months before it actually becomes a plot point.
    • You first see Haru very briefly during the fireworks festival cutscene, and you meet her again during the Class Trip to Hawaii.
    • The woman that Shido molested at the beginning of the game is brought up again near the end of the game, where she testifies against Shido to ensure his imprisonment.
  • Chest Burster: Shadows in dungeons change from human forms to demonic ones by having their demonic selves burst from the chests or out the backs 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 city of Tokyo.
  • Class Trip: Partway through the year, the party members who go to Shujin High School get to go on a trip to Hawaii. Futaba and Morgana stay at home. Yusuke, who goes to a different school, ends up joining them in Hawaii due to plane issues on his school's trip.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Combined Energy Attack: You defeat the Big Bad by focusing all the power of belief of the people of Tokyo into a bullet, which your ultimate Persona, Satanael, then shoots through its head.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • The Shujin High School High boys' volleyball team (and honestly, the entire school) is so used to Kamoshida owning the place that they're in complete denial about his physical abuse of the students. They call it "training".
    • On a slightly more amusing note, if you take your time completing Kaneshiro's Palace and draw close to the deadline, Makoto will remind you to get it done ASAP, because she has been getting her own friendly "reminders" daily via text. When asked if she's okay, she will reply that she's gotten used to it.
  • 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.
  • 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's Super Sentai TV Show Within a Show that first appeared in Persona 2.
    • Futaba has a set of Phoenix Ranger Featherman R figures in her room.
    • Similar to Persona 3, you can occasionally catch shows on TV that are talking about or outright interviewing characters from previous games.
      • Persona 2: A detective who wears distinctive red glasses.
      • Persona 3: A man who claims to have punched a bear.
      • Persona 4: A female police cadet who apparently can use kung-fu. A convicted killer who claims he did it just because "the world is a shitty place."
    • You can get DLC packs that let you wear the uniforms of students from St. Hermelin, Seven Sisters, Gekkoukan, and Yasogami.
  • Cool Mask: All the characters' Persona turn into nifty thief masks when not in use.
  • Copy And Paste Environments: Most of the Mementos dungeon is a set of blocks of warped subway tunnels stuck together by random generation. The rest of the game however, and the bottom of Mementos, is custom made.
  • Critical Hit: Physical attacks have a chance to deal extra damage, which is accompanied by an extended attack animation where the party member uses both their melee weapon and gun, or pops a creepy Slasher Smile if they used a Persona's physical skill instead.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When most characters awaken to their Persona in a cutscene, they tend to incapacitate or kill every nearby Shadow instantly, which they then can't reproduce in following battles.
    • Ann uses a Shadow's BFS when she first awakens, but can only equip whips for the rest of the game.
    • Goemon uses an area of effect freezing attack when Yusuke first awakens, only for Yusuke to lack Mabufu or any other multi-target ice magic in the mini-boss battle that happens seconds later.
  • Diary: As part of his probation, the protagonist is forced to keep a log of his activities in a little black book he stores in his back pocket. However, the game also uses it as a meta-narrative stand in for your Save Point.
  • 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.
  • 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, Ann'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 Ann. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire game.
  • Dark World: The Palace is a warped version of the real world that grows and transforms based on human desires.
  • Deal with the Devil: How Persona awakening sequences are presented in this game, with a Magnificent Bastard version of the character's own voice offering them a "contract" for power in exchange for unleashing their hidden vengeance / rage / etc.
  • Death Glare: The Persona critical/weakness-hitting eye cut-in is now closer to this, showing the characters' pissed off expressions from a more dynamic angle. Special contenders include Yusuke and Makoto.
  • 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, Hard and Challenge. Each mode gives enemies higher stats, and makes damage from elemental weaknesses more punishing, 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.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: There are three different ones leading up to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (assuming you get the true ending):
    • Nijima Palace AKA the Casino Palace from the beginning of the game. You know how everything will end, only now you start to see the full picture of what happened. Assuming that you avoid the Bad Ending after this dungeon, you then proceed onto...
    • Shido Palace, the Palace of the Big Bad of the game. It features climactic battles against the Big Bad and the Traitor. However, assuming you've been keeping up with exploring Mementos, after that is...
    • Mementos Core, the very bottom of Mementos and what Morgana's character arc has been building up to. However, despite The Very Definitely Final Dungeon feel and the confrontation with the Greater Scope Villain, the boss fight is a Hopeless Boss Fight and the dungeon only really serves as a set-up for the actual final dungeon (assuming that you don't go for the very obvious Bad Ending choice).
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Because of the recent hit to their reputation, the Thieves can't send the usual Calling Card to Masayoshi Shido. Futaba's solution is to hack into all of Japan's airwaves to broadcast their denouncement and challenge of Shido.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Futaba first awakens Necronomicon, it produces tentacles that abduct her and bring her inside, simultaneously changing her into her Phantom Thief outfit.
  • Downer Beginning: Both the In Medias Res prologue and the actual beginning of the game.
    • The prologue shows the Thieves completing a caper at the casino... only for Joker to be arrested due to a member of the team selling them out, and suffering violent Police Brutality once caught.
    • The game proper opens with the protagonist arriving at school, and finding out the gym teacher Kamoshida basically owns the place: physically abusing males who stand up to him and sexually abusing female students, with everyone too scared to stand up to him. The protagonist and Ryuji accidentally stumble into his mental world, where his Shadow immediately decided to have them both killed, and the two barely escape with their lives. Shortly afterwards, Ann's friend attempts suicide due to Kamoshida's advances, and the three decide to become vigilantes to take him down.
  • 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: The game has multiple digital content that can be bought from the psn store.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: You get the bad endings by failing to stop one of the abusive adults, giving up your team to Sae, and accepting Yaldabaoth's offer to use the Palace For the Evulz.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At first it goes for a Bittersweet Ending with the Protagonist turning themselves in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so that he can testify against Masayoshi Shido and ensure that he gets a guilty verdict. Because of his prior record, he'll be sent to juvenile hall, however, Shido's crimes can be bought to light and his friends will be safe. However, thanks to the efforts of the rest of the Thieves and the Confidants, they manage to clear him of his prior record, allowing him to go free early.
  • 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".
  • Evolution Power-Up: Along with the standard stat and elemental resistance upgrades, your Guardian Entities identities actually power up when your party members reach Rank 10 in their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" sub-plots; each Persona transforms from an Anthropomorphic Personification of a Picaresque hero to a Rage Against the Heavens mythological figure.
  • Extra Turn: Battles use the "One More!" system from Persona 3 and 4 - getting a Critical Hit or exploiting an enemy's elemental weakness gives you an additional action. The new "Baton Touch" mechanic meanwhile allows you to pass this turn to any party member you've reached Coop level 2 with.
  • 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.
  • Faking the Dead: In order to avoid the Bad Ending where he dies, the Protagonist exploits a phone modified by Futaba to activate the Isekainavi app remotely, and a section of Sae's Palace that looks like the real world in order to make Goro kill a mental projection instead.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Asmodeus is a fat, misshapen demon in nothing but a crown, cape and pink speedo.
    • Samael is a muscular shirtless man whose muscles keep growing more and more grotesquely huge as the battle continues.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You can press start to skip cutscenes and fast forward through dialog. the dialogue fast forward even imposes VHS fast forward effects on the screen.
  • Flash Step: One of the Protagonist's field abilities allows him to quickly move from cover to cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Invoked. Morgana, Lavenza and Igor spend the entire game trying to help the Protagonist use his abilities to destroy the very Big Bad that empowered and manipulated him.
  • Females Are More Innocent: There are seven palaces, two which are made by women: Futaba Sakura and Sae Niijima. The men who own Palaces and get reformed (Suguru Kamoshida, Ichiryuusai Madarame, Junya Kaneshiro, Kunikazu Okumura, and Masayoshi Shido) have long abused their positions of power and the people around them. Meanwhile...
    • Sae's only real "crime" is her ardent Second Place Is for Losers mentality that has stemmed from pressure at her job and being unfairly compared to her sister, and she's otherwise by-the-book when taking on the Phantom Thieves case. Not only is she the only target who doesn't get her treasure stolen (as she reforms on her own), but she allies herself with the thieves after Goro is outed as the traitor.
    • As for Futaba, she deliberately targeted herself, as she wanted the thieves to steal her heart so that she could be rid of her suicidal impulses and put an end to her shut-in lifestyle.
    • Regarding the Shadows of women who appear in Mementos, however, this is averted.
  • The Four Gods: The four elemental animal guardians Seiryu, Suzaku, Byakko, and Genbu return as enemies and recruitable Persona.
  • French Maid Outfit: The servers at the maid cafe all wear the standard frilly black and white maid outfits, as does Sadayo Kawakami in her second job.
  • Friendship Trinket: In your last day in town, any character whose Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" side-quest you have maxed out will give you an item to remember them by. These items also automatically unlock late-game bonuses from their side-quest if you start a New Game+.
  • Game-Over Man: Velvet Room attendants Justine and Caroline bring your corpse to their Eldritch Location and read various poems lamenting the end of your journey whenever you die.
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire casino heist and everything after was all part of a plan by the Thieves to expose Goro as a traitor, find out who his boss is, turn Sae to their side and fake the Protagonist's death so that The Conspiracy will stop chasing the thieves for awhile. However, as everyone points out, nobody knew what would happen past the Protagonist's capture and the entire plan hinged on the Protagonist appealing to Sae's long lost sense of justice. And then there's the fact that the drugs the interrogators used messed with his mind so much that he didn't even remember that there was a plan until the last minute.
  • Game Show: You can occasionally catch quiz shows on TV. Guessing the right answer to a question ahead of the contenders will even net you a bonus parameter point to knowledge.
  • Giant Mook: Most of the mini-bosses are regular Shadows / Demons with upgraded stats and elemental protections.
  • Glass Cannon: The "Challenge" difficulty turns everyone into this thanks to adding a 2.5x multiplier to critical damage. If you get a critical hit, technical or exploit a weakness, just about every opponent and party member other than bosses can be killed instantly.
  • The Glasses Come Off: The protagonist loses his Purely Aesthetic Glasses any time he enters the collective unconscious to fight Shadows. Particularly played up at the start of the game, where his glasses are knocked off by a guard right before he awakens to his Persona.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: While the Greater Scope Villain creator of the Palace seems to be spreading access to his Eldritch Location to multiple individuals and filling an entire underground labyrinth with monsters, the Big Good Igor just sits in his room and fuses new Guardian Entities for you. Subverted when it turns out: a) the Greater Scope Villain has been impersonating Igor, explaining his general disinterest. b) The real Igor created Mr. Exposition Morgana to help you, and his assistant Lavenza has been appearing to you as a Butterfly of Death and Rebirth throughout the game.
  • The Goomba: Pyro Jack, a jack-o-lantern in a wizard costume, and Pixie, a tiny fairy girl, are the two weakest enemies in the entire game, to the point they serve as Video Game Tutorial fights during your first few days in Tokyo. You'll only encounter them in the first few areas of the very start of the game, and they are the lowest level Guardian Entities behind your Starter Mon Arsene.
  • 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.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Played with. "Beneath the Mask", a slow, quiet ballad where the singer laments their Loss of Identity, plays on any day it rains.
  • The Grim Reaper: "The Reaper" from previous Persona games now stalks the halls of the underground Mmentos dungeon, forcing lower level parties to not stay on one floor for too long if they don't want to face an untimely death. As in previous games, the monster wears a white bag over it's head and long black jacket, to invoke the standard grim reaper black cloaked skull imagery.
  • 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.
  • Harder Than Hard: The "Challenge" difficulty, which makes enemies even stronger than on Hard while also raising damage to elemental weaknesses and technical attacks, forcing you to play more strategically to survive.
  • Haunted House: Your party initially thinks Sojiro's home is this, as Futaba doesn't bother turning on any of the lights during the day.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the finale, the power of your connections with your friends and accomplices summons a fifty foot tall demon king who uses the hopes and dreams of the people of Tokyo to shoot a giant mecha god in the head and save Christmas.
  • The Heartless: This game builds upon Persona 4, with your party targeting dozens of Shadows that represent corrupt individuals' repressed emotions, who can in turn be forced into seeing the error of their ways in order to reform their human selves. Further, you can talk to pretty much any Shadow now, as they all are pieces of human consciousness. And as usual, the Big Bad turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination-level Shadow. This time, he was born from the collective desire to maintain social order, but has gone so out of control he plans to absorb reality and "save" humanity from The Evils of Free Will.
  • 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.
  • The Hero's Journey: The basic structure of how each party member ends up joining the Phantom Thieves, with the character falling into the Palace, where they have to overcome Shadows by awakening to their Persona, eventually leading them to confront the boss of the current dungeon and in the end leave having gained new friends and the power to help others. The Protagonist meanwhile undergoes a larger, more detailed version of the arc over the course of the entire story.
  • 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:
  • Hold the Line: Some boss fights have "special operations" where one party member is sent to expose a vulnerability in the boss while the remaining party members keep up the offensive to distract the boss. Success depends on both whether the right party member is sent and whether remaining party can keep attacking enough so that the boss doesn't notice the missing party member is doing.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The first fight against The Holy Grail is unwinnable, as it will constantly heal itself.
    • In the finale, you get a preview of the Bonus Boss fight against Caroline and Justine. Unfortunately, they'll automatically reduce you to 1 hp in two turns, ending the battle.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Ryuji will give this line as a justification for dropping various Phantom Thief cliches throughout the story.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: The Protagonist and Ryuji initially bring this up as their reason for not Heel–Face Brainwashing the school's physically abusive PE teacher Suguru Kamoshida. If the process goes wrong, the teacher could die, which would make the heroes far worse than even a monster like Kamoshida. On the other hand, others like Ann know killing them isn't as much of a punishment as forcing them to live.
  • 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.
  • Inciting Incident: the Protagonist tries to help a woman being assaulted by a drunk, only for the woman and drunk to say he attacked them to protect their own reputations. This not only gets the Protagonist sent to Tokyo but also attracts the attention of Yaldabaoth, who gives the Protagonist the Otherworld Navigation app that sets the rest of the plot in motion.
  • Indy Escape: One dungeon has the team running down a staircase as a giant boulder pursues them.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: While you do play as a Phantom Thief exploring a Mental World, there's still no real explanation for why a museum, or subway station, or cruise liner, or a bank with actual vaults, would bother securing valuables in treasure chests you can lockpick.
  • 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.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Satanael kills the Big Bad with a single gunshot to the head, despite you littering the boss with lead and other attacks during the actual Boss Fight. It probably helps that Satanael is a 50 foot tall demon king with a magical skyscraper sized rifle powered by belief in the Phantom Thieves.
  • Institutional Apparel: The Protagonist is dressed in black and white pinstripes inside the Velvet Room's prison.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: How the Protagonist and Morgana find the traitor. Goro mentions something Morgana said when you first meet him at the TV station on June 9th. As only those who have entered the Palace can understand Morgana, it allows your team to later deduce he was lying to you from the start.
  • It's Personal: There are personal motives behind almost all of the Thieves' heists.
    • Kamoshida broke Ryuji's leg, ending his promising track career and causing him to become an uncaring delinquent, tormented the student body with impunity, sexually harassed Ann and many others, and molested Ann's friend Shiho, driving her to attempt suicide.
    • Madarame abused Yusuke, stole his work, and indirectly killed his mother by purposefully letting her die.
    • Kaneshiro blackmailed Shujin High School students, causing the principal to force Makoto to get on the case. He also manages to blackmail her and the Thieves. His Shadow, representative of his inner thoughts, threatens her sister as well.
    • Kunikazu Okumura, Haru's father, started putting his company before his family. He failed to realize how much he was neglecting her and put his needs before hers by forcing her into an Arranged Marriage with a guy whose ties would improve his business.
    • Sae's ambition and cynicism got so bad that it was straining her relationship with Makoto, who could tell how unhappy she was and really wanted for Sae to be able to live meaningfully rather than slave endlessly after promotions.
    • Masayoshi Shido personally screwed over Futaba, Haru, and the Protagonist, had The Conspiracy mess with Sae on the job so much that she became disillusioned enough to have her own Palace, and had his aide push Ryuji out of the way so he could steal Ryuji's elevator ride. Pretty much only Ann and Yusuke have no real beef with the guy. And let's not even talk about how he's also practically responsible for everything that went wrong with Goro's life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the party and the accomplices, as their mistreatment at the hands of society has turned them into misanthropes. For instance, Sojiro Sakura is extremely distrustful of you for your first few months in Tokyo, despite being a man willing to take in both you and Futaba. Ryuji acts like a delinquent due to the rest of the school doing nothing when he was physically and emotionally abused by a teacher, but is also willing to whatever it takes to protect other students from said teacher and other corrupt adults.
  • Killer Teddy Bear: This time around, Alice's unique "Die For Me!" Special Attack involves an army of giant Action Bomb Teddie bears rushing the enemy before they explode.
  • Large Ham: Personas and Shadows are all completely over the top, due to representing their human selves hidden emotions.
    Arsene: For the sake of the justice you believed in, make the blasphemers repent! Hahahaha!
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Most seemingly minor characters and scenes play into the overarching plot or one of the other character's backstories
    • The drunken molester who got you convicted of assault? He's the leader of the conspiracy.
    • That stupid conversation about how the TV station building is shaped like a pancake? Eventually allows Morgana and the Protagonist to deduce Goro Akechi is the traitor.
    • That blue Butterfly of Death and Rebirth that keeps showing up? It's Caroline and Justine's real personality, trying to help you expose the Greater Scope Villain.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: You can rent dvds and go to movie theaters to watch parody versions of Beverly Hills 90210, Ghost (1990), The X-Files, Ugly Betty, ER, Prison Break, The Walking Dead, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight Rises, Before Midnight, Les Misérables (2012), Doraemon, The Godfather, Back to the Future, Mission: Impossible, The Avengers (2012), Saw, Die Hard and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. As Atlus doesn't have the money to license all those works, each have silly names like "I, Miserable" or "Mansion Impossible", and you can hear dialogue making fun of tropes from the given work as your character watches the show or movie off-screen.
  • 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.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: At the end of the game, the Phantom Thieves are hailed as heroes and Shido is going to jail for his crimes, but without testimony he won't stay for too long. Plus, the people in power will probably frame the Thieves for some crime to save face. In order to ensure that Shido goes to jail and that his friends are safe, he has to turn himself in as the leader of the Phantom Thieves so he can give testimony. However, due to his prior record, he'll most definitely be sent to juvenile hall. Luckily, his friends manage to get his prior record cleared, allowing him to leave early and Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The twins kick your ass with super-powered versions of low-level Personas, such as Bugs, Agathion, or the Jack Bros. Then again, an amped Jack Frost is nothing new.
  • 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 Wardrobe: Most of the party has 4 outfits: A summer school uniform, a winter school uniform, a casual summer outfit, and a casual winter outfit. Just about everyone else has one outfit. For instance, Sae Niijima wears the exact same clothes in April as every other time you see her, like half a year later when she interrogates you.
  • Literal Metaphor: In previous games, Personas were described as metaphorical "masks" as a tie to Jungian psychology. In Persona 5, the party's Personas literally transform into personalized masks when not in use.
  • Living Shadow: The aptly named Shadows, inky blobs of shapeshifting negative emotions that can transform into humans, animals, and demons at will.
  • 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.
  • Magic Is Rare; Health Is Cheap: Nearly every shop in the game sells HP-recovering items. The only places you can obtain SP-recovering items from are Tae's clinic, certain vending machines (the items themselves only being available once or twice a week), and by leveling up Sojiro's and Haru's Co-ops (in those you learn how to make SP-healing coffee and plants, respectively.).
  • Magikarp Power: The new "Sacrifice" fusion mechanic allows you to power up any low level Persona Guardian Entity to insane levels. However, as they only get part of the experience and one randomly selected skill from the sacrificed Persona, it will take dozens or hundreds of sacrifices to get them there.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Goro plans to pick off the remaining Phantom Thieves one by one through this method once everything dies down after his attempt to kill the Protagonist. It can be assumed that it comes to pass in the Bad Ending where the Protagonist is Killed Off for Real.
  • 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.
  • Manual Leader, AI Party: You can use the "orders" menu in battle to switch the majority of your party to AI control. The only exception is the protagonist, who's actions you always have to select manually.
  • Mask of Power: This time around, characters' Personas 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.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: The Big Bang Challenge at Big Bang Burger, which involves eating increasingly oversized burgers to win accessories and parameter gains in all 5 categories.
  • The Men in Black: The Shadow Operatives DLC outfit puts your party members in futuristic looking black dress suits and sunglasses similar to Mitsuru's Spy Catsuit in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
  • Mental World: The Palace is parallel version of reality inside the collective unconscious that warps itself to reflect the way humans with particularly twisted desires see things: a gym teacher who sees his school as his fiefdom creates a castle inside the palace, a painter exploiting his understudies sees his home as an art gallery where his disciples are his works, a teenager who sees himself as a Chaotic Good rebel against the corrupt transforms into a classy Phantom Thief, and so on.
  • Metal Slime: The rare black diamond Shadows, which drop tons of experience and money, but are extremely resistant to damage.
  • 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: Various human parameter increasing activities like the batting cages and video games involve lining up UI elements, hitting buttons at the right time or hitting them as fast as you can. 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 Personas. And as in all games, you can fuse your existing Personas 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 a new target in order to reform them. 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 a normal ending, true ending, two bad endings, and several Non Standard Game Over endings where a member of the conspiracy kills the protagonist off screen you can get if you don't complete each Palace by the given deadline, starting with the first.
  • 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 knives and handguns.
    • Ryuji uses bludgeons and shotguns.
    • Ann uses whips and submachine guns.
    • Morgana uses curved swords and slingshots.
    • Yusuke uses katanas and assault rifles.
    • Makoto uses knuckles and revolvers.
    • Haru uses axes and grenade launchers (Bonus Points for actually being dressed as a musketeer).
    • Goro uses laser sabres and ray guns.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Played with early in the story. After seeing the effects of their Heel–Face Brainwashing on Kamoshida, the protagonists are actually somewhat terrified of the implications of their actions, and wonder for several days if what they've done can really be called "right".
  • Mythology Gag: P5 has a number of references to other Atlus-made games.
  • Nerf: In this game, the Tetrakarn (reflects physical attacks) and Makarakarn (reflects magical attacks except for Almighty) spells can now only be cast on one person at a time instead of on everyone by default.
  • New Game+: After finishing the game, you start a new one where you get to keep your social parameters, coop bonuses, Persona compendium, cash, and equipment. You'll also unlock the ability to fuse a new Ultimate Persona, and the option to fight a new Bonus Boss.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Three variations.
    • 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 committing suicide and Haru being forced into an abusive marriage. However, these are false memories caused by the drugs the Protagonist was under during the interrogation with Sae after the Casino Heist. They all end with Sae leaving the room to give the Protagonist time to recover from the drugs so that he can give a truer account but ends up getting killed when she leaves.
    • A similar version of this happens if you fail Shido's Palace. Goro comes to Le Blanc and arrests you. What makes this ending interesting, however, is that this will happen even if you've already fought Goro(and him sacrificing himself to his double), and the filter on the ending is hazy, similar to the other failed dungeon endings, leading to more theories about what ''really'' happened after Goro's boss fight.
    • Finally, during the Final Boss fight with Yaldabaoth, if you opt to leave his Holy Grail form alone, he cuts a deal with the protagonist: in exchange for letting him live, he grants the Thieves eternal access to the Palace with the intention of seeing where society goes from there. This kicks off one final Bad Ending where the Thieves are in control over both Tokyo and its people, with all of them living in fear of having their hearts stolen. There's the implication that the other Thieves eventually give in to abusing their powers, making them no different from either Goro or the targets they took out.
  • 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.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: You eventually replay the opening Casino escape sequence, now knowing who all the characters are, what you were doing there, and why the entire police force was waiting for you.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Hama and Mudo skill lines return, which have a 20-80% percentage chance, depending on the skill, to instantly kill an enemy if they don't have immunity to light and dark magic.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: When using DLC Persona, the protagonist will occasionally drop lines from those games before using a signature Special Attack. For instance, the Protagonist will drop a line from Persona 4: Arena Ultimax right before summoning the damaging "Wings of Purgatory" to cut enemies to pieces with giant wings of darkness.
    Protagonist: Showtime!
  • Preexisting Encounters: Enemies now have dungeon specific forms, like knights, security guards and police officers, who wander the maps. Battle starts when you attack them or they attack you. However, in keeping with the game's Phantom Thief themes, you now sneak up and Back Stab enemies to get an advantage in battle, instead of just hitting them.
  • 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). Also, once you beat the boss, you won't be able to explore the dungeon again.
    • On the path to the True Ending is a Tough type. You'll be stuck in Mementos until you reach the end, and there are no shops where you can restock, but Caroline can provide free heals at the entrance. When you do return to the real world, it's The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and you still can't go shop, but Lavenza still provides healing.
  • Police Brutality: The protagonist is beaten and drugged by police at the beginning of the game, after he is caught at the end of a heist. Notably, a police detective will threaten to break one of your legs if you refuse to sign a False Confession.
  • 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.
  • Powerful but Inaccurate: Lucky Punch and Miracle Punch have an increased chance to inflict a damaging Critical Hit, but also have a much higher chance of missing completely.
  • Power Glows: Persona are now covered in a glowing blue aura of flames when summoned.
  • The Power of Friendship: P5 has the "Confidant" system, where every character you get to know over your year in Tokyo gives you cheaper rates at shops, new items, or new abilities in battle, along with the standard ability from previous Persona games to fuse stronger Guardian Entities.
  • 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.
    • Ann 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. Ann 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.
    • Goro has Robin Hood, representing his desire to help people and find the truth. This is a lie, however, and his true Persona is Loki, representing his hatred of society.
  • Punny Name: The Protagonists attend a high school named "Shujin High School" in Japanese. This can be read as "The People's High School" or "Prisoner High School".
  • Puzzle Boss: The Azazel Boss Battle has the Shadow hidden behind 4 paintings. Some absorb magic attacks, and others absorb physical damage, forcing you to hit each with the right attack to get to Azazel himself.
  • Reality Ensues: Even after Shido's heart is reformed, the corrupt system still tries to cover for him and makes new plans to exploit the other world, forcing the Thieves to destroy Mementos so that nobody else can exploit it. Furthermore, even with Shido's confession, without proper evidence linking him to his crimes, he can't be declared guilty. And the only one who can testify against him is the Protagonist, which means that he also has to confess to being the Phantom and go to juvenile hall.
  • 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 transfers to a new school.
    • The protagonist is given a key to the Velvet Room, only this time he's given it as Lavenza's max Confidant gift because of Yaldabaoth hijacking the Velvet Room.
  • Recurring Riff: Bars from the opening theme, "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There", reappear in the heroes' Phantom Thief theme, "Life Will Change". Parts of the Confidant Sidequests max rank theme also reappear in the Final Boss's theme "Yaldabaoth", the World Arcana theme "Swear to My Bones", and the Closing Credits theme "The Stars and Us".
  • 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.
  • Refusal of the Call: The Protagonist attempts to delete the Otherworld Navigation app for a good three days before actually using it to willingly enter the Palace.
  • 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.
  • Retgone: When Yaldabaoth starts overlaying his Palace onto the real world, the Phantom Thieves start disappearing since nobody believes that they exist, and the other world runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, which means that they really don't exist. The Thieves only barely manage to hang onto existence.
  • The Reveal:
    • The traitor is Goro Akechi, who is actually A) Masayoshi Shido's bastard son, and B) a Wild Card just like the protagonist.
    • Igor, who have been helping you since the very beginning of the story, is a fake. He's actually Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge, the real Big Bad of the game.
  • Romance Sidequest: You can enter into a relationship with the majority of the female confidants in the game through their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 side-stories, assuming they like you enough from your interactions and you express an interest in the later stages of their questline.
  • 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.
  • Running Gagged: For the third Persona game in a row there's an Operation Babe Hunt. It initially plays out exactly like it's done in the past with the guys consistently getting shut down and it getting Played for Laughs. When they return to the girls they see them getting hit on by a couple of skeevy guys, similar to how they were just acting. Seeing this happen to their friends makes them admit the ugly side of their actions.
  • Russian Roulette: The "Russian Takoyaki" that Haru gets at the Culture Festival is a relatively harmless food variant with one of them being incredibly spicy. However, the spicy one is a very distinct bright red. Goro shows up and ends up eating it whole, despite being warned, and ends up regretting it.
  • Save Point: This time around, you use an activity log you're supposed to keep as part of probation to save your current progress through the game, meaning you can save anywhere it's safe enough to take it out and write down what you're doing. During Dungeon Crawling however, this means you can only save if you find one of a small number of safe rooms where enemies won't attack you.
  • Save the Villain: The heroes attempt to save The Heavy for the villains, "Black Mask" after the Shadows turn against him in the Big Bad's Mental World. Black Mask instead shoots out a bulkhead door, trapping him with the monsters so the heroes can escape.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Igor, the Big Good of the Persona franchise, spends most of the game sealed away by the game's hidden Big Bad, who's been impersonating him. It's only after discovering the villain's deception that Igor is freed and lends you his full aid in the Final Battle.
  • Sentai: The Heavy for the bad guys, "Black Mask", dresses as an Evil Costume Switch version of heroes from Phoenix Ranger Featherman, Persona's Japanese Saturday morning superhero Show Within a Show. One of your party members, Yusuke Kitagawa, also has a side-story vignette where he and the protagonists do Super Sentai Stances while trying to figure out how to repair some superhero team action figures he accidentally broke.
  • 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 and the Achievement System trophies for beating each dungeon, 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.
    • Irritum (Vanity) - Azazel/Ichiryuusai Madarame, a con-man who has spent decades passing off his pupils' work off his own to pretend to be a famous painter.
    • Gula (Gluttony) - Baal/Junya Kaneshiro, an overweight mafia boss obsessed with blackmailing others to accumulate more and more money, despite having no plans for it other than to have more.
    • Ira (Wrath) - The Sphinx/Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki, the representation of a teenage girl's self-hatred over surviving a car accident where her mother was hit and killed in front of her.
    • Avaritia (Greed) - Mammon/Kunikazu Okumura, the president of a fast food company engaged in questionable business practices and putting his own daughter in an Arranged Marriage to grow his massive food distribution company.
    • Invidia (Envy) - Leviathan/Sae Niijima, 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.
    • Superbia (Pride) - Samael/Masayoshi Shido, a politician who believes the horrible things he's done to complete innocents, including half your party, are entirely justified and that he is God's chosen, simply because he managed to get away with it.
    • Cavum (Emptiness) - Loki/Goro Akechi, a Sociopathic murderer with a dead mother, and father who couldn't care less about him, and no real friends, to the point despite having the All Your Powers Combined Wild Card ability, he only has 2 Personas.
    • Acedia (Sloth) - Mementos/The people of Tokyo, a massive underground dungeon representing the city's collective Bystander Syndrome where the Big Bad imprisons the hearts of those who will not adhere to his Knight Templar order, to wallow away forever.
    • Yaldabaoth, the God of Control and creator of the Palace, meanwhile represents all the sins, to the point he has skills named after each of them.
  • 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.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The heroes use chairs littered around their school's roof for their first "hideout" to secretly plan their Phantom Thief activities, before people notice they've been hanging up there a lot, forcing them to relocate.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: As usual, Shoji Meguro's themes are in English, despite Meguro not being entirely fluent, and sung by a non-English speaker, resulting in hard to make out lyrics.
  • 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.
  • Starter Mon: Arsene, the only level 1 Persona Guardian Entity, who you get at the very start of the game and starts with nothing but a weak physical attack and a weak darkness spell. Leveling him up will take longer than any other Persona in the game, and you'll have to sacrifice dozens of stronger Personas to give him enough high-end skills to make him useful beyond the first dungeon.
  • Stealth Pun: Ann and Morgana are both burglars that dress like/actually are cats.
  • Summon Magic: As in previous Persona games, all your special attacks and magic are performed by summoning a Guardian Entity representation of a character's psyche. This time around, the Persona will appear as soon as you start looking through your skill list.
  • 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.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • 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.
    • On floor 7 of Mementos' Harmony section, You fight a short haired school girl's Shadow, who as it turns out is a total sadist and who drops a whip as her treasure, a la Chie's Shadow in Persona 4.
  • Sweat Drop: Any time characters are suddenly worried, their character model will have 3 little drops of water pop out from their forehead. any time they're embarrassed, an oversized drop of water pops up on the side of their temple instead.
  • 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.
  • Take Your Time: You can ride trains all across Tokyo, a process that in real life can take hours, without the sun or moon ever moving an inch. Until you actually engage in a side-story quest or a mini-game, time will never change.
  • 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.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • "Awakening" kicks in any time a character awakens to their Guardian Entity and destroys a bunch of Mooks.
    • "Life Will Change" plays on any day the heroes pull off their latest heist.
  • Theme Table:
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The party Combination Attack has your team hitting the enemies so many times that they errupt into sprays of blood. Even if the opponent is one hit away from death.
  • 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 Ann 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. Goro's Face–Heel Turn also first appears to be caused by his desire to uphold the law instead of doing the right thing, only to turn out to be the opposite: He takes the Phantom Thieves' methods to the extreme, killing people in order to propel his father to Prime Minister, then revealing said crimes to punish society as a whole for allowing Shido's abuse of others.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Due to the game being explicitly set in Tokyo, Japan, various cultural references are untranslated. This includes things like Senpai Kohai, food names, and so on.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Being an Anthropomorphic Personification of Knight Templar order, the Big Bad could have basically manifested anywhere in Japan, or even the world at large. The game implies Shidou's collective unconscious research and the Japanese public's tendency to think of themselves as one entity and not question authority much (compared to a country that actively glorifies various types of individualism, like The United States) helped, but there's no direct reason given.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Played for Laughs. When you go to a fancy buffet at multiple points throughout the story, female party member Ann will get nothing but desserts, and male party member Ryuji will get nothing but meat.
  • Transformation of the Possessed:
  • 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.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In the pyramid dungeon, Ann throws Morgana so high into the air it results in Morgana temporarily disappearing in a tiny flash of light.
  • Two-Teacher School: Subverted. In the first arc of the game, it appears the only two named teachers at the school are Starter Villain Suguru Kamoshida and your homeroom teacher Sadayo Kawakami. However, all your teachers end up showing up in Pop Quiz sections, and even have Character Portraits.
  • Underground Monkey: Subverted. On the field, enemies are slightly retextured versions of one or two enemies. For instance, the first dungeon only has a knight in silver armor, and the exact same knight with a gold armor texture on him. In battle however, the enemies are all custom models from several decades of Shin Megami Tensei designs.
  • Unexpected Character: One of the Personas you can use is Bugs/Bugbear, a minor enemy from Devil Summoner Soul Hackers. No, really.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: The Protagonist has the unique "Wild Card" ability, that lets him change his Guardian Entity at will and recruit Shadows to his cause. Subverted when it turns out "Black Mask", The Heavy for the villains, has the same power.
  • 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.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Justified. Anything involving the Protagonist's plan to fake his death and expose Goro and his boss isn't shown until the Protagonist is putting it into motion. This is because the Protagonist was heavily drugged, thus he legitimately did not remember that there was a plan until the last minute.
  • 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.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The "Hama" and "Mudo" light and dark One-Hit Kill attacks have even less utility compared to previous games, as there is now an entire line of light and dark attacks that still exploit enemy weaknesses, deal actual damage, and have a near 100% hit rate (instead of 70-80% tops).
  • Vacation Episode: Your Class Trip involves the party traveling by plane out of Japan and over Hawaii.
  • Vendor Trash: Most of the treasure you steal from the various Palaces, include the main Treasure each of your heists are targeting, can only be sold at the weapon shop for cash. They have no other uses and stay in a seperate tab from equipment and other usable items.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Assuming that you've reached the path to the True Ending, the final dungeon is the real world, where Yaldabaoth is starting to overlay his Palace onto the real world.
  • Victory Pose: Party Members not only have various poses they strike after winning a battle, but unique splash screen poses that'll pop if an All-Out attack they initiated wiped out the enemy party: The Protagonist tightens one of his gloves and pops a Slasher Smile, Ryuji does a devil horns Hand Signal, Ann does a V Sign, Morgana does a Chair Reveal with a cigar, and so on.
  • Victory Quote: Your party members will randomly drop various lines when you enter the battle results screen.
    Ann: Total victory, yay!
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Failing to complete a dungeon or betraying your friends to Sae will result in you getting a Bad End, all of which end with you getting shot in the head. You monster.
    • If you enter the women's bathroom in the first half of Madarame's museum Palace, a female Shadow Mook will be waiting to get a surprise attack on you.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Sympathetic Inspector Antagonists like Sae and Goro will show up at Cafe Leblanc for coffee throughout the story. For Goro, this is actually a part of his Co-Op.
  • 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.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: When Sae asks why the Phantom Thieves didn't upfront tell her that Goro was working for a conspiracy that was using the Palace to commit crimes, the Thieves reply that 1) Sae wouldn't have believed them and 2) they needed Sae in the dark for their plan.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The Shadows selves in the Palaces represent the twisted hidden feelings of the respective adults you target. Similarly, when characters' Persona first awaken, they encourage their other selves to ignore society's expectations and unleash their true rage / vengeance / etc. on those who have wronged them.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you enter the women's bathroom in the first half of Madarame's museum Palace, Ann will comment on it and ask you to leave.
  • What Would X Do?: A variant. When the Protagonist has to turn himself in so that Shido can be found guilty, the other Thieves imagine Morgana (who they believed to have disappeared with the other world) making fun of them for giving up too easily. This encourages them find a way to save the Protagonist.
  • 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.
  • With This Herring: The game starts with your sum total of equipment being nothing but a knife, a toy gun, a giant toy sword, and a giant toy slingshot. In fact, figuring out how to exploit the Your Mind Makes It Real properties of the Mental World you're traversing and getting better weapons from a military hobby shop end up being such a big issue they get their own Sidequest.
  • Woman Scorned: Cheating on your Love Interest was already a bad idea in P4 Golden, but doing so here will result in the girls finding out in the epilogue. It does not end well for Joker.
  • 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.
  • You Are Already Dead: When you perform an All-Out Combination Attack that wipes out the enemy party, the enemies will freeze in place for a few seconds so a member of your party can pop a Victory Pose and drop a Bond One-Liner, at which point a Gory Discretion Shot shows the enemies' silhouettes erupting into a spray of blood.
  • 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 first 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