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  • The Abridged Series:
  • Acting for Two:
    • In both the Japanese and English version, the Male Protagonist shares a voice with Pharos and Ryoji with good reason. However, due to the male protagonist's Silent Protagonist nature, they never speak to one another.
    • Grant George voices a member of SEES and Strega, Shinjiro and Jin respectively, alongside Officer Kurosawa.
    • Tara Platt voices both Mitsuru Kirijo and Elizabeth, the Velvet Room attendant.
    • Liam O'Brien voices Akihiko Sanada and Eiichiro Takeba, Yukari's father.
    • The Japanese version has Miyuki Sawashiro voicing both Elizabeth and Chidori, though they don't speak to one another in the story.
  • Adored by the Network: Along with Persona 4, Persona 3 pretty much established the recent MegaTen fandom. Naturally, Atlus has been very quick to fund all sorts of spinoffs, remakes, rereleases, movies…
  • Author's Saving Throw: The developer interview (page in Japanese) with Mumon Usuda and Azusa Kido addressed the various Scrappy Mechanic and other weak points of the PlayStation 2 versions and thus created the various Anti-Frustration Features for Persona 3 Portable, among other things:
    • Opening and navigating the Command menu felt slow in the PS2 versions due to incorporating Flash animation which is processed slowly by the console. Portable reworked this so it operates much smoother.
    • Certain characters that are felt not developed enough in the original versions, like Ken and Shinjiro, became more involved through new Social Links exclusive to the female route.
    • To address players' complaints about Tartarus exploration being boring, Portable adds random floor events and rescue requests. The rescue favors in particular also helped tie in the relationship between Tartarus and the Lost, which was established in the originals but not quite clarified enough in gameplay.
  • B-Team Sequel: Tadashi Satomi, who wrote the first two Persona games, didn't come back for this one; instead, it was written by Katsura Hashino, who pretty much took over after this one, having written the game's sequels as well.
  • Breakthrough Hit: Immediately prior to this game's release, Atlus was on the verge of collapse since most of their games had very niche appeal. Director Katsura Hashino argued that Persona 3 should be made more accessible for general audiences, which paid off and properly brought Atlus into the mainstream.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • According to Shigenori Soejima, Mitsuru was the most popular character among the development staff. Meanwhile, Soejima himself admitted that, while he does not have a favorite, he's very fond of Akihiko.
    • Aigis and Yukari respectively are lead character designer Shigenori Soejima's second favorite character in the entire Persona according to interviews, with the Persona 3 and 4 protagonists coming in right behind her.
    • According to the interview published on the July 2006 issue of Dengeki PlayStation, Soejima's favorite Social Link is Kenji's (Magician) while Hashino's is Mutatsu's (Tower).
  • Defictionalization: A real version of Junpei's hat was offered as a pre-order bonus for Portable back in the day. The hat (with a slightly different design) is also available to purchase on Atlus's official online store.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Unused lines in the PS2 versions suggest that there was going to be a Social Link with the owner of Shinshoudo Antiques. All the lines are in Japanese and are not grouped with other Social Link filesnote , however, meaning it was easily skipped over by English speakers looking into the files.
    • Voice clips of Mitsuru and Fuuka calling out the player for cheating are this outside the vanilla version. This is because either Updated Re-release no longer has the cheating check programmed in.
    • There are at least three cut scenes that were dubbed into English hidden in the sound files of the FES disc. The first is one of Ms. Toriumi discussing your abscene for a week and her concern for your academics, the second is Yukari coming into your room to give you study guides Ms. Toriumi made for you, and the third is one of Junpei teasing the MC and Yukari about "shackin' under the same roof" and hinting at a secret of his own (joining SEES).
    • Among the clips of the MC (and Aigis) calling out their Persona's name, there are ones for each of the other character's Personas - Io, Isis, etc. Even Psyche, despite Metis only being available in The Answer, in which the protagonist is dead. There are also lines where a character calls out all magical elements not working when an enemy resists them, even though in-game every party member can only use, at most, one element (save one party member in The Answer, who has two elements). These clips could just be there to prevent the game from crashing if one hacked in a Persona normally unusable.
    • There are several analysis quotes from Mitsuru that hint at a different scenario of the rescue Fuuka mission. "Let's continue searching for Fuuka!" and "The specified area is up ahead!". It would seem Mitsuru was originally able to provide full support when you wandered into Tartarus via the gym and you wouldn't get separated.
    • There are some quotes used for the battle against the Shadow Protagonist in the Answer for characters commenting on him using their first Persona, e.g., Junpei saying "Hey, nobody copies my Hermes!", hinting at a possible reversion to their first Persona in The Answer.
    • The PS2 versions feature an image of the name entry screen... over a certificate of marriage, with Shinjiro's name already typed in.
    • Remnants of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne can be found in the PS2 versions, like press turn icons and other UI elements.
    • Early sketches of various characters can be found as unused portraits in the PS2 versions. There is even one unfinished portrait of the main character, with flat coloring, that can be supposedly called in dialogue, different from the portrait for the Command menu.
    • Artwork of the Strega Personas can be found in the game files, as if the player could obtain them or have them as party members, despite otherwise. This was most likely done to prevent the game from crashing trying to load the art if somehow the player through bugs or hacking was able to acquire the Strega Personas.
    • All male party members have "reversed" S. Link portraits. In vanilla and FES, neither has individual S. Link, so they are all unused. Pharos somehow has a "reversed" S. Link portrait too, despite his link being automatic and having no way to reverse via wrong answer. The same also applies to any non-automatic S. Link that cannot be Reversed/Broken at all. In Portable, due to the reworked mechanics, nearly everyone got their reversed portraits subjected to this (in the end, only Chihiro's SL can be reversed in the male route and only Akihiko's SL can be broken in the female route).
    • Cerberus' model as depicted in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (not to be confused with Koromaru's Persona) is stored this way in case invalid Personas are loaded into battle (for example, Lucia and Juno, both being navigator Personas and thus never seen on the battlefield).
    • A healing bulb supposed to be placed in Tartarus was scrapped in favor of automatic full heal upon returning to the first floor (vanilla and FES only). The idea seems to be restored in Portable, albeit via the clock instead of reusing that device.
    • There are unused S. Link reversal scenes for Hanged Man and Moon in the PS2 version. In the English version, neither is even translated. The male route's Moon S. Link would unavoidably "reverse" during Rank 9 in Portable, the only time this "legitimately" happens, but this is just a fake and it was resolved the next scene.
    • In the vanilla and FES (The Journey) versions, Aigis' final line was originally going to be rendered as text instead of being spoken in a cutscene movie. Even then, the line spoken there is different. This was eventually restored in voiced form in Portable, but the Dummied Out text would not see use until the 2023 remaster, where it accompanies the voice line as an accessibility feature.
    • Magic Skill Up, Messiah's Secret Art in Portable, has existed since FES where it was instead unused. It also gave a weaker buff (25%) compared to the one in Portable (50%).
    • As noted on the main page's Artificial Stupidity, certain AI combat behavior got this treatment for whatever reason, though some were caused by programming oversight. The only one clearly unfinished is ??? originally including a phase where it copies Psyche if the player has Metis in their party but its unfinished nature means it can only use Ziodyne on a random target, a skill Psyche cannot even learn.
    • The vanilla and FES versions also contain early models and/or animations for certain characters:
      • The main character had a beta model and set of animations, the latter of which would be recycled for other characters.
      • Fuuka has combat model data despite being a navigator. Placing this over the MC's one-handed sword data will show his battle animations that were only present in early screenshots as well as an early evoker model that looked even more like an actual gun. His model during this also contains an unused Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises expression and his "default" green eyes are never shown in-game (they are gray as normal). Doing this swap in Portable will instead load an early version of Akihiko.
      • Koromaru had a beta model which has a different evoker collar design.
  • God Never Said That:
    • Some fans spread the notions that Evokers were given the shape of guns in order to entice Akihiko (false: the Evokers existed long before Mitsuru even approached him) and that they "shoot Nyx's feathers" (false: the Nyx Avatar didn't even exist when the Kirijo Lab accident happened, and Evokers have always been meant to simulate real guns.) That said, Evokers do each contain a Plume of Dusk, but rather than shooting it, it helps assist in the summoning. Nyx has also been around for a long time. See more here, here, and here. Note none of this so far has been retconned, as the Kirijo group's study of the Plume of Dusk is the basis for Labrys' story.
    • Atlus never explicitly stated that the female route in Portable is entirely non-canon, considering the use of alternate timelines to justify her journey happening. Her appearance in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth indicates that her story is deuterocanonical, with her being established to exist in a parallel world even if the main timeline goes off the original interpretation of the male hero.
  • Incidental Multilingual Wordplay: Starvicks is described as being a combination of "coffee" and "cough" syrup. Naturally even funnier in English than in the original Japanese.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The game's theme of inevitable death and living to the fullest despite such was inspired by Tony's "inches" speech from Any Given Sunday according to the scenario director Yuichiro Tanaka in a Famitsu interview published on the June 2007 issue of PLAYSTATION+. This theme also reflects heavily on the time management mechanics that were first introduced in this game and later mainline Persona games followed.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Limited Run Games offered two different collector's editions for the Persona 3 Portable 2023 rerelease. The Grimoire Edition comes with a replica of Elizabeth's book and a Steel Book case. The S.E.E.S. Edition comes with a replica Evoker, a S.E.E.S. armband, a CD, and various other goodies.
  • Meme Acknowledgement: When most of the Persona series soundtrack was added to online music streaming services in January 2021, "Burn My Dread -Last Battle-" was accidentally misspelled as "Burn My Bread", a popular Memetic Mutation in the fandom. Lotus Juice himself made light of the situation on Twitter.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: It's never clear where in Japan Tatsumi Port Island and Iwatodai City are located, but the former seems to be based on Port Island in Kobe.
  • No Dub for You: The movies. The stateside releases are imports with English subs included.
  • No Export for You:
    • Persona 3 Portable was first released in Japan in 2009 and North America in 2010. It didn't release in the UK and Europe until April 2011.
    • Mobile phone games Aigis: The First Mission and Persona 3 Social have only seen Japanese releases.
  • No Port For You: Despite Portable releasing on modern platforms in 2023, FES has not seen a rerelease outside of being a PS2 Classic downloadable title on PlayStation 3. This extends to The Answer epilogue which was cut from Portable and not featured in Reload at launch, though a remake of The Answer would be announced as DLC for Reload in March 2024.
  • Real-Life Relative:
  • The Red Stapler: The distinct clip-on style headphones and sports mp3 player used by both versions of the protagonist are real, they are the Audio Technica ATH-EM7 and Sony Walkman NW-S205F models respectively. Audio Technica would even go on to release a special version of that headphone model with a "P3" logo emblazoned on the sides. Unfortunately at this point in time however, both of these items have long since been phased out of production and fans looking to get their hands on the real deal will have to fork up a lot of money for the look.
  • Throw It In!: According to the 2006 Famitsu interview, the Arc Words "Memento Mori" on the intro movie were not intended by the development team — it was added by the animators, taking advantage of the "death" theme. The team was surprised to see it, but decided to go along with it anyway.
  • Uncredited Role:
    • The entire original English dub qualifies, as none of the English cast were credited. As a result, Ken, Fuuka, and Chidori's original English voice actors remain unknown to this day. It was only because of factors like Portable and the voice actors outright confirming that many of the roles were discovered.
    • The remaster of Portable initially did not properly list the French, Italian, German, and Spanish localization teams, only the project managers. The 1.0.1 update averts this and lists the localization teams fully.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: A supposedly old promotional advert for Portable was spread around social media around late in The New '10s or in The New '20s. It features Arioch, a demon that has yet to appear in any Persona game, as an obtainable Fool Arcana Persona only to be scrapped. Fans were quick to see it as real, considering that it even included a screenshot of the menu with Arioch currently equipped. A closer look reveals the advert to be an amateurly-created hoax, as internally the only reason certain new Personas were added was because they already appeared in Persona 4 earlier, it was spread a while after the game's release and without contextnote , the artwork editing was sloppynote , and it was clear to be meant as a joke taking advantage of the language barrier, considering that Mara is displayed alongside the male main character while Arioch is displayed with the female main character.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • As far as the game's development itself, it seems that, in addition to battles taking place on-screen instead of changing (like a Random Encounter), Persona-users would use tarot cards for summoning, which is more or less what goes on in both the earlier games and in Persona 4. The evokers were made to better evoke the theme of death that the game is built on.
    • Apparently, the creators had always intended to let the player pick the Protagonist's gender; for the original release, it could not be implemented in time.
    • According to the interview published on the July 2006 issue of Dengeki PlayStation, there were plans to include Korean characters, but these were all scrapped.
    • Most of the characters' personalities remained consistent throughout development, but with some drastic design changes: Fuuka's early designs had her more resembling Chihiro Fushimi (a Social Link), a lot of Mitsuru's early concept art featured her with short hair, and one of the dog breeds that Koromaru was considered as was a dalmatian. Ironically, one early concept of Akihiko penned him as an outright obnoxious ladies' man, whereas he's the complete opposite in the final product. Aigis also went through a lot of design changes, on top of the fact that a sizable portion of the staff were reluctant to put a robot of her caliber in the game in the first place.
    • Speaking of Aigis, she was going to be able to summon a machine called Helios that could land on the moon, but this was scrapped for leaning too far into science fiction.
    • All the girls' Social Links in the vanilla game would originally fall under the same Lovers Arcana, meaning there would be Lovers 1, Lovers 2, etc. before they were given unique Arcanas for variety, with Yukari keeping Lovers.
    • Junpei was going to be a romance option for the female protagonist in Portable. One can actually hack the game to see a video of him being the one to find her and hold her at the ending of a New Game Plus (link here.) There was also the intention of making Yukari not only just a Love Interest for the male protagonist, but the two would be an Official Couple. This was phased out when Social Links were put in the game, but Yukari's feelings are still present in the game.
    • Ken was originally planned to use thrown projectiles (darts in this case) as his favored weapon, like Yukino, Jun, and Baofu before him, instead of the spear he would end up using.
    • The game taking place over the course of three school years was an early consideration before being cut down to a single year.
    • The beginning scene of the game was going to include Mitsuru and Yukari watching over the main character to make sure he did his homework to make him catch up after collapsing from his Persona awakening. According to Hashino, voices for this scene were even recorded, however the scene was eventually cut entirely to not drag out the beginning too much.
    • Originally, the shower scene on the 7/7 operation would be longer and more erotic, but Sony told the development team that it would not be suitable.
    • Cut Full Moon dungeon ideas include a fish market and a more complex version of the underground where Chariot and Justice are fought. The latter was made straightforward after the dev team realized it would slow the game pacing down. The latter's concept is also supported by its original dungeon layouts being Dummied Out.
    • The Final Boss was going to be faced at the end of February (though mistakenly referring to 2010 as leap year as the planned date was 29) instead of January. This was changed to how it is in the final build in order to not drag out the endgame. As a consequence, the game lacks a Valentine's Day event.
    • Key locations on the Town Map had different names before they were finalized. These names exist as Dummied Out Town Map elements in the PS2 version:
      • Ryouseikan High = Gekkoukan High, note that the old name would be referenced in other parts of the game code.
      • Paulownian Mall loses its second "n" in the final.
      • Interestingly, it retains it in the movie adaptation.
      • Tatsumi Port Island was implied to be going to be named Gekkoh Island as the Port Island Station was going to be named Gekkoh Island Station Plaza.
      • Minatodai Shopping Street = Iwatodai Station
      • Kurenomiya Shinto Shrine = Naganaki Shrine
    • A funeral scene for the protagonist was considered, with more attendees depending on how far Social Links were progressed over the course of the game.
  • Word of God:
    • In the first episode of the Persona Stalker Club web show, it's revealed that Shinjiro wears winter clothes in the summer because the Suppressants he takes to control his Persona have not been kind to his internal body regulation.
    • In the second episode, it's revealed that Takeharu wears an eyepatch because the one eye was taken out by Shadows when he led an investigation into Tartarus.
    • Word of God states the butterflies are Philemon, who is still around in 3, just taking more of an observer role.
    • The 2006 Famitsu interview with Katsura Hashino and Shigenori Soejima explained various design choices for the vanilla game, some covered under What Could Have Been mentioned above.
    • According to the scenario director Yuichiro Tanaka in a Famitsu interview published on the June 2007 issue of PLAYSTATION+, Aigis was decided as the main character for The Answer (thus Episode Aegis) because she had the longest history in Shadow battles (long before everybody else caught up), befitting her only function at the time as an anti-Shadow weapon. Once the battle ended, her original role became obsolete (in the context of the original game), thus Tanaka created a journey for her so she can eventually find a way to enjoy daily life like the others. This also relates to how he envisioned the dorm as the place where extraordinary people (S.E.E.S.) gather to fulfil a special purpose (stop the Dark Hour), and the characters would be stuck in this same fate for as long as they stay in the place (hence the "Groundhog Day" Loop in The Answer). Everyone leaving the dorm at the end was symbolized as, in Tanaka's words, "I don't need the dorm anymore. My fate (as S.E.E.S.) has ended." (rough translation)
  • You Sound Familiar: For the Portable release, a new female protagonist was created, who, in the English Dub, was voiced by Laura Bailey. Bailey previously played Rise Kujikawa in Persona 4.

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