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The Persona 2 duology has so much Foreshadowing in it that it is worthy of its own page.

WARNING!!! Due to the nature of this trope, there are no spoiler tags ahead. Read at your own risk.

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    Innocent Sin 
  • As soon as the game starts you see that the main character is flicking his Zippo lighter all the time and has a Canon Name. This is a clear indication that Tatsuya is not the typical Heroic Mime RPG protagonist who is fully controlled by the player.
  • Tatsuya's classmates and teachers reveal a ton about the plot before you even get to save the game.
    • Principal Hanya says that he sensed a resonance from Tatsuya, hinting that he is also a Persona user.
    • His introduction also states that he is beloved by the students in spite of his attitude, which leads to many students make contradictory statements about it. This is a hint for the Joker's ability to grant wishes.
    • A student comments that Tatsuya is good with machines "just like the rumors say". This - along with many others - is a very early indication that the curse on Sumaru City (rumors becoming reality) has been active for far longer than we are initially led to believe.
    • One of the students says that the Seven Sisters High emblem is based on the Pleiades. It seems irrelevant until you find out about the Oracle of Maia.
    • The rumor of the Seven's emblem being cursed is very obviously true as half the student body has their faces covered in bandages. However, there is no obvious explanation as of why this is happening. It is yet another effect of the rumor curse.
      • It is also stated that it was students from Kasugayama High who spread it. It turns out that Hiroki Sugimoto - a student there - did it under the orders of their Student Council President Yasuo, who in turn did it to get the favour of the Joker.
    • Both Kozy and Chikarin are stated to have infiltrated Kasugayama High to research the emblem curse before you find out about Kozy's supposed kidnapping.
    • Eikichi Mishina is also mentioned at this point, as well as how he became the Boss - removing people's underwear.
    • One character notes that Lisa had a very bad grade in her English test. Later on, one of the teachers complains to Tatsuya about the same thing. It turns out that Lisa does not know any English.
    • One NPC states that he saw Anna Yoshizaka hanging out with a bad crowd. Said crowd is the Masked Circle, with Anna being one of its executives.
    • There is a large number of students who claim that the Joker has granted their wishes and in fact have proof for it; one of them had her freckles removed (impossible without plastic surgery) and another is suddenly able to quote a hundred digits if Pi by heart. Another hint that the Joker is very much real.
    • A female student comments that the first winner of Seven's Beauty Contest was Junko Kurosu, and that she married a teacher who used to work at Sevens. This is an extremely early mention of Jun's parents and their significance to the plot.
  • Maya Okamura's introduction. She is nicknamed "Miss Ideal" and is stated to be "nervous about some oracle". The oracle of question is the Oracle of Maia - which she had a part in writing - and the reason she is nervous is because she knows that the Grand Cross is coming soon and she is afraid of The End of the World as We Know It.
  • When Miss Saeko asks Tatsuya about his future plans, if he tells her something specific (going to college or getting a job) she will react with worry and disbelief and will ask him repeatedly if he's not just telling her the things she wants to hear. One the other hand, if Tatsuya admits that he has no plans, she is not surprised at all. This is a very obvious hint to Tatsuya's lack of purpose and direction in his life, something that his shadow also points out.
    • On top of that she tells Tatsuya that he seems to be in a lot of pain and asks him why he is shutting himself away from people. It's because of the emotional trauma he suffered ten years ago aka his friends locking him in the Alaya Shrine and his Big Sister Figure burning in front of him.
    • This whole sequence is further elaborated in the Boss Fight against Shadow Tatsuya, because regardless of the choice the player made, Tatsuya will get called out upon it. If the choice is "to go to college", Shadow Tatsuya will point out his feelings of inferiority towards his older brother. If the choice is "to get a job", he will point out that he knows he is not smart enough to get a degree and is simply building a fake sense of purpose. Saying "I will chase my dreams" is Tatsuya subconsciously quoting Maya and admitting that he has no purpose is more or less a "well duh".
  • How Tatsuya, Eikichi and Lisa awaken their Personas. Eikichi has had his for a while, and then the other two just... bring them out with no explanation whatsoever. When they meet Philemon however, he introduces himself and then asks them "Do you not remember?". This is an indication to the trio's suppressed memories.
  • While Tatsuya is transported to Philemon's realm, in a blink and you'll miss it moment there are weird scenes flashing on the screen; a shrine, a girl praying, and a bunch of masked children playing together. These seem irrelevant at the point, but they are in fact memories of the masked circle.
  • Joker's introduction. He teleports in Sumaru Prison where Tatsuya and the others are, steals their dreams with a Crystal Skull and then tells the party that he is here to take revenge from them and appears to already know everyone. The Joker is their childhood friend Jun Kurosu and the crime he's accusing them of is Maya's death.
    • The skull he is holding is one of the artifacts mentioned in his father's conspiracy book.
    • An eagle-eyed viewer may note that his clothes look like a white version of the Kasugayama High uniform, showing at least that he is quite possibly a student there.
    • The flower Joker tosses to the party is a yellow Iris, which according to him means "revenge". However, looking up the flower reveals that its actual meaning is "intense love". This is foreshadowing of Jun's true feelings towards Tatsuya and how they were wrapped by Nyarlathotep.
  • Miyabi Hanakouji (Kozy) asks the party not to reveal her identity to Eikichi. Soon afterwards Eikichi reveals that they were dating in grade school, but never reveals why they broke up. The break-up in question is what prompted Eikichi's Inferiority Superiority Complex, narcissism and his questionable methods on disciplining other students - using his Persona in fights and removing their underwear. It is also a large part of Miyabi's character development, as she feels guilty for the event.
  • When the previously stopped clock tower of Sevens' High starts working again, all the students and teachers freak out, with Maya Okamura exclaiming that "The Seven Pleiades set the frozen time free" and then hightailing it to the Narurato stone. Everyone is puzzled by this. To her that event was all the confirmation she needed that the end of the world is coming. She went to the stone to see if the way to the Silver River had opened.
    • In the same scene it is stated that a teacher died in the clock tower and he said that the clock tower should never start again. That teacher is Jun's father - Maya Okamura's mentor of sorts and one of the authors of the Oracle of Maia.
  • When Maya summons her Persona - again, without any given explanation about how she can do it - Tatsuya, Eikichi and Lisa find themselves crying because they felt a wave of warmth, sadness and nostalgia. They even ask each other if they have met before. They have.
    • Maya addresses her Persona directly right before summoning it, with her phrasing leaving no doubt that she already knew about it. Her Persona had saved her life ten years earlier and she has the scars to prove it. Of course she remembers that bit.
  • When Yukino asks the party if they have played the Persona game, both Eikichi and Lisa are shocked at the question. Lisa denies having played it right away with a pained look on her face, while Eikichi says that he heard the name in a dream he had. Lisa later reveals that she remembered all the events from ten years ago at that exact moment and then she consciously suppressed the memory, while Eikichi had dismissed the same event as a dream.
  • One of Maya's contact options is "Discuss Parents". This foreshadows her Parental Abandonment issues.
  • A female student at the school tells scary stories to Tatsuya and then you are given a text box asking you how scary you found the story. There is only one time when this doesn't happen; when she tells the tale of the Alaya Shrine arson and how the culprit was a former student named Tatsuya Sudou. Not only was Tatsuya one of the victims of said arson. but Sudou comes back as a villain.
    • She even notes that he was locked away because he was hearing voices which he claimed belonged to aliens. Those voices were in fact Nyarlathotep manipulating him, and they were the basis upon which the "In'Lackeh" - and by extension, the Oracle of Maia - were written on.
      • This is also the first time that aliens are mentioned, hinting their eventual appearance.
    • When Maya hears the story she completely freaks out and starts rubbing her right arm. That arm has the scar that she got from that arson.
  • A student notes that there are many nasty rumors about Tatsuya because of a knife scar on his back, much to the shock of the rest of the party. Tatsuya was stabbed by Tatsuya Sudou during the Alaya Shrine arson, leading to his Traumatic Superpower Awakening.
    • When Eikichi says that pulling a knife in a fight is nasty, Tatsuya fires back by asking him why Eikichi uses Personas. He is incapable of giving an adequate answer. Later on Eikichi admits that the "no bullying" policy he had enforced in his school was merely an excuse to beat up other people with his Persona, which stems from his past of being a bullying victim as well.
    • Another student says that Tatsuya beat up a dozen guys in middle school. While the incident is never elaborated on in-game, the world book reveals exactly what happened. That was Tatsuya's second Persona awakening, which resulted in almost killing them.
  • When Tatsuya and co finally get to the clock tower, they encounter the ghost of the teacher who died there. Maya, Lisa and Eikichi exclaim that they feel like they've seen him before. They really have, it's Jun's father.
  • Maya says that Joker reminds her of Tatsuya somehow and she quotes a poem called "Der Doppelganger". Yukino is astonished at the implications, but Maya laughs her off. Maya had subconsciously recognized Jun and she made the same "doppelganger" connection that she had done as a kid.
  • After the boss fight, Lisa's friends who were previously looking for her vanish, with another student saying that they got a sudden phone call. They were already preparing for their Idol debut which they were planning to forcibly drag Lisa into.
    • For that matter, Lisa's attitude towards everybody else. She is very hostile in general and dismissive towards her friends, prompting Maya to ask if she's being bullied. Turns out that Lisa really was bullied when she was a kid and has severe trust issues because of it.
  • Also after the boss fight, Yukino looks oddly downcast when talking to Miss Saeko in spite of her Hero Worship towards her, and ponders teachers. Earlier, she quotes Maya's comment about "love being the greatest misunderstanding". These foreshadow her lack of faith in her intelligence as she wanted to be a teacher herself, as well as her being in love with Fuji.
  • When talking to Eikichi in the various Satomi Tadashi pharmacies, Eikichi makes many comments about weight loss and the related products. It turns out that he was a very fat kid and was bullied for it.
  • Anna Yoshizaka is first introduced hanging out in Club Zodiac where we're just told that a meeting of the Masked Circle is about to take place. Sugimoto then reveals that one of the executives called "Lady Scorpio" was supposed to attend that meeting. Obviously, that's Anna.
  • A member of the Masked Circle in that club says that if they don't attend the meetings, they'll be turned into Shadowmen. This is the eventual fate of most of the people who had their wished granted by the Joker.
  • When in Kasugayama High, Eikichi asks some seniors about a transfer student in their class and appears relieved that he's not there. The Shadowman in that classroom reveals that his name has "Kuro" in it. It is Jun Kurosu.
  • In the cutscene of the Bomb Shelter, Tatsuya dreams of how he got his lighter; he had exchanged it with a mysterious boy for his watch in front of a wedding boutique, with the two swearing to always keep their promise to each other. The boy even asks Tatsuya if he thinks they are alike, to which Tatsuya nods "yes". It is Jun Kurosu and the promise is that they'll always protect Maya.
    • The question whether they are alike or not is also a reference to Maya's doppelganger allusion.
  • Yasuo uses another crystal skull, but this one is blue. There are five of them in total.
    • In regards to this, Yasuo loses control of the Crystal Skull. When he complains about it, Lady Scorpio replies that only those born under the constellations of the Grand Cross are capable of controlling it. Those constellations are Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius, with the first three being the Zodiac signs of your party members. This reveals that Joker chose the first set of the executives and later on the party's shadows to replace them based on their signs.
      • This is also the first time when the Grand Cross is mentioned. It brings the end of the world.
  • When the party first meets King Leo, Maya reveals that the man had been stalking her for years for unknown reasons. King Leo is Tatsuya Sudou, the arsonist, and he is stalking Maya because he believes that she is the one responsible for the loss of his eye. (It was actually Tatsuya).
    • He even calls Maya a "Witch" and Tatsuya "Cursed Star". Other than this showing that he knows them, it also references Sudou's own impressions of the Alaya Shrine incident. He calls Maya a "witch" because he witnessed her awakening her Persona. Tatsuya is less clear though.
  • Every time the party visits the Alaya Shrine, Maya recalls that she used to visit the place to pray for something, Lisa is trying to get Tatsuya to leave as soon as possible and Eikichi grows increasingly confused because he was certain the shrine was something that only ever appeared in his dreams yet he recognizes everything. Yukino even notes that everyone gets stone-faced when visiting the place. This is everyone recalling with various degrees of clarity the events of the arson.
    • There is an old man with Alzheimer's who recalls that there were some kids playing at the shrine and that he was the bad guy pretty often. He is talking about Tatsuya and co.
    • When the party finds out about the Masked Circle, all of them note that the name seems really familiar to them for some reason. They are the founders.
  • While the party is asking around in the city about the Masked Circle, several NPCs react with panic, stumble on their words and deny being involved. Those are the same people who had their ideals granted by the Joker, and thus are members.
  • Lisa is extremely angry when she finds out about the Muses and she violently refuses to take part in it, ''especially' after she finds out that the debut song has a part in English written for her. This indicates that a) Lisa doesn't trust her friends and b) has severe issues with her identity and her nationality because other people make assumptions about what kind of person she is based solely on her being Caucasian.
  • Tatsuya and Maya sense Persona resonance from Ginji Sasaki, the producer of the Muses. It turns out that he is one of the executives and Lisa's friends are members.
  • The debut song of the Muses is called "Joker" and the English part for Lisa is the Oracle of Maia. At that point the player should start to notice that the lyrics match the recent events and thus predict the future ones.
  • When the Aoba Park Theatre is bombed, Maya completely freaks out and begs for her dad to save her. The others also note the scar on her arm for the first time. This foreshadows her own daddy issues as well as the origins of her intense pyrophobia.
  • In the same scene, Maya Okamura appears out of nowhere and starts cursing the "Last Battalion" and Hitler before taking a look at Lisa, accuses her of being a spy of said battalion and leaves. Maya Okamura correctly deduced that the bombings were for the purpose of fulfilling the Oracle of Maia, but she does not know about the Masked Circle; she assumed that it was an alias for the Last Battalion and suspected that Lisa was a spy because she was Caucasian and a singer in the concert. She realizes her mistake about Lisa later on.
  • When Tatsuya first enters the Konan PD, we are treated to a cutscene that features him getting in a fight with his brother Katsuya over their father. This foreshadows both of their daddy issues.
  • Katsuya's introduction states that he has a grudge against arsonists. This is yet another clue to the Alaya Shrine incident. It also serves to paint a different image of Katsuya and his feelings about Tatsuya once you make the connection, rather than just Tatsuya's image of him.
  • Also in Konan PD, checking the board with the wanted posters has Tatsuya commenting that he feels like he's seen one of them before. It is Tatsuya Sudou.
  • The Abandoned Factory. The deeper you go in the more details about its story is revealed. It had closed down ten years prior due to demon infestation. The whole thing started when a worker told his colleagues a horror story he made up but forgot to tell them it wasn't real. Soon, the more the story spread the more demons were sighted. If the player goes after the Legendary weapons, the full story is revealed; the head of the factory realizes that rumors are becoming reality. All of this reveales that the curse has been active for far, FAR longer than the game first tells us and that it had a significant effect in the city, including the main characters. This revelation comes long before the Final Boss when it is finally confirmed.
  • Junko Kurosu. An NPC comments that she looks surprisingly young for a woman her age, and she herself has an Alpha Bitch. Later on, when people start spreading rumors about the identity of the arsonists, she claims that it was the "five mysterious youngsters" who did it, with the five being Tatsuya and co. All of this foreshadows that she is a member of the Masked Circle.
    • Later on she is seen talking with Shadow Maya. This is another hint.
  • In the Aerospace museum, when you save Ixquic, you are treated to a cutscene which has Tatsuya as a child laying in a pool of his own blood in front of the burning Alaya Shrine, while an unknown girl is screaming at his to get away from there. The boy who stabbed him is laughing hysterically, until Tatsuya awakens his Persona and burns him. That was the Alaya Shrine incident in its full detail, and the "mysterious girl" is Maya.
    • Many gamers noticed that the girl and Maya have the same eye colour (purple), making her identity easy to deduce.
  • When finaly encoutering King Leo aka Tatsuya Sudou, he throws a thouroughwart at them and tells them to "remember that summer ten years ago". He's talking about the arson.
  • In the same scene he mentions the "End of Nahui-Ollin". It doubles as Genius Bonus; according to Nayan mythology, the Nahui-Ollin is in short the time period us humans live in, with its end meaning the eradication of our species.
  • After the boss fight is over, Lisa asks King Leo if the Joker is "Big Sis". As she follows you around the city, she makes many weird comments such as wanting to be a pink-colored superheroine, but then realises she said "pink" and takes it back. All these hint that she finally allowed her memory to come back.
  • If you listen to the soundtrack before The Reveal you'll notice Joker's and Jun's themes sound very similar. This foreshadows the connection between the two.
  • While it is very obvious to those who have played the newer Persona games, the existence of antagonistic Shadow Selves was new in Innocent Sin and thus the game foreshadowed it in many ways.
    • First of all, Shadow Maya has no eyes in her sprite, and her face portrait has pink-red-ish eyes rather than purple.
    • Tatsuya steps back in shock when he sees her because he immediately realises there is something wrong.
    • Shadow Maya refers to previous events as if she were in Maya's place but expresses vastly different impressions and opinions.
    • A number of people note her odd behaviour.
    • You cannot enter her apartment because she "forgot her keys".
    • She is chatting with Junko Kurosu even though the normal Maya has no connection with her.
    • She is using her defensive animation when in Philemon's presence and doesn't say a word.
    • Her relationship with the other party members is described as "awkward" and she cannot be used for negotiations.
  • The existence of the real Big Bad is hinted at throughout the game; the cast oftenly wonders why are rumours becoming reality in the first place, as they doubt that the Joker did it.

     Innocent Sin to Eternal Punishment 
  • Noriko. In Innocent Sin she is a faceless NPC whose only distinguish traits are that she has a name, wears the school track suit ...and is obsessed with finding Anna. Eternal Punishment reveals just how far this obsession goes: she uses the JOKER curse to kill TWO people for her sake, with the latter merely having committed the crime of badmouthing her. She even becomes a boss.
  • In Honmaru Park in Innocent Sin, there is a sign which describes that this park was formerly the site of Kiyotada Sumaru's castle, and that the park was built with funding from Foreign Minister Tatsuzou Sudou. Those two are villains in the next game, and you have to storm the castle in question.
    • Tatsuya Sudou also brings up his father Tatsuzou in Innocent Sin, and Maya Okamura characterizes him as overly strict and oppressive. This foreshadows Sudou's actions in Eternal Punishment, who is using his new powers as the JOKER in order to kill his father, as well as the fact that Tatsuzou is using his son as a pawn.
  • A student at Sevens says that Tatsuya's dad got kicked out of the police for not backing down from pursuing the Yakuza when he was told. This is irrelevant in Innocent Sin, but it comes back with vengeance in Eternal Punishment. While the exact circumstances were different, in both worlds Tatsuya's dad was kicked out of the police to cover up Tatsuzou Sudou's activities.
    • Katsuya also brings up their father in Innocent Sin, which almost results in a fight between the two brothers. Other than foreshadow Tatsuya's daddy issues, it also foreshadows Katsuya's own Character Arc in Eternal Punishment and his obsession with clearing his father's name.
  • Ulala's Establishing Character Moment is her chasing Makimura - the conman who tricked her - with her Persona. She is a party member in the next game, and you still have to chase Makimura for her.
    • In Innocent Sin Ulala expresses her jealousy of Maya's apparent ability at scoring with younger guys. This foreshadows part of her feelings of inadequacy when compared to Maya, which is what makes her curse her in Eternal Punishment.
  • In the flashback in which Tatsuya and Jun exchange their treasures, a drunk young man with black hair and glasses stumbles out of the pub, reveals in his rumbles that his name is Kaoru, comments that "he looks like a man living up to his dreams" - which he doesn't - and then jokes that if they two boys stay out too late he will have to arrest them. He is also wearing a police uniform. That man is Baofu, a party member in the next game.
    • In Baofu's official Innocent Sin introduction, he is stated to collect rumors for an unknown purpose. Talking to him has him saying that uncovering the truth is the most important thing. Later on, after Xibalba rises, he comments that he isn't sure if there is a God or not. All these things sum up Baofu's entire character; from his drinking problems, to his hatred of Personas to the extreme lengths he is willing to go to take revenge from Tatsuzou.
  • If the player pursues the Legendary Sword, they run into Kei Nanjo who reveals that he came to this town because he heard rumors about Kandori being alive. They are false - the man in question was actually Reiji who got mistaken for his brother - but with Eternal Punishment taking place a few months later and said rumor going unchecked, Kandori really did come back to life.
  • Part of Shadow Tatsuya's rant is devoted to the concepts of sin and punishment. Guess what happens to Tatsuya.

    Eternal Punishment 
  • In the opening sequence, we see a group of adult to elderly people conducting something called the "Ritual of Kotodama" under the leadership of an obviously wealthy old man in front of a Japanese shrine with a Samurai armor in it. "Kotodama" means literally the "power of words" and it is clear reference to the rumor curse.
    • In the same scene eagle-eyed viewers will notice many of the future villains. These include Kandori, Wang Long Chizuru and the Chief of the Police. Close examination of the old man's portrait also reveals his resemblance to Tatsuya Sudou, thus revealing that this is his father Tatsuzou. The Samurai present is also a villain and one of the game's bosses.
  • Tatsuya says that he has committed a sin that should not exist and must atone for it. The sin is revealed towards the very end of the game; he had refused to trade his memories to create a new world for purely selfish (but understandable) reasons in spite of knowing the consequences of doing so.
  • Just like in Innocent Sin, Maya can learn many things from her coworkers at the beginning of Eternal Punishment.
    • The fact alone that there is a serial killer called JOKER is enough of a warning that somebody is aware of the events of Innocent Sin other than Tatsuya.
    • We find out that even though the number of victims is in double digits, the police has no evidence. This foreshadows that the police is covering up the murders.
    • A reporter mentions that they found ancient ruins in the construction site. This foreshadows that Xibalba is still under the city.
    • One reporter gives a very detailed explanation of how Wang Long fortune telling works, which foreshadows many things on itself.
      • First of all, it supposedly gives really accurate readings, which foreshadows how it's being used as a tool to manipulate the masses.
      • It's based on the movement of twelve dragons that move along laylines. Those are later bumped with Kegare to cause an imbalance and destroy Earth.
      • It is noted that good actions lead to good results while bad actions lead to bad, with no middle path. Luck doesn't work that way, neither in real life nor in the game. This foreshadows how Wang Long is used to feed people's fears.
  • Maya receives a Calling Card from the Joker saying "you're next" and sure enough, he shows up to kill her. After the event, Ulala starts acting very strangely and keeps saying that she didn't expect the curse to be true. It turns out that she was the one who cursed Maya.
  • A number of students mention the Muses again, and how their producer Ginji Sasaki made a career by relying on fortunes. Sure enough, he turns out to be part of The Conspiracy again.
  • Katsuya is at Seven's to investigate the murder of the man who ran over Anna. Later on, the principal gets murdered after he insulted her. In spite of all the evidence pointing to Anna, Noriko insists that she knows she is not responsible. That is because she is the one who committed them.
  • The fact that Tatsuya Sudou aka JOKER tries to get Anna to join him foreshadowes how he later targets Jun for the same reason.
  • When Katsuya is kicked out of the case, Chief Shimazu brings up Katsuya's similarity with his father in a less than friendly tone. Later on we find out that Shimazu was partially responsible for planting the evidence that led to Mr. Suou's sacking.
  • From the moment you meet him Baofu insists that Personas are tools, seperate from the user and that you should never trust them in critical moments. He blames his Persona for his partner's death.
  • Right before the boss fight against the hellhound, the JOKER points out a mysterious group in chinese clothing waiting outside. Baofu runs off to meet them as soon as he spots them. That was the Taiwanese mafia, with their leader being directly responsible for the death of Baofu's partner.
    • Later on, the leader of that group is seen in the police chief's office. This is before the characters find out that they are mafia and that the police are cooperating with them.
    • In the Yumezaki area, several people are commenting on the fact that the police does nothing to stop the mafia presence. This is another hint of their cooperation.
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