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Video Game / Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight

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Been a long time coming,
Nothin' but love, baby, goin' way back,
Back when we were bunch of teenagers,
Things done changed, from back in the days,
However things as tight as this, never ever changes!
Our Moment, performed by Lotus Juice and Yumi Kawamura

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight (known as Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night in Japan), is a Rhythm Game spin-off of Persona 3 in the vein of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, released at the same time as Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, a similarly themed dancing spin-off of Persona 5. It was released in Japan in May of 2018, with a Western release on December 4, 2018.

One night, Elizabeth summons all members of S.E.E.S. to "Club Velvet" as her guests to party and dance. S.E.E.S. reluctantly takes up the invitation to entertain her.

Provides examples of:

  • Achievement Mockery:
    • Failing a stage for the first time earns you the "If You Would Kindly Excuse Yourself" trophy.
    • You unlock a modifier by failing a stage within 10 seconds of starting it.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Elizabeth refers to Koromaru as both "Barkoromaru" and "Fidomaru" while talking to Ken.
  • All Just a Dream: Elizabeth summons S.E.E.S. to Club Velvet in a dream.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The game is deliberately unclear about when it takes place within Persona 3, but Shinjiro's absence and the characterisation of Aigis suggests that it takes place in January, the final month before the promised day.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Voice (Atlus Tsuchiya Remix)" features a music video about Koromaru's day in the style of a children's storybook and uses the models from Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth.
  • Air Guitar: When Ken dances to "Mass Destruction (Tetsuya Kobayashi Remix)", he briefly does air guitar motions on his spear. Yukari, Fuuka, and Aigis will also play the air guitar with him if they are chosen as his dance partners.
  • Art Shift:
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the music video for "Voice (Atlus Tsuchiya Remix)", Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Shinjiro rescue Ken and Koromaru from Shadows.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: When Fuuka suggests making rice balls for the group, Akihiko tells her to put in protein and lemons.
  • Bowdlerise: In all versions of the game, Lotus Juice's vocals on his remix of "Deep Mentality" have the classic hip-hop censorship of turning "shit" into "ish" in-game. The version on the soundtrack is uncensored.
  • Butt-Monkey: Junpei, as ever. If he turns up in another character's Social event or vice versa, Junpei will more than likely be humiliated or made fun of by the end of it, whilst a significant number of the dialogue options allow Makoto to get in on the fun as well.
  • Call-Back:
    • Several outfits from the main game are available such as the summer and winter wardrobes worn during Persona 3, or maid costumes for the female SEES members.
    • In one of Junpei's Social events, Ken comments that Junpei’s room looks like someone broke in; Junpei responds by noting that Mitsuru had the same reaction, alluding to one of the additional scenes added in Persona 3 FES.
    • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, the party discovers a potion during the first labyrinth that shrinks whoever that drinks the bottle. "Time(Atlus Tsuchiya Remix)" setting takes place in the Dormitory where Fuuka and her partners (two of them who were also shrunk in PQ) are the size of dolls.
    • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Shinjiro at one point scolds Akihiko for pouring protein powder into the rice pot. During one of Fuuka's conversation, Akihiko will advice Fuuka to do so.
  • Call-Forward:
    • In-Universe, some of the stages and dance numbers refer to events that haven’t happened yet in Persona 3.
    • Everyone except Makoto has costumes based on their appearances in Persona 4: Arena and Ultimax.
    • One of Ken's Social events has him admit that he receives love letters from girls in his school, alluding to his future Chick Magnet status by the time of Ultimax.
    • In Yukari's final Social event, Makoto has the opportunity to encourage her to pursue a career in showbiz; Yukari is working as a model and actress by the time of Ultimax.
  • The Cameo:
    • Margaret is available as a partner for Elizabeth and Theodore.
    • Labrys is available as a partner for Elizabeth, regardless of her DLC being installed.
    • The duo of Justine and Caroline are available as partners for Theodore.
  • Character Customization: Each character has a variety of unique outfits, and in addition to a variety of head and eyewear accessories that can be equipped, you can also change the color of their hair and eyes. Additionally, whilst each outfit has a default look, each hairstyle and costume can be mixed and matched amongst each other, allowing for even more variety.
  • Combat Commentator: Well, Dance Commentator - the characters who aren't actively performing will instead cheer on whoever is currently dancing. The Downloadable Content characters will also join in, provided their DLC is installed.
  • Crossover: DLC includes costumes based on SEGA's Virtua Fighter.
  • Crocodile Tears: When S.E.E.S. first questions Elizabeth's request to dance at Club Velvet, she pretends to cry in an over-the-top, dramatic way, convincing no one.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Midway into the intro, Makoto spreads his arms out, alluding to his role as a Messianic Archetype.
  • Dance Battler Inverted - there are numerous instances of characters incorporating their respective fighting styles from their other appearances into their choreography.
    • Akihiko’s dancing in general incorporates boxing moves into his dancing techniques.
    • Junpei and Ken both have dances that incorporate their signature weapons.
    • The boys' group dance features a segment that highlights their fighting styles as they dance.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Unlike in Dancing All Night, the titular Guardian Entities have no appearance at all in the entire game.
    • Due to obvious reasons, Koromaru, like in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, is not playable in the game. He does, however, appear in the music video for "Voice (Atlus Tsuchiya Remix)."
  • Disco Sucks: Yukari proclaims in the beginning that she shall be the disco queen. You have the option to tell her that disco is dead.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Knowing how Persona 3 ends can turn any plans for the future the cast makes with Makoto during the social events into this. Like Mitsuru inviting him to be her dancing partner for the next high society banquets hosted at the Kirijo mansion.
    • The Social event where SEES are introduced to Club Velvet opens with Yukari commenting that Makoto's finally awake, before complaining that she wishes Junpei would fall asleep forever; the ending to Persona 3 features the Protagonist/Makoto dying after seemingly falling asleep and never waking up.
  • Dream Weaver: Since some of the SEES have no dancing experience, Elizabeth tells them that since they're dreaming, they simply need to "imagine" what their dance steps should look like to be able to dance.
  • Downloadable Content: With the exception of the Costume Packs, all of the DLC purchased would be made available in both this game and Dancing In Starlight.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Even though he is given the name Makoto Yuki, the other characters prefer to call the Protagonist "Leader".
  • Excuse Plot: After learning that Margaret's guest resolved a situation through dancing, Caroline and Justine claimed that their guest would do a better job and, not wanting to be outdone, Elizabeth made the same claim of her guest. That means this game and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight take place together with Elizabeth somehow having gone back in time to the events of Persona 3 at the same time so everyone could participate.
  • Fanservice Pack:
  • First-Person Perspective: During Social events and exploring the characters' rooms, the game shifts into Makoto's point of view.
  • Foregone Conclusion: As with Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, nobody remembers the events of this game at the end of game since everybody thought this is a dream and the fact that nobody in the main game brought this up.
  • French Maid: An unlockable costume for the girls, whilst Makoto's cross dressing costume has him dress in the outfit.
  • Gaiden Game: Doesn't seem to have any relation to the main storyline of Persona 3.
  • Genre Shift: From urban JRPG to dancing Rhythm Game.
  • Gratuitous French: Mitsuru, as always, tends use the language to compliment her friends. In turn, Makoto will occasionally compliment Mitsuru's dancing in the same manner.
  • Hypocrite: In one of Akihiko's Social events, Mitsuru chastises him for having so much training equipment in his room, and claims that the floors aren't built to support such weight; Akihiko responds by pointing to the numerous pieces of heavy furniture located in Mitsuru's room.
  • Iconic Item:
    • Evokers, SEES armbands, Makoto's MP3 player and headphones, Yukari's heart choker and Junpei's baseball cap all return from Persona 3. Junpei's baseball cap stands out from the group, however, as it is the only one that can equipped with every costume he has - the other items are all part of specific costumes.
    • Junpei has a dance routine that incorporates a metal baseball bat, his weapon in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
    • Ken has a dance routine that incorporates his chosen weapon, a spear.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: When the venue is at the dormitory, the characters are shrunken in size and are standing on top the main lounge's coffee table.
  • In-Series Nickname: Elizabeth introduces herself as "Elle-P" ("P" is short for "producer") and the rest of the characters call her by that name during the Social events.
  • Instant Expert: Most of S.E.E.S. have never danced before, but are able to perform professionally for Elizabeth. Justified by exploiting the cognitive nature of the Velvet Room - by simply visualizing the dancing in their mind, their bodies will automatically follow the steps without error.
  • Irony:
    • Aigis, a Robot Girl, has Sera as her DLC costume. Sera and Roland are the only members of the Embryon who aren't Artificial Intelligences.
    • Junpei embraces his role as a fighter, but has Hijiri as his DLC costume, one of two humans in the game who cannot fight and actively avoids battle.
    • Fuuka, as Mission Control, cannot die in battle, but Asahi dies in both neutral routes (even if she can be resurrected later).
  • Jump Scare: When the characters are first summoned into the Velvet Room, the lights suddenly go out. When they turn on again, Elizabeth is standing very close to you.
  • Leitmotif: "Memories of the School" plays during the final Social Events for Yukari and Aigis, highlighting their close relationships with Makoto.
  • Lighter and Softer: A complete tonal downshift from any of the previous games the cast have appeared in.
  • Market-Based Title: The subtitle is "Dancing Moon Night" in Japan.
  • Modesty Shorts: To avoid any upskirt shots during their dances, the girls wear shorts underneath their skirts.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Protagonist is referred to as Makoto Yuki, the name he used in the movie adaption.
    • At various points during the intro, Makoto points his finger at his head akin to a pistol, referencing the use of an Evoker to summon a Persona in Persona 3.
    • One of Aigis' songs is a remix of "Heartful Cry", which plays during The Answer as Aigis fights the other members of SEES and also serves as her theme in Persona 4: Arena.
    • Instead of two-handed swords, Junpei holds a baseball bat, his weapon of choice in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
    • Ken's dance outfit is a combination of his jacket with Koromaru's wings, something which is also worn by the latter in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
    • With the exception of Shinjiro and Koromaru, during "Burn My Dread", Makoto's friends cheer for him in the same order they did during the final battle.
    • Labrys and Sho Minazuki, two characters introduced in Persona 4: Arena and Ultimax with heavy ties to the events of Persona 3, are included as Downloadable Content.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The stages' models are reused from the original PlayStation 2 game albeit with minor geometry modifications and new textures. Compare the Gekkoukan High rooftop in this game with the original PS2 field model.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Unlike Persona 4: Dancing All Night, there is no story mode; however, the Social events provide unlockable character interactions as the characters continue to learn how to dance to entertain Elizabeth.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: In one of Junpei's Social events, Makoto has the option to state that he still hasn't forgiven Junpei for being a jerkass towards him after they both joined SEES.
  • Porn Stash: Elizabeth humiliates Junpei in a Social event by going into detail about recreating the magazines that he keeps under his bed.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • After serving as Mission Control in all of her previous appearances, this game marks the first time Fuuka is playable in the series.
    • Theodore is also available via DLC, having remained an NPC (and occasional Optional Boss) since his first appearance in Persona 3 Portable.
  • Rearrange the Song: In addition to just using the original music from prior games, a number of the songs are also remixed to create new compositions.
    • From Persona: "Voice" (ATLUS Tsuchiya Remix)
    • From Persona 3: "Burn My Dread" (Novoiski Remix), "Deep Breath Deep Breath" (Yuu Miyake Remix), "When the Moon Reaches for the Stars" (Hideki Naganuma Remix), "Want To Be Close" (ATOLS Remix), "A Deep Mentality" (Lotus Juice Remix), "Mass Destruction" (Tetsuya Kobayashi Remix), "Hymn of the Soul" (T.Komine Remix), "Battle Hymn of the Soul" (Daisuke Asakura Remix), "Memories of You" (ATLUS Meguro Remix)
    • From Persona 3 FES: "Heartful Cry" (ATLUS Konishi Remix), "Brand New Days" (Yuyoyuppe Remix)
    • From Persona 3 Portable: "Time" (ATLUS Kitajoh Remix), "Wiping All Out" (ATLUS Kozuka remix), "A Way of Life" (ATLUS Kitajoh Remix)
    • From Persona 4: Arena Ultimax: "Break Out Of..." (ATLUS Kitajoh Remix)
    • From Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: "Light the Fire Up in the Night" (DARK HOUR + MIDNIGHT) (sasakure.UK Remix)
  • Rhythm Game: Just like its predecessor.
  • Ship Sinking: During one of Akihiko's Social events, Makoto has the opportunity to ask Akhiko and Mitsuru if they're dating; Akihiko quickly responds "Don't be stupid" before describing Mitsuru as "troublesome" and more a comrade to him than a potential love interest; being that Makoto asks this, it could also be inferred that the trope also applies to the Makoto/Mitsuru ship.
  • Ship Tease: Yukari is clearly harbouring a crush on Makoto, with one of her Social events allowing him to describe their relationship to Elizabeth; choosing "We hit it off" results in Yukari blushing and happily smiling.
  • Shipper on Deck: During one of Yukari's Social events, Yukari questions if she sounds like an old lady whilst talking with Fuuka and Makoto; if Makoto responds by teasing Yukari that she's always sounded like that, Fuuka responds by giggling and noting how well the two get along.
  • Show Within a Show: Refrences are again made to the Persona franchises resident tokusatsu parody, Phoenix Ranger Featherman; Ken and Yukari discuss the show in a Social event, the members of SEES have Phoenix Ranger Featherman R costumes as Downloadable Content, whilst Yukari also has her Phoenix Ranger Featherman Victory costume that she wore during Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
  • Spotting the Thread: Aigis notes that Elizabeth referring to their opposition as guests likely means they're competing against another set of Persona users.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ken totally doesn’t care about such childish fare as Phoenix Ranger Featherman, as he's quick to remind everyone whenever the subject comes up. Pointedly, the older members of SEES are quite happy to play along and enthusiastically call out "Phoenix Ranger Featherman!" upon equipping their respective costume from the show, Ken follows up by saying "Not that I care" in an attempt to look more mature.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Makoto is able to invoke this during one of Aigis' Social events, after she decides to tell Yukari and Makoto the history of dance; Yukari immediately realises that he means because Aigis will be doing so in the manner of Gekkoukan's eccentric teaching staff.
  • Time Travel: Whilst the members of SEES are taken from some point during Persona 3, Elizabeth makes reference to both the events of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, and to Justine and Caroline, the twin Velvet Room attendants from Persona 5.
  • Token Wholesome:
    • As in the original game, since Aigis is a robot, she's the only female character exempt from any Stripperific costumes.
    • Whilst all of the guys get crossdressing outfits, Ken's is the girls' Gekkoukan uniform; Comparatively, Makoto, Junpei and Akihiko are dressed as a maid, cheerleader and a sexy police office.
  • Troll: Sho Minazuki's commentary on the other characters' performance take the form of him gleefully taunting the performers by calling them a moron or saying things like, "I hope you don't trip!" and chuckling.
  • Twinkle in the Sky: In the music video for "Voice (Atlus Tsuchiya Remix)", Aigis flies away and disappears in a flash at nighttime.
  • What the Hell, Player?: With the sole exception of Aigis, the cast will all complain about being put in particularly revealing or embarrassing costumes.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser
    • Ken gets a Velvet Room attendant costume based on Justine and Caroline's outfit.
    • The Virtua Fighter DLC outfits have Aigis and Fuuka dress as Jacky Bryant and Lau Chan respectively.
    • All the boys in the base roster get drag outfits and pull them off to... varying degrees of success.
  • Your Size May Vary: Ken's height is fudged a bit in the social events due to the first person perspective. In them, he's shown as only slightly shorter than the five-foot tall Fuuka, but is much shorter than her in actual dancing gameplay. It is possible he's standing on a crate.

Alternative Title(s): Persona 3 Dancing Moon Night