Video Game / Persona 5

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

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

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

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

An anime tie-in known as "THE DAY BREAKERS" will be aired in Japan to tie-in with the game. A manga adaptation will be released on September 15, 2016 via Shogakukan's Manga One app with another release on September 22 on the Ura Sunday Website.

It will release on September 15, 2016 in Japan and February 14, 2017 in North America.

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

Persona 5 provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • The Anime of the Game: A one episode special called "THE DAY BREAKERS" will air around the games release.
  • Animorphism: In one dungeon, the party occasionally get turned into mice while you're exploring. Yes, even the cat.
  • Art Shift: Compared to the previous games. The art direction uses comic book-esque thick lines, bright colors, complex shading, Speech Bubbles and Speed Stripes to accentuate the Phantom Thief motif.
  • Asshole Victim: The Phantom thieves specifically target adults who have abused their position and taken advantage of others.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The "Heart" Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but also serve as Boss Battles. They include:
    • A giant headed demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants.
    • A purple fly man with a mustache, bad comb-over, white tuxedo, and fake eyepatch their giant bug eye is clearly too big for.
    • A man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky yellow kimono and too much white face paint.
  • Blank White Eyes: Several humans have been seen with these, suggesting some sort of possession. A subway conductor can be seen without any pupils as he runs a train off the tracks, leaving him in a pool of his own blood.
  • Bland-Name Product: The party can be seen eating a bag of Lays potato chips and drinking bottles of Coca-Cola at one point, only with the nondescript labels "Potato" and "Nice Cola" printed on them. Similarly, an ad can be seen for a tablet computer called the "Next P.A.D." that bears a striking resemblance to the Apple iPad.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The protagonist is beaten by police at the beginning of the story, various characters bleed black blood when awakening to their Persona, you sneak attack enemies by ripping the masks they use for faces off, and the game's main Color Motif is vivid blood red.
  • Body Horror: Human shaped Shadows bloodily erupt into demons when you start a battle with them. In the casino, multiple human guards also transform into Humanoid Abominations.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Atlus published an ad in an actual Japanese newspaper, appearing as a Cut-and-Paste Note, that proclaimed "The Phantom" would appear at the February 2015 event that revealed new Persona 5 footage. Sure enough, he ended up appearing, "shot out" the lights, and proceeded to reveal the very first gameplay trailer for Persona 5.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: One dungeon has you trying to infiltrate a pyramid in the middle of a desert.
  • Camera Abuse: The screen will momentarily "crack" whenever you perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Chest Burster: Multiple enemies, like Norn, are shown bursting out of the backs of humanoid Shadows, killing the Shadow in the process.
  • Chucking Chalk: One of the protagonist's teachers hits him in the head with a piece of chalk from straight across the room in one scene.
  • City of Adventure: Unlike the fictional settings of previous installments, P5 takes place in the very real Shibuya district of Tokyo.
  • Class Trip: Partway through the year, the party gets to go on a trip out of Japan through your school.
  • Color Motifs: Red, in opposition to the somber Persona 3ís blue and the upbeat Persona 4ís 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.
  • The Conspiracy: The Phantom Thieves activities eventually attact the attention of a secret, wealthy organization that seeks to eliminate them for their knowledge of the world inside the collective unconscious.
  • Cool Mask: All the characters' Persona turn into nifty thief masks when not in use.
  • Dancing Theme: The main characters can be seen dancing around the city in the opening animation that plays before the title screen. The poses and spins make it look like they're ice skating on concrete.
  • Dark World: The Palace is a warped version of the real world that grows and transforms based on human desires.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Persona 4, with characters receiving visible, bloody injuries, regular use of Body Horror, and the heroes being Anti-Hero thieves.
  • Dialogue Tree: Talking with party members, answering questions in class, doing part-time jobs, and negotiating with demons all involve picking multiple options from a list of potential responses.
  • Difficulty Levels: You can play the game on Safety, Easy, Normal and Hard. Each mode gives enemies higher stats, making battles tougher.
  • Dirty Cop: The cops who apprehend the protagonist drug and beat him to try and get information on his accomplices. The head of the department is also a member of The Conspiracy, and plans to kill the protagonist and their friends to protect his illicit activities.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The game opens with the protagonist having a dream where he's captured by the police during a heist at a casino months into the story, before waking up to find himself taking the train to his first day at school.
  • 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.
  • 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 personís character, or a groupís character, that will provide the "power" to destroy that "feeling of entrapment".
  • Eyed Screen: Once again, a cut-in of just the character's eyes will appear when you perform powerful Persona attacks.
  • Faceless Masses: Non-important NPCs have blurry, smudged out faces.
  • Flash Step: One of the Protagonist's field abilities allows him to quickly move from cover to cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: Unlike P3 and P4, awakening to your Persona abilities in P5 also grants you a cool thief outfit in a blaze of magical blue flames.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The screen turns blood red and your characters can be seen blasting holes in their enemies' silhouettes when you perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Gratuitous French: The tarot cards go by the French names, fitting since the designs draw heavily from the Marseilles designs.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Knocking down all enemies will allow the party to hold them at gunpoint, after which the Phantom can negotiate with an enemy to give him items, extort money, or make them become your Persona. Or you can just hit them all with an All-Out Attack.
  • Haunted House: One dungeon has you infiltrating a mansion filled with Masked Figures.
  • Hero Antagonist: Naturally, the police force seems to oppose the group. It has yet to be seen how much of a role they have in the 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:
  • Indy Escape: One dungeon has the team running down a staircase as a giant boulder pursues them.
  • In Medias Res: The game begins at the peak of the Thieves' efforts. After a Downer Beginning sequence where the Protagonist is captured, the game flashes back to the beginning: half a year ago.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Futuba and the Protagonist live in the same house after he moves to Tokyo, and depending on player choice their relationship can be entirely platonic.
  • Institutional Apparel: The Protagonist is dressed in black and white pinstripes inside the the Velvet Room's prison.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen. This is often done in Japan when making eye contact with fictional characters. The fact that the protagonist is doing it implies that he's not the fictional one...
  • Le Parkour: Dungeon traversal now has you jump between chandeliers, leap out windows, launch yourself over Bottomless Pits, and leap and dash between various forms of cover.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Similar to the social links in previous games, you get bonus levels when you fuse Personas, new abilities, discounts at shops, and so on by hanging with the Phantom Thieves and their various accomplices.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:
    • Japan has a 20th Anniversary Edition which includes an art book, CD set with music from the entire series, and several in-game items.
    • Internationally, there's the "Take Your Heart" edition, which incoudes a CD with select music, Morgana plush, art book, steelbook case, and school bag.
  • Literal Metaphor: In previous games, Persona were described as metaphorical "masks" as a tie to Jungian psychology. In Persona 5, the party's Persona literally transform into personalized masks when not in use.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Many shadows take the form of humans with the various arcana masks in place of a face in dungeons. Once battle starts they burst apart and change into demonic forms.
  • Mask of Power: This time around, characters' Persona turn into masks after the first summon, and can then be resummoned by the character ripping the mask of their face. You can similarly weaken Shadows by ripping the masks off their faces.
  • Minigame: After school, the protagonist can kill some time by heading to batting cages or wailing on a training dummy, which presumably increases his stats and is presented as a minigame to the player. This is a notable evolution from the last two installments, which featured no such thing when doing after-school activities (other than 4's Fishing Minigame) and were instead passive.
  • Mon: In a return to Persona and Persona 2, you recruit enemy Shadows to become your Persona. And as in all games, you can fuse your existing Persona together to gain more powerful ones.
  • Monster of the Week: The game's story was modelled on serial novels and TV dramas. Each dungeon involves the Protagonists stealing the hearts of multiple targets in order to reform the world. This comes in contrast with other Persona games, as each one had a main goal and target to stop. Though this eventually catches the attention of a conspiracy with knowledge of the Palace, to serve as the overall Myth Arc.
  • More Dakka: The "Random Fire" attack, where the heroes can unleash a barrage of gunfire on the entire enemy party.
  • Motif:
    • Hearts. Arsène has heart symbols on his sleeves, enemy Life Meters are shaped like hearts, the party calls themselves the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts", and your goal is to reforming corrupt adults by metaphorically "taking their heart". The game will also release on Valentine's Day in North America.
    • Masks, in keeping with previous titles and the series' Jungian themes. the word "Persona" is latin for "mask", the party's main Persona all wear some form of a mask, Persona now transform into personalized masks when not in use, and Shadows appear as humanoid figures with masks on during exploration.
  • Multiple Endings: The game's creators have stated there are a number of ways the game can end based on player choices.
  • The Musketeer: The main characters can switch between melee weapons and firearms, like in the original Persona and many other Shin Megami Tensei games.
    • The Protagonist uses combat knives and handguns.
    • Ryuji uses blunt objects and shotguns.
    • Anne uses whips and submachine guns.
    • Morgana uses toy swords and slingshots.
    • Makoto uses brass knuckles and revolvers.
    • Haru uses halberds and grenade launchers (Bonus Points for actually being dressed as a musketeer).
  • Mythology Gag: P5 has a number of references to other Atlus-made games.
    • This isn't the first Persona game to have a masked vigilante group that has a leader with the codename "Joker".
    • Ryuji's thief outfit is a Whole Costume Reference to the recurring Demon Hell Biker.
    • The enemies are mainline SMT Demons, a la the Persona games before P3 and P4.
    • The protagonist can play a video game called Star Forneus 1988. Forneus is a recurring Demon in the SMT series, appearing ever since Shin Megami Tensei. The "star" is another Goetia Demon, Decarabia, who was a friend of Forneus in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
  • Notice This: Quest Givers have a red speech bubble with an exclamation mark over their head.
  • 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 Isekainabi ("parallel world navigation") to access the world of Palace.
  • Power Glows: Persona are now covered in a glowing blue aura of flames when summoned.
  • Public Domain Character: Always the case with Demons and Personas in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Whereas 3 and 4 used Classical Mythology (usually Greek) and Japanese Mythology for its Personas, 5 uses Lovable Rogues and famous thieves from contemporary folklore that match the party's own personalities:
    • The main character's initial Persona is Arsène - as in, ArsŤne Lupin, the archetypal Phantom Thief. Arsène the Persona dresses similarly to famous depictions of the original thief, with a top hat and other formal wear.
    • Morgana's Persona is Zorro, a pulp hero and cunning outlaw who defends commoners and other innocents from an oppressive government. The fact Zorro has the Animal Motif of a fox and Morgana is a cat is probably a joke.
    • Anne has Carmen, the star of a French opera of the same name and a gypsy woman loved by men for her exotic features and hedonism. Anne is a quarter-white girl who is the subject of some nasty rumors at the school regarding her ethnicity.
    • Futaba's Necronomicon takes the form of a person and livestock abducting UFO, reflecting both her fascination with programming and feelings of alienation from the rest of society.
  • Punny Name: The Protagonists attend a high school named "Shujin School" in Japanese. This can be read as "The People's School" or "Prisoner School".
  • Recurring Element: Multiple elements from Persona 3 and 4 return:
    • A primary Color Motif throughout the UI and other art. For this game, it's a vivid red.
    • The protagonist arrives in town by taking a train.
    • The Velvet Room has a new silver-haired, gold-eyed female attendant - though there's two of them now.
    • The game opens with the protagonist signing a contract that says they take responsibility for their actions (in this case a police confession) and seeing an otherworldly blue butterfly in their dreams.
    • The protagonist gets into trouble with a teacher after he transferred to a new school.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Persona game starring Anti-Hero Phantom Thieves also has a predominately red and black color scheme for menus, costumes, and area designs.
  • Relationship Values: The "Cooperation" feature is apparently a replacement for the Social Links of 3 and 4, but it's as-of-yet unknown what that entails.
  • Running Gag: Morgana getting thrown by party members.
  • Sequel Escalation: Persona 5 adds Stealth Based Gameplay to dungeon traversal, a wider selection of stat improving minigames, a larger overworld filled with hundreds of NPCs, completely remade enemy models, and even more stylized Videogame Interface Elements.
  • Seven Deadly Sins:
    • In the opening, nine Latin words flash on screen; luxuria (lust), gula (gluttony), avaritia (greed), acedia (sloth), ira (wrath), invidia (envy), superbia (pride). Plus two more; cavum (hollowness), and irritum (nothingness).
    • Morgana states the various dungeons are the results of "warped desires".
    • The gym teacher that wants to expel you turns into Asmodeus, the demon of lust.
  • Shout-Out: A full page for them.
  • Show Within a Show: One of the minigames the protagonist can participate in is playing a video game called Star Forneus 1988.
  • Speech Bubbles: Multiple parts of the user interface will pop up as white bubbles with black text in them.
  • Speed Stripes: White lines appear around the edges of the screen when the characters move at high speeds.
  • Stealth-Based Game: In dungeons, you can sneak around foes by flash stepping behind walls, hopping into paintings, and so forth. This allows you to perform Back Stabs to give your party the first turn in battle.
  • Stealth Pun: Anne and Morgana are both burglars that dress like / look like cats.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: A cut-in of the character's eyes will flash onscreen any time your Persona performs a critical attack.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Shadow Selves once again sport glowing yellow eyes, even when appearing as Doppelgangers of their human selves.
  • Talk to the Hand: The protagonist will stick his hand out to the screen when you open the menu, with text reading "Don't look at me like that" in the corner of the screen.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Inverted. The Velvet Room, which changes into a location tailor-made for its current guest, becomes a prison for P5's Protagonist.
  • Take Cover: The protagonist can hide behind walls and furniture while sneaking around.
  • Tarot Motifs: As in previous games, Personas / Shadows, party members and various NPCs are divided into the 20-odd major arcana of the Tarot deck.
  • Tear Off Your Face: When party members first rip off their Persona masks, their face becomes appropriately bloodied as if it were their actual face. Ripping the mask off Shadows also hurts them, giving you an advantage in battle.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blue flames are a major visual motif in the game.
    • In the second teaser, an otherworldly blue flame can be seen in the distance once time stops.
    • Each protagonist bursts into blue flame when they first awaken to their Persona.
    • Persona are now covered in blue flame when they are summoned.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: A currently-untitled theme sung 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.
  • °Three Amigos!: The Protagonist, Ryuji and Anne start as a three man team that are constantly hanging out together, before recruiting the rest of the party.
  • Time Stands Still: Near the start of the game everyone in a crowded intersection freezes, other than the protagonist.
  • True Companions: The Phantom Thieves quickly become like a second family, not only trusting each other to go on life threatening heists with, but helping each other deal with various personal traumas and regrets.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In the pyramid dungeon, Anne throws Morgana so high into the air it results in this.
  • Unmoving Plaid: The plaid pattern on the male high school uniforms remain fixed no matter how much their wearers move around in the opening animation.
  • Urban Fantasy: The game revolves around high school students in contemporary Tokyo, Japan who can summon an Anthropomorphic Personification of their psyches that take the forms of various ficional and mythological figures. So monsters bearing the appearance of demons and gods are fought both with melee weapons and modern fire arms.
  • Vacation Episode: Your Class Trip involves the party travelling by plane out of Japan and over Hawaii.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The ability from Persona 4 Golden to equip your party members with different sets of clothes returns.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Your party spends their days going to school and their afternoons and nights reforming corrupt adults and trying to dismantle a criminal conspiracy.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: 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.
  • Year X: Rather than being a specific year, the in-game calendar is dated 20XX.

"Your rehabilitation begins now. Welcome... to the Velvet Room."
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