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Video Game / Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers

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Due to its nature as a sequel, spoilers for the original Persona 5 are left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers is a Dynasty Warriors-style Action RPG sequel to Persona 5, developed by Atlus and Koei Tecmo's Omega Force, and published by Atlus for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. It was released in Japan on February 20, 2020, and was released in Asia and South Korea on June 18, with a release date for Western territories of March 2021.

Set half a year after the end of Persona 5, the now-retired Phantom Thieves of Hearts' plans to enjoy their summer vacation together must be put on the backburner when Joker, Morgana and Ryuji stumbled upon a strange incident involving mass Change of Hearts in Shibuya. To make things worse, a police inspector named Zenkichi Hasegawa reveals to them that mass Change of Hearts were occurring all over Japan as well, and the police had suspected the Thieves as the culprits, but Zenkichi himself suspected someone else was behind it. Making a deal with Zenkichi to assist in his investigation and having regained the power of their Personas, they set out on a road trip across the country to figure out the cause behind these events.


Previews: Japanese PV#01, Japanese PV#02, Opening Movie, Japanese PV#03

Persona 5 Scramble contains the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The background story of many of the kings consist of being bullied, discredited from high positions and sometimes outright abused to the point that making a deal with a false god was the only option for them to get back the power and fame that they desperately wanted back, even if said power and fame is nothing more than an illusion.
  • An Aesop:
    • Only you can find your very own answer to happiness.
    • Even if you were wronged or bullied in the past, it does not merit your use of an extreme counter-offensive method.
    • Emotions are a vital part of the human soul. Without it, one can only see the extremes as the sole answer to conflict and strife.
  • Alice Allusion:
    • The Shibuya jail has a gaudy Alice in Wonderland-themed aesthetic, and the boss form of the Jail's King is appropriately named Mad Rabbit Alice.
    • Advertisement:
    • You may also fuse Alice herself, as in the classic entity in this game.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Answer" comes up a lot. note  The purpose of EMMA is to guide humanity towards the one answer to happiness by telling its users the best solution to daily issues and reaching a conclusion from all that it was being consulted with.
    • "Desire" note  also comes up a lot. This is the human essence that the Kings contain within their Jails so everyone only desires the King for the King's happiness. Furthermore, due to having no actual understanding of emotions, after countless people used it for counseling, EMMA decided the sole answer for humanity's happiness is for her to think for humanity by taking over the Tokyo Tower and mesmerizing the public to give her their desires, so they could no longer think without her advice.
    • Several from the original such as "Deal", "I'm counting on you", "justice", and the series-wide "I am thou, thou art I" also carry over to this game.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Some of the new battle themes lean away from Persona 5's jazzy thematics in favor of pure metal, presumably as a nod to Dynasty Warriors. Several songs from the original Persona 5 are remixed into heavier rock themes — "Last Surprise" gets a heavy metal remix with a new, deeper vocal take provided by Lyn, and "Keeper of Lust", already a pretty heavy jam, gets a fast-paced electronic rock remix with a new guitar solo. Similar treatment applies to the two major boss theme remixes, "Blooming Villain" and "Rivers in the Desert".
  • Bag of Spilling: Like other spin-offs of the series, the Phantom Thieves lost all the equipment, money, skills, and higher level Personas that they acquired from the previous game. note 
  • Bilingual Bonus: One of the earliest give-aways that Madicce, the developer of the EMMA conceirge application is into something much, more sinister, is that the company's name actually comes from "Oracle" in Greek. The CEO Konoe's delusional crusade to wipe out all crime is dubbed aptly as "Operation Oracle," and to fulfill his goals, he had Ubukata grant EMMA Psientific Knowledge, and said Cognitive Psience used to be previously known as the speciality of Futaba's mother. Madicce is really using Cognitive Psience and AI technology to summon a "God".
  • Bittersweet Ending: EMMA is defeated and shut down, destroying the Jails for good, and Jun Owada is finally arrested, completely ending any attempt at The Conspiracy from making a comeback and finally bringing closure to Zenkichi, Akane and many others. The Jail Kings will be suffering the guilt and consequences of all the crimes they committed as Kings, but most of them will still have a chance to right their wrongs and pursue their dreams the honest way. Also, once more the Phantom Thieves are going their separate ways, including Sophia, who decides to accompany Ichinose on her journey to truly understand the heart. However, they vow to one day meet again.
  • Bonus Boss: Each of the Kings (save for twonote ) can be challenged again as they were after completing their Jails. Harder versions of their fights can be accessed in the post-game. The Reaper also returns after completing every Request, and doing so unlocks the ability to go into New Game+ on Risky.
  • Book-Ends: The Starter Villain and the Greater-Scope Villain of the game are otherwise fine looking women with a severe Green-Eyed Monster complex that results in their troubled way of thinking and a screwed up past that becomes the very motive of their in-game actions, with the Starter Villain just using EMMA to draw men to her while the Greater-Scope Villain blatantly kickstarts the events of the game in a bid to save humanity.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Each Jail has at least one Shadow which is vastly overpowered for that section of the game, and will most likely entail that the player revisit it in the future to even stand a remote chance of fighting. These Shadows are usually indicated with an electric aura around them, and never fight unless provoked.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of Joker's trailer (which is a part of Scramble's OP), he faces the camera and pulls up the title card with his hand.
  • Busman's Holiday: The Phantom Thieves' planned summer vacation is interrupted by the sudden return of the Metaverse.
  • Call-Back:
    • The 705 building not only reappears, it actually becomes plot-relevant this time after being nothing but set dressing in Persona 5 — Ryuji, Joker, and Morgana visit it early on, and a twisted Metaverse version of it and Shibuya serves as the game's first dungeon.
    • The game appears to mix the Vanilla game's pacing with Royal's motifs, mainly by stealing the corrupt hearts of people, although said corrupt people are not those of Hate Sinks like in the Vanilla campaign, but sympathetic figures much like Maruki before them. Furthermore, the mechanics of Jails and Kings are similar to those of a radical version of Sumire's "Kasumi" overlay, namely the Kings and their followers are only living on illusionary fame and ego, yet outsiders perceive it as insanity.
    • The mechanics of the Jails are also similar to those of Maruki's "dream world", complete with a nearly identical purpose to genuinely put an end to all suffering and grief by granting illusionary wishes to the downtrodden and a chief instigator who is a Shadow Archetype of said Maruki.
    • Just like Jose before, Sophia mistakes Morgana as a "Tanuki" the first time she met him.
    • The Cendrillon Boss in Royal has an unique life absorb skill known as "Drain" that it uses to recover large sums of HP by absorbing the Biyarky near her. Zenkichi's Persona, Valjean has an innate skill with the same name and animation, just weaker.
    • When enjoying their vacation in Okinawa, the Phantom Thieves cover Zenkichi in a sand sculpture shaped like the Birth of Venus, alluding to a similar instance in Persona 4 Golden's Beach Episode where Kanji ends up replicating the pose with seaweed due to a Wardrobe Malfunction.
    • In the same scene, while everyone else is swimming underwater, Futaba stays afloat in an inner tube. It was established in Shido's palace that Futaba can't swim.
    • Much like a few of the previous social interactions in 4 and 5, the player can choose who to bring with them on the ferris wheel in Sapporo between each of the female Thieves individually or with Ryuji, Yusuke, and Morgana all at once. A similar choice is presented in Osaka, where Joker can choose to spend time in the city tower with either his male or female teammates all at once.
    • When Futaba is out on the field for a hacking section, Morgana (regardless of whether he's in the active party or not) temporarily takes over as navigator until the sequence is complete, given that he initially kept Futaba's role until she's recruited in the original game.
    • The very first scene is In Medias Res, as Joker leaps around and fights shadows as a distraction for the other Thieves to accomplish another objective.
      Ann: I bet Skull couldn't pull it off this gracefully.
      Ryuji: What's this sense of deja vu?
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The change of heart reports you hear at the start of the game are orchestrated by Konoe in order to set Owada, a former Shido crony, into power.
    • When the Phantom Thieves show Ichinose Sophia, she suddenly becomes lukewarm even though she was acting loud and peppy right before. That's because Sophia did trigger her jealousy of human emotions, leading her to shut her down and work on EMMA instead.
    • Each of the Jail King's malicious activities you saw at the start of each area are actually how they are treated in the past.
    • The child that is mourned at the start of the Sapporo stage is actually killed in an ice sculpture accident which was scapegoated completely into Hiyodo and driven her into using EMMA to "save her".
    • The Jails don't actually disperse when the King releases all the desires, because they are actually ran by EMMA and are not personalized spaces within the Metaverse.
    • The voices that Sophia heard saying that she was an inferior came from EMMA telepathically communicating with her, as Sophia is actually its scrapped prototype.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The two police officers during the police meeting at the start of the game is actually Kaburagi and Zenkichi. Both of them assist you at the end of the game.
    • Akira Konoe, the CEO of Maddice and owner of the EMMA Application, can be seen holding a conference in Sendai.
    • Kuon Ichinose, one of the the masterminds of the game, can be seen as soon as the night where the party steps foot on Sendai.
    • The publishers you encounter during Natsume's 1 Millionth copy banquet are actually the "Four Kings" you fight during Sendai's Jail to gain access to Natsume's Demon King Castle.
    • Akane Hasegawa is met and interacted with after Sapporo. You have to confront her after the Okinawa arc when she was brainwashed by EMMA.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite being members of the Phantom Thieves, Akechi and Kasumi (Sumire) aren't so much as mentioned in Scramble, which is implied to have happened after Royal rather than the original due to several Continuity Nods notes below. However this is justified since Sumire explicitly told Joker that she would be participating in internationals at the end of Royal and although Akechi is heavily implied to be alive in the true ending, he is also shown to be flanked by officers, which implies he fulfilled his decision to face justice for his actions and is currently under arrest.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: As expected from a Warriors game. Whereas Persona 5 featured encounters that were often against four enemy Shadows at once, it's possible for one single Phantom Thief to wipe out hundreds of them within a span of seconds. Played with in that Shadows still manifest as singular creatures in the overworld, and attacking them causes them to split apart into Shadow hordes akin to how the original game did it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The main menu takes design cues from the original Persona 5's, showing the Phantom Thieves lounging around in silhouette.
    • Numerous UI elements from Persona 5 are reused and altered, making Scramble look like a straight-up extension of the original game.
    • The game semi-implies that it ties into Royal instead of the Vanilla Persona 5.
      • At the night of the game's first day, the protagonist ends up in the Velvet Room during a dream in Persona 5, as usual, but with Lavenza as its sole resident. However, during her greeting words, she refers the protagonist's world as "the future he stole back." This term is actually associated with Maruki and Azathoth's dream world collapsing.
      • Not once in the game does Morgana even talk once about becoming human. By the time the Phantom Thieves defeat Yaldabaoth during the Vanilla ending, he still wants to become human.
      • During the game's final act, Morgana will speak of "A Palace that bled into reality half a year ago" while the Phantom Thieves and Ichinose are standing under Tokyo Tower's Jail, which is clearly based on Eden.
      • At the post-credits cutscene of the game, the Phantom Thieves say that they will part ways again, something they first did during Royal's true ending. (In the Vanilla ending, the Phantom Thieves never part ways and leave in Makoto's Citroen H Van together)
  • Contrived Coincidence: The man Konoe was targeting was one of the fundraisers of Shido's (disintegrated) treasonous group, the accidential killer of Zenkichi's wife and Akane's mother and bribed the madame responsible for handling Zenkichi to arrest the Phantom Thieves for Konoe.
  • Costume Evolution: The Phantom Thieves' Metaverse attires remain the same, but their outfits in the real world got updates to better reflect their summer vacation. For example, Ann now has a prominent set of gold heart-shaped earrings that she lacked with any of her normal clothes back in Persona 5, while Joker's glasses no longer remain opaque as they were initially.
  • Door to Before: Inverted example. After unlocking the Birdcage, one of the chains conveniently allows the Phantom Thieves to climb straight up it back to the Birdcage after they've sent the Calling Card.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Men in Black near the end of Persona 5 are actually police who attempt to capture the Phantom Thieves as a desperate attempt to save their public image, and the Thieves quickly find themselves confronting a police investigator at the very beginning of this game.
    • While Morgana still somehow denies him as being "a cat", he also no longer talks about trying to become human in this game, something that he has insisted to do during the Vanilla ending. In the Royal version however, he never says a word about this, since it was implied that falling into Maruki's trap made him get over the fact that he can never become a human.
    • After investigating Alice personally once, Sophia talks about that there might not be a treasure inside Jails and she suggests killing Shadow Alice instead. While the latter is instantly met with rejection, there are really no treasures inside the Jails, forcing the party to do extra work in getting around it.
    • There are just numerous hints that Ichinose is the traitor.
      • Every time you meet her prior to The Reveal, she just uses all of the Verbal Tics of Takuto Maruki from Royal and she just seems too loud and peppy to be even genuine. Of course, she's faking it and she's just an emotionless "thing" (or so she claims; she's just unnervingly stoic. Ichinose is actually aware of how unnerving her typical stance is, so she fakes a stance to make her look less suspicious).
      • She's one of the very few people who knows who the Phantom Thieves are even if she isn't supposed to have met them in the Metaverse before with Ryuji's loud mouth playing a part of it. Before the encounter with her after Konoe's presentation, Alice and Natsume both mentioned someone is monitoring the Jails. Well, she's obviously the one doing it and the Phantom Thieves all know that they are dealing with someone dangerous. She doesn't mind until the very end, however.
      • Sophia did obliviously suggest the Phantom Thieves to kill Alice's Shadow (which will obviously induce a mental shutdown on her) and EMMA was the one who brought up using Akane, an adolescent as a bait against the Phantom Thieves to Konoe. Since both of them were made by Ichinose and she shut down all of her emotions or empathy a long time ago, it wouldn't be surprising that those are her mindset incorporated into her AIs; in fact, when Ichinose was defeated in the Jail of the Abyss, she asks the Phantom Thieves to kill her out of guilt only for Sophia to persuade her back to the right path.
      • She also blatantly admits selling the application to Konoe so he can improve it and she even personally invites him to the press conference right into her university. Considering that Konoe is The Heavy for the incident, this can't be anything more obvious.
      • Before The Reveal you will only meet her twice personally, both in Sendai and before and after defeating Ango. You do not meet her personally after this and every other interaction prior to her exposure is via phone calls or SNS. Even after capturing what was supposedly the culprit, Ichinose still never has any involvement. And that's a character with a big head portrait and a cut-in that does close to nothing for a big portion of the story; whoever does this in any RPG is instant suspect level.
      • During the second and last time you meet Ichinose (until the game's final act), she largely acts loud and peppy as usual. However, when the Phantom Thieves introduce her to Sophia, she suddenly became very lukewarm as if she didn't know how to react. It turns out that Ichinose created Sophia before she worked on EMMA to understand why people thought that she was a freak, but Sophia asked her a question that pushed all of her buttons, causing her to ditch her as garbage and work on EMMA instead.
    • Pay attention to the trash laying around the dump area Shadow Alice has Joker, Skull, and Mona thrown into at the start of the game, right before meeting Sophia. There are broken school chairs, an unpinned blackboard, and a discarded blue door with a very distinctive square peek window cut at an askew angle. They are all features seen in Shujin Academy during Persona 5, hinting both at Alice's connection with the school and the fact she doesn't want to think about them, hence why they are in that particular place of her Jail.
    • If you paid attention to Shadow Natsume's "Demon King Garb", it remains completely still. That was because it's just a wooden board, and he's actually half-naked behind it.
    • The EMMA application can decide the correct option for everything its user asks it about, and it's absolutely accurate in that regard. It's pretty obvious that it will evolve to the level where it thinks that humanity's desire is having an AI goddess to do all the thinking for them while everyone knows that it isn't.
    • There are also a few hints about Sophia being a scrapped prototype of EMMA around.
      • She absolutely cannot think of any reason why she's even made, and she has no memories because it's a clean AI that was ditched instantly upon creation.
      • She constantly looks up information, provides different services and acts like a guide and planner for the thieves, which is what the EMMA app is for the general populace.
      • Upon reaching the end of Okinawa's Jail, a voice tells her that she is junk because she's indecisive about the reason of her existence. That's from EMMA, and it's because Sophia is ditched by her creator in favor of the superior EMMA.
      • Sophia's initial Persona lacks an Arcana, has question marks behind its skills and wasn't even considered a proper awakening. Her awakening only happens in earnest when she's been confronting Ichinose personally and starts snapping away from every one of Ichinose's attempts to brainwash her, convincing that her maladaptive coping to Sophia pushing her Berserk Button was the true reason to the catastrophe in-game. By that point, her arcana is revealed as the Hope Arcana and the question marks behind her persona's skills vanish, indicating that Sophia has officially went out of the state where she's a blank AI like EMMA still is, but is now her very own being.
    • As soon as you reach Sapporo, you will see a mother mourning for her child. That's actually the reason for Hyodo's disdain, because she was fully scapegoated for her death.
    • The King's despicable behavior have a very clear reason for them, unlike the Palace Ruler's despicable behaviors.
      • Alice forcefully breaks up couples by changing hearts of men, and causes binge spending and violent incidents via the men who were feverently obsessed on her. If anyone dares talk against her she stomps on them, she will follow-up by harassing them verbally and filming the humiliation. Her previous manager became a shut-in due to this behavior. That's actually how she's being treated at Shujin by bullies prior to using EMMA's "salvation" service. She used to very introverted but somehow a popular boy confessed his love to her. The Alpha Bitches in her school didn't appreciate this and she was bullied and humiliated by being stomped upon while having it recorded, and that boy left her afterwards for the other girls. This caused her to basically distance herself from Shujin so hard that she deleted every single record that she even existed in that school. When she finally got an upstart job as a fashion designer, the bullies in her former high school spread that incident on the net, so seeing men being happily married will trigger her Berserk Button.
      • Ango can be clearly seen selling plagiarized work at top-grossing levels. Just like Alice before, binge spending, hyper-obsessiveness and violent incidents occur. He actually had a superior grandfather whom he simply cannot follow his footsteps to and simply plagiarized a novel of his own, and he kept trying to get his work recognized to no avail, only getting a consolation award at best. However, instead of just throwing him away, his publishers instead generated a scheme on fleecing him using his grandfather's name and using his poorly-written work to scam unsuspecting readers, so he used EMMA to draw the cash to him instead.
      • Hyodo can be seen berating civil wards mercilessly twice, with one even looking really exhausted. She's also rallying ridiculous mass cleaning campaigns where not even a speck of dust could remain in Sapporo. She simply doesn't tolerate any corruption in her city, because when she was still mayor, a Corrupt Politician took advantage of an ice statue collapsing scandal that she had minor involvement with by scapegoating her so he can eject himself into power. When she tries to use EMMA to spring herself back to her rightful position so nobody can end up like the last mayor, she became so obsessive in the cleanliness of the city that not even a speck of dust can remain on the streets.
      • Akane Hasegawa is a Phantom Thief fan, but when the word comes that they are cooperating with Zenkichi, she ruthlessly attacks and traps them like most other Jail or Palace rulers encountered. It turns out that she's so blinded by her anger of Zenkichi failing to investigate the death of her mother and considering her as a burden, to the point she thinks that anyone who cooperates with the police is out to get her.
      • Konoe is enforcing justice using incredibly despicable and manipulative ways, namely fabricating cases that can be easily traced to him and supporting the Premiership campaign of a Shido crony via mass brainwashings against his political opponents. The other Kings encountered in game also had a very obvious shared behavior where they act exactly like the people who oppressed them before. Yet, for all of this, when he is trying to enforce justice, it wasn't lying. It turns out that his dad hated him so much that he attempted to murder him 20 years ago, only for Konoe to mistakenly kill him instead because he thought that it was a burglar. Since this was the only way Konoe managed to survive, he wanted to enforce this Laser-Guided Karma to everyone once Ichinose sold EMMA to him so he can put an end to all injustice.
    • There's one regarding Konoe's real relationship with Owada. When EMMA manipulates Akane into capturing the Phantom Thieves for Konoe and Zenkichi barges into the Jail to save the Phantom Thieves, Akane tells Zenkichi that she will catch her mother's killer on her own once she has changed the Phantom Thieves' hearts. Later on, we got to know that Konoe isn't friendly to Owada at all and is merely catching him off guard in a similar vein as what Akechi tried to do against Shido a year ago. He just considers Owada as a disgusting vermin who he will dispose of once Akane and EMMA neutralizes the Thieves.
    • Speaking of Akane, when she became a Jail King, unlike the rest she goes completely out of character and more like a copy of Konoe, because Konoe and EMMA brainwashed her to run Operation Oracle for them.
    • Midway during the Osaka Arc, Konoe attends a talk show where he talks about "an incident where his parents died when he was young" sparking his obsessive crusade for justice. He was hiding very important details on that interview; Konoe's abusive father killed his mother for the sake of money and was about to go after him when he was a child, so he killed him mistaking him for a burglar.
    • The EMMA application seems to progressively go beyond a mere digital advisor as the story goes, most notably when she was handing out advice to catch the Phantom Thieves to Konoe, where it seems to be partially sentient in its decisions and answers, even seemingly baiting Konoe into getting his operation backfire by hiding vital info from him. During the game's final act, she becomes completely autonomous because Ichinose deliberately programmed it to turn sentinent and deliver what she believes as humanity's desires; a goddess that decides everything for them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the end of the trailers which shows the logo being assembled, a "2" is briefly placed next to "P5" as a reference to this game being a practical sequel before being knocked away by an "S".
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The Phantom Thieves had this mentality before with the Palace Rulers, and they reinforce this belief with the Jail Kings. While many of the Kings have had a truly bad lot in life, the Thieves call them out on their behavior after defeating their Shadows by saying a bad life doesn't justify robbing the dreams of so many innocent people or making the world a worse place. The Thieves even point out that such behavior has made the Jail Kings Not So Different from the people who ruined their lives.
  • Funny Background Event: While Joker and Ryuji land in a heap after getting thrown out with the garbage in the first dungeon, Morgana can be briefly seen gracefully breaking his fall.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: During Royal's final act, the star from Jose uses up all of its power to transform Morgana into a helicopter to allow the party escape from the collapsing Metaverse. While Showtimes can still be performed in this game, they are no longer performed by two characters, instead being composed of the Persona user and their Persona. Furthermore, they appear to be much weaker than in Royal and weaker than the standard All-out attacks that can be performed when a target is staggered.
  • Genre Shift: From a turn-based RPG to a Warriors-style action game. While not unlike how Persona 4 saw both of its sequel titles change genres and developers in the process, Scramble also keeps the daytime social interactions, calendar system, and town exploration as seen in the mainline Persona series, something Persona 4's sequels (and most Warriors games) didn't include. The presentation is also much more in line with other mainline Persona games, rather than the P4 sequels that were closer to Visual Novels.
  • Gotta Pass the Class: Discussed by Ryuji, where he mentions that he almost had to do summer school due to how terrible his grades were.
  • Hack and Slash: The combat plays out much like Dynasty Warriors, with the Thieves each kicking the asses of veritable armies of Shadows throughout their adventures.
  • History Repeats:
    • Joker and Ryuji are introduced to the supernatural elements of the game when you accidentally input the navigation keywords into a smartphone app, are unceremoniously dumped into the Starter Villain's domain, and are guided out by an amnesiac non-human sidekick.
    • The Thieves' second target is a plagiarist who earns the personal ire of Yusuke.
    • The Thieves' third target is an adult who used to genuinely care for Haru.
    • The lead of the game's abnormalities has a Shadow Self that initially looks almost identical to his real self, transforms his outfit when battling, and fights on a chariot, before fighting on foot. Just like the previous lead, he also believes that he is the only one fit to guide humanity to a golden age.
    • A party of Persona users goes to the Kyoto hot springs to enjoy themselves, only for confusion related to the time when the baths switch from men's to women's to result in the guys getting a brutal beatdown from the student council president.
    • The true culprit happens to do almost nothing for a large portion of the game and their first interaction with the party is casual food talk.
  • Humble Pie: After the exposure of the Conspiracy at the end of Persona 5, Tokyo's public lost faith in their own law enforcement, of whom several higher-ups were Conspiracy members themselves. As a result of this humiliation, the police have not given up hope of someday arresting the Phantom Thieves as dangerous vigilantes, believing that this will restore the public's faith in them. The trope later plays in the Phantom Thieves' favor, as Zenkichi and Kaburagi realize that they are in the wrong and turn the tables against Konoe and Owada near the end of the game.
  • Instant Home Delivery: When Sophia tells about her ability to place any order online, Ryuji jokingly asks for a gold bar. After quickly analyzing The Internet and making sure that no laws would be broken, Sophia places the order. A package with an actual gold bar is delivered to Le Blanc seconds later. Since Sophia used cryptocurrency, she tells the Phantom Thieves that they can pay her back later. Frightened of the consequences of possessing gold bullion, Ryuji tells Sophia to cancel the order. She does so and a deliveryman immediately arrives to pick up the package. Sophia's ability to arrange the instant delivery of items purchased online becomes important during the Thieves' journey across Japan as they buy weapons and medicine for use inside the Jails.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Lavenza acts as the protagonist's sole Velvet Room attendant and appears at the start of the game. She also mentions Yaldabaoth splitting her into the Twin Wardens during the game's final act, before the party makes their way to confronting the awakened EMMA.
    • Shadow Hyodo makes mention of Haru's deceased father, Kunikazu Okumura (who just died a year ago) after her defeat.
    • Zenkichi makes mentions of Shido when he was compiling urgent info with the Phantom Thieves in Kyoto, whom his wife's killer, Cabinet Minister Owada had lobbied during the time where Shido was considered an untouchable god.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail:
    • The old woman and bearded man during the police meeting at the start of the game? That's actually Kaburagi and Zenkichi, both major characters and allies towards the end of the game.
    • The "girl" that Kaburagi tells Zenkichi to take care of and visit every once a while? That's actually Akane, or his daughter.
    • The news shown at the start of the game about the Change of Heart cases? Those are actually orchestrated by Owada with Konoe to set Owada into power.
    • Alice Hiiragi stepping on men and filming them with because someone tried to stop her? She's being treated this way in high school.
    • Another thing about Alice is the no-explanation change of hearts of a married TV host. That's because her crush was taken away from her by jealous girls, so she's using the application to drawn men into her to intimidate her former bullies into thinking that she has a harem of men.
    • The eccentric-looking woman you meet at the roast beef restaurant? That's actually Ichinose, The Dragon in-Chief for the Demiurge and its very own creator.
    • The person monitoring the Shibuya and Sendai jails is also Ichinose.
    • That CEO staging a conference? He's actually Akira Konoe, The Dragon for Kuon Ichinose.
    • The woman mourning a child once you arrive in Sapporo? The child is actually the victim of an ice sculpture statue collapse incident last year that resulted in Mariko Hyodo stepping down from mayor.
    • Mariko seen berating a civil ward fiercely? She's obsessed with removing all incompetent civil wards.
      • There's also the ridiculous cleaning campaigns that she's been starting around Sapporo. Those were actually a distorted sense of anti-corruption she's been given since she used EMMA for "salvation".
    • The voices that only Sophia hears during Osaka and Tokyo? That's from the EMMA or Demiurge.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to vanilla Persona 5. The Jail Kings are tragic figures with sympathetic backstories as opposed to the loathsome Hate Sink villains of the vanilla game. Rather than force the targets to reform through Heel–Face Brainwashing, the Phantom Thieves this time around simply reason with the Kings' Shadows after defeating them to make them realize how far they have fallen, giving their real selves the perspective to genuinely reform on their own accord. In contrast to Yaldabaoth, the true villain of this game is genuinely motivated by a desire to make the masses happy rather than simply desiring control. Finally, the only death in the game occurs when an unnamed King takes his own life.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: After Alice is defeated, the fact that her Jail doesn't disappear, combined with her not being a Hate Sink, but a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, clues in Morgana that Jails don't operate like Palaces and that there must be someone else keeping Jails intact.
  • Magikarp Power: Arsene. He keeps many of the same functions he had in Persona 5, and much like that game, is meant to be fused away for a more powerful Persona as soon as the opportunity arises. While most players have taken to min-maxing him into a more viable state, Scramble at least anticipated this by allowing him to naturally learn powerful skills like Maeigaon and One-Shot Kill when he's leveled up towards the endgame. The easier growth mechanics here compared to the original game - especially after clearing the Okinawa Jail grants the ability to manually raise Persona parameters to make up for Arsene's slower rate - make it easier to at least keep Arsene around to ensure he can become as powerful as he can be, while the more active combat system at least helps him be less vulnerable to having his slow growths and weaknesses get exploited by enemies.
  • Mirror Match: Shadow Akane creates cognitive copies of the Phantom Thieves that they have to fight as her boss battle. The fight is a Duel Boss between Joker and his cognitive counterpart "My Dear Joker".
  • Modesty Towel: Both male and female party members are wearing these during the Hot Springs Episode.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Jails seen in-game actually have similar mechanics as the dream world overlay created by Maruki to make humanity happy by granting their desires during Royal's third term campaign, where many people, including the Jail's King itself, are kept hostage inside an illusion where the Jail's King is a god-like figure instead of a forgotten victim of injustice, yet outsiders perceive it as insanity and fervor. The instigator behind these events also has a similar mindset and goal as Maruki during the third term.
    • The Thieves obtain key items throughout each Jail by assaulting keeps that contain them, often whilst having to deal with the high-level Shadows that act as guards. While not necessarily a staple of the Persona series, it just so happens to be one for the series this game heavily takes after for its gameplay.
  • New Game+: Allows players to carry over everything from their previous save, and fuse Lucifer. Additionally, defeating the Reaper unlocks Risky, which adds Wolf and Sophie with Pandora to the default line-up even before they join in the story.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Because of Konoe's change of heart, he announced that he'd be shutting down EMMA. However, due to the public's cognition of EMMA as something that can grant wishes, this led to the subconscious association that their wishes will no longer be able to be granted. Much like how the Phantom Thieves Calling Card makes their target aware that their desires or stolen wishes can be taken, this allows EMMA to start granting the wishes of the masses. (Although what she defines as the "wish of the masses" amounts to nothing but asking EMMA for guidance.)
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted. Even when a King willingly surrenders and disappears, any Jail created by the EMMA app remains intact afterwards. This is because they are fueled by EMMA/Demiurge's central server. In addition, the local people's devotion to a King might reactivate on isolated people or simply remain intact as seen in Okinawa's case, with someone (usually Akira Konoe or the Demiurge herself) needing only the relevant King's voice to command that devotion. Only when the Demiurge herself is defeated do the Jails disappear for good.
  • Non Standard Game Over: During a section in Kyoto's Jail, due to all party members save for Futaba being taken hostage by EMMA and Akane, Zenkichi, who hasn't awakened a persona yet, has to approach Akane by sneaking past patrolling Shadows. If Zenkichi goes into the line of sight of any of the Shadows, it will automatically result in a Game Over since he can't defend himself against them at that point.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • The first arc of the game takes place in Yongen-jaya and Shibuya, nearly identical to how it appeared in Persona 5, and Joker meets up with everyone in the Leblanc cafe that served as the Phantom Thieves' headquarters and Joker's place of residence during his probation the previous year. Only a select few areas remain explorable however; both Takemi's clinic and Iwai's shops are closed down as is the road directly leading to the Sakura household, and most businesses that Joker could normally enter like the gym and movie theater are similarly unavailable. The subway stations in both districts are also unavailable, as is the ability to roam any other locales within Tokyo. Shujin Academy does return, but only for a very quick spell when the Phantom Thieves visit it near the arc's climax.
    • A trip to Kyoto leads to the hot springs from Persona 3.
    • Kyoto's Jail takes motifs from the original Persona 5, including samples of "Life Will Change" in its BGM and a cognitive Joker acting as a boss.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Phantom Thieves briefly comment on how once again a false god is trying to merge the cognitive and real worlds together and wonder if god personally has it out for them.
  • Old Save Bonus: You can unlock the original version of Last Surprise as well as Take Over if you have save data for Persona 5 or Royal in the PlayStation 4. In the Nintendo Switch version, these tracks are instead unlocked by having save data from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Once per Episode: Once again, there is a Hot Springs Episode in which due to misunderstanding with the schedule, the boys are caught by the girls and get their asses kicked. For bonus points, it is the same inn S.E.E.S. visited nearly 10 years ago.
  • One-Man Army: The Phantom Thieves enter the fray swinging in this installment. Any one of them can now take on dozens if not hundreds of Shadows on their lonesome as part of the Hack and Slash combat.
  • One Steve Limit: Uniquely subverted in this game. Despite one of your targets is named "Alice Hiiragi", you can still fuse the persona Alice in this game.
  • Point of No Return: After each Jail, you're given one last chance to explore the city before moving on to the next city. At the end of the Osaka Jail, Zenkichi warns you that once you return to Tokyo, the police will shut down EMMA's servers, which should destroy the Jails. He tells you to finish everything you want to do in the Jails and Osaka before he gives the call. Naturally, once he does, things won't go exactly as planned and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon begins.note 
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Invoked in-game by EMMA during one of the game's darker moments. When Konoe asks it for advice on catching the Phantom Thieves, it tells him that the Police are useless in capturing the Phantom Thieves and he would be better off using a Jail created by an associate of the Thieves to change their hearts. Unfortunately, unbeknown to him that's actually the daughter of the officer who was tracking him down, causing his very own demise.
    • Actually subverted within the game itself, as without Yaldabaoth and Shido's manipulations, the Police did actually capture the culprits behind the change of heart incidents, and the Phantom Thieves got the trust of a few of them, even having one join them.
  • Post-Script Season: While not devoid of its serious moments, the overall plot is this. The Phantom Thieves essentially tread a repeat of their initial campaign, except that their experience in battling Shadows and dealing with the distorted desires of their targets have basically made them more effective at their job, allowing them to power through what previously took them a year to accomplish within the span of a month.note 
  • Protection Mission: During certain investigations, the Thieves come across locked doors that require Futaba to hack them open, which also requires them to protect her from attacking Shadows until she's finished.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The police force is noticeably weaker than in Persona 5, and the public has largely lost faith in them. Not only did they fail to catch the Phantom Thieves, but several high-ranking members of the police were members of The Conspiracy in the last game. And with the Big Bad having a change of heart and confessing, all of those corrupt cops got arrested, too. Small wonder that the people of Tokyo don't trust the cops anymore. As a result, the police are more determined than ever to arrest the Thieves in order to regain the public's trust, despite the evidence against them being largely circumstantial.
    • While it was the only way to stop Shido in the previous game, the protagonist turning himself in now means that everyone on the police force knows who the Phantom Thief leader is, and they can track him down no problem if they suspect foul play. The Phantom Thieves habits of operating in public also catch up to them because the remaining members are easily identified from the investigations last year and because they're always seen with Joker. Zenkichi knows who all sevennote  members are right away when he stumbles on the group being harassed by a drunken man in an alleyway at night.
    • Again, Ryuji's No Indoor Voice of talking about the "Phantom Thieves" aloud doesn't do the party any help. This time, he attracted the attention of what was literally the true culprit, of all things he can attract unwarranted attention of. This lets her to make a deal with them so they can be used to assist her in understanding the answer to humanity's suffering; once the final product is created, she would try to remove them personally.
    • The relationship between Zenkichi and Akane isn't magically fixed even with all the encouragement by the Phantom Thieves. Firstly, even though Zenkichi may have had a good reason to act like he didn't care, that doesn't change what he did to his daughter, or the fact that he was lying to her. Zenkichi backed off and pretended not to care about Akane because her life was threatened if he kept going with the investigation into his wife's murder, and trying to investigate further would put him in line with Shido, which would end up with disaster. This does not mean Akane will instantly forgive Zenkichi after the Phantom Thieves told her the truth. Shadow Akane even taunts Zenkichi about this, saying that it was because of him that she lost faith in the "justice" the police were bringing and caused her to become a fan of the Phantom Thieves; adding to the fact that Akane was brainwashed during that time, knowing Zenkichi's motive and what kind of opponent he's facing during that time will not change how Akane felt.
    • The Conspiracy is also legitimately powerless in this game without Shido's backing. Sure, they can still use the police. But Kaburagi and Zenkichi, as well as a big chunk of the Police force in general, can turn on Owada anytime they wished to, and Konoe is planning to as well. Unlike Akechi in the first game, Konoe most obviously had the power to manipulate and crush him should he get his way.
    • Near the end of the game, Ichinose tried to turn herself to the police for creating EMMA, an A.I. god that resulted in nationwide discord as of current, and potentially worldwide discord if left unchecked. The police did not believe a word she said and just set her free despite she was the de facto culprit that they are going all out of their way hunting for. As Persona 5 had taught us with Joker's fate after defeating Yaldabaoth, the supernatural is not proper evidence to any form of crime since none of the public will believe it. Since Ichinose's only crime is abuse of the supernatural unlike Adachi or Akechi, who actually killed people in real life, the police, with no knowledge of it, will not believe her.
  • Recurring Riff: Sophia's theme, "A.I. and Heart" shares a similar medley as her other theme: "The Heart of an AI" and the introduction of the Demiuge's second phase. "The Heart of an A.I." also has an another version that shares the same medley as "Throw Away Your Mask" and the credits theme.
  • Red Herring:
    • Based on the past experience that the Police are obviously bad news in Persona, you might believe that Zenkichi is actually a traitor and Kaburagi is a threat. Zenkichi's suspiciously similar facial features with Shido doesn't help the cause. It turns out that none of them are evil to begin with, and they warm up to the Phantom Thieves once they know they are getting used and bribed.
    • There are just numerous scenes in game that build up Owada as a major threat, as he is a Corrupt Politician who lobbied for Shido before, personally orchestrated the murder of Akane Hasegawa's mother two years before and is getting cooperation from Akira Konoe to use the EMMA app to destroy his opposition. It turns out that he is no threat to begin with, as Zenkichi and Kaburagi already orchestrated his arrest that they promptly do at the end of the game. Konoe is also just using him for his own crusade against crime and will take him down should he succeed.
    • The game also tries to play one that makes you think that Ichinose would be the Final Boss based on her full involvement on the EMMA app and the fact that she just acts suspicious at best. While she's still the instigator, she pulls out a Heel–Face Turn quite quickly and the final boss is actually her misguided creation.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Once the player clears the Osaka Arc, the reasons why the Kings started acting in ways that match their oppressors makes a lot more sense, as that was Laser-Guided Karma, or the reason why Konoe manages to escape his father.
    • Sophia is actually humming her Leitmotif, "The Heart of an AI" when she starts humming.
    • During the Sendai conference with Konoe, he talks about EMMA being an advisor to everyday life who always makes the correct answers. EMMA is programmed to enforce the answer to the end of humanity's suffering based on a democracy vote, but because of a petty reason on her creator's part, she couldn't process anything save for people asking her for advice. Therefore, she was led to think that people's true desire is to have her give advice for them.
    • When the Thieves are telling Ichinose about the Jails, she reacts with excitement, yet when she's introduced to Sophia, her reactions are not as enthusiastic. In addition to knowing about the Jails, Ichinose also has a condition where she doesn't experience emotion like most people, so she puts on a cheerful facade in order to not freak out people. Knowing all this, it's obvious that Ichinose was faking her emotions while learning about the Jails, since she already knew about them but needed to act like she didn't, but when she learned that the Phantom Thieves have Sophie, something that actually did surprise her, she was too shocked to fake her emotions.
    • Upon meeting Akane the first time, she would had been stated that she saw the culprit of her mother's murder. This takes a darker note after you ran through the whole thing; when Zenkichi meets her Shadow the first time, she would say that it's done by Owada, a former Shido crony. Zenkichi also talks about how he's being sent a death threat as the incident is covered up by a patsy when he tried to look into it. Based on how Shido is literally an untouchable god-like power during that time thanks to Yaldabaoth's backing, the death threats obviously weren't empty.
    • When Akane became a King, she starts raving about how she's going to change the Phantom Thieves' hearts or take them down, then taking down Owada, her mother's killer. That's actually not her idea; it's actually Konoe's; Konoe's "Operation Oracle" basically consists of taking down the Phantom Thieves cue EMMA's advice, then changing Owada's heart with the application himself. This becomes an indicator where Konoe and Owada might not be buddies after all, despite first speculated.
  • Road Trip Plot: The heroes spend their summer vacation on a cross-country road trip around Japan, juggling their holiday with traversing dungeons and battling Shadows. The fact that they burned through this entire adventure within a month makes it one of the longer Persona spin-offs.
  • Sanity Slippage: Actually Exaggerated in this game. While the public still goes insane thanks to supernatural circumstances just like any other Persona game where they are present, It's not rolled out gradually as the game's events progress here. Instead, depending on the encounter, swathes of the general public had been rendered insane at once on screen or the mass subversion was already accomplished way before the events of the game begin.
  • Schmuck Bait: Two in-universe examples.
    • This is basically how the King's brainwashing works for anyone but the King themselves, since they will usually publicize their EMMA friend-keywords without disclosing what the keyword actually does in an advertising campaign, and for obvious reasons; it's to make sure people get randomly dragged into the Metaverse for no apparent reason and got their desires stolen. While this doesn't physically harm anyone, the real world person becomes brainwashed and mesmerized by the King, having their desires converted into the King's desires.
    • During the Kyoto arc, there's a very obvious one that can be easily avoided if the Phantom Thieves ever took any attention to Akane's standard behavior. When Kaburagi and Owada fails to capture the Phantom Thieves thanks to Zenkichi intervening, his residence was emptied and EMMA autonomously responds to Akane's pleas for someone to save her. Konoe then asks EMMA to propose him a way to catch them, and she tells him that he should turn a Phantom Thieves' associate into a King and use them to bait the Thieves, without telling him their true identity. Surely, this turns out to be none other than Akane (since she created a Jail without her consent) and EMMA sends a fake SNS message for the Phantom Thieves to save her. This would be easy to avoid if the Phantom Thieves went to her residence to check her out (where she would most certainly be within her bedroom if she was actually brainwashed by EMMA or even okay), yet they headed straight into the Jail knowing that it was a trap. Sure enough, Shadow Akane was driven insane by EMMA and she proceeds to trap all the Phantom Thieves trying to change their hearts. If not for Futaba being too weak to run for long, this will spell their demise.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Joker aims his pistol at the screen when the equipment menu is accessed. Selecting a piece of equipment has him fire, sending the camera reeling backwards.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: The Okinawa Beach Episode cutscene starts with Ann emerging from the sea while throwing her head and hair backwards in Slow Motion following by a close-up shot of her cleavage. Cut to Ryuji and Joker in the sand clearly Eating the Eye Candy.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: The BAND system gives players access to numerous buffs during gameplay, ranging from simple increases to parameters and increased drop rates for materials and money to situational boosts like refilling health during a successful ambush. Points for this could be earned not just through successful fights and progressing through the main story, but from taking the time to complete requests, cook meals for the first time and hanging out with party members in smaller Confidant-style requests.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Sapporo Jail is completely covered in glacial ice and food, and has a segment where the Thieves slide down an icy hill to proceed.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: While the targets aren't exactly evil per sec, unlike in Persona 5 it's mostly played straight, as the Phantom Thieves start by fighting against a bully-victim who graduated from Shujin a few years ago, to an IT firm CEO trying to wipe out all injustice via robbing the public's free will, and finally to a digital goddess who believes that humanity's desires was for her to make decisions for them. However, the Greater-Scope Villain (Also the traitor and the creator of Sophia and the Big Bad) was fought before the Big Bad herself.
  • The Teaser: After an action-packed opening cutscene, Joker is immediately thrown into a tutorial battle against an endless horde of Shadows in Shibuya. Only after clearing the encounter by using a Limit Break attack does the game's opening play.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: On the day the Phantom Thieves assault the Jail's central castle, "Daredevil" plays until the Thieves make it inside, even playing over the battle music. Also, like in the original, "Life Will Change" plays after the Thieves have sent the Calling Card.
  • Time Stands Still: The action freezes when the Persona skill menu is brought up, providing a window to choose the right skill, target Shadows weak to specific elements, and in Joker's case, switch Personas.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: After the Phantom Thieves were captured by Akane's shadow in the Kyoto Jail, Futaba gets Zenkichi to help her free them. Since Zenkichi hasn't awakened to Valjean yet, the gameplay shifts from dynamically zipping around the Jail slaying shadows to a Stealth-Based Mission, as Zenkichi is a completely normal human being compared to the Persona-using Phantom Thieves and will die if he gets caught by the patrol shadows since he has no means to defend himself.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: The people of Okinawa were used as guinea pigs for the EMMA app by Konoe after Ichinose sold the technology to Madicce and Konoe used the app on the island to create a prototype Jail, which resulted in their abnormal behaviour and their attempts to hunt down the Phantom Thieves.
  • Virtual Sidekick:
    • EMMA is an application that's initially presented as a more effective form of Siri and nearly everyone in Japan has it. Not only can it perform internet searches as asked and has highly advanced speech recognition software, but it can actually give the optimal option for any given situation. In fact, a big chunk of people treat it as the sidekick of their lives and leave all decisions on it simply because of how convenient it is. Originally, the only unusual trait it has is that it can access Jails in the Metaverse via keywords. However, as the game progresses, it's revealed that EMMA is more than just an app; it's a self-aware AI and that its purpose is to find the ultimate answer to humanity's happiness, but instead became a monstrosity that essentially removes free will and emotions from the massses by making all their decisions for them, per the way its creator programmed it.
    • Sophia is a rather unusual case in that while in the Metaverse, she has a physical presence and serves as a party member along with the rest of the Phantom Thieves. In the real world, since she has no robotic body, she inhabits Joker's smartphone and can perform any task that EMMA can. Sophia at first cannot understand emotions, but she wishes to learn, and the Phantom Thieves are more than happy to help her along the way. Eventually she awakens to a proper Persona.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Averted. Much like Persona Q2, Joker's death doesn't trigger an automatic Game Over. However, he is always required to stay in the party.
  • Wham Line:
    • When Ryuji was picking up camping goods with Joker and Morgana for their team's summer vacation, Joker inputs the "Wonderland" keyword onto the EMMA application per instruction of Alice's business card. Then, this very familiar message acts as the Phantom Thieves' Call to Adventure:
      EMMA: Keyword successfully inputted. Beginning Navigation...
    • Your first target's true nature.
      Arrogant girl: Disgusting...can you please not talk to me?
      Bitter Girl: Why are you hooking on those guys?
      Quarreling Girl: That girl...she really looks so pitiful.
      Scornful Girl: I understand ~ ! Didn't she just looked so gloomy? Hahaha!
      Alice: No, that's not true! I...
    • Throughout most of the game, Konoe didn't act like he was anything but a Straw Hypocrite. This dialogue at the top floor of this Jail, however, states the contrary...
      Harsh Voice: Abuse? This is ridiculous...Umm, it's just because we had a pet here. That's probably what they heard. Right, Akira?
      Calm Voice: But Konoe-san, we've received reports that you've been violent against your child...In fact, Akira-kun seems to have an injury on his arm...
      Harsh Voice: He just fell down. How many times had I told you? Enough, go away. Damn brat! How dare you cause all these trouble for me! Just do what I am told! *beating sounds*
    • Near the end of the game, when the Phantom Thieves are returning from Yokohama back to Shibuya and Sophia was planning a Route:
      Sophia: OK, I will....Wait a minute...What was that...
      Haru: Sophia?
      Sophia: A Jail...I sensed a Jail!
    • When the true culprit exposes themselves:
      Kuon Ichinose: ~♪
  • Wham Shot:
    • This game throws one right after the beginning. The Shibuya Jail investigation against Alice ends with the party going to the top of the Jail, whose center is blocked by an invisible barricade playing a vocal clip of Alice being bullied at school for "hooking on men." This is a very nice hint that the targets you deal with in game are the equivalent of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds like Sae or Maruki before them instead of monstrously despicable people.
    • While Konoe plays out as a rather despicable person, again, all these change once the barricade to his Bird Cage was interacted with. It turns out that because his father barely even treated him as a human, all of his misuse of the EMMA application is to make sure nobody ends up like him, and he's actually working for justice by heart all along.
      • Speaking of Konoe, there's one part where he hangs up Owada's call after they had finished talking. He then outright calls him "disgusting vermin". While he never admits using Owada to the Thieves, this is a very good clue that things are not what they seem.
    • When you reach the center area of the Tokyo Jail, you meet The Holy Torah, which is the evolved form of EMMA. And then a very familiar hum plays as Ichinose steps in. While her close to minimal involvement in the big picture already gives huge hints of her being the traitor, this indicates that Ichinose is actually the traitor and the grand instigator of things.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • The first time you meet Alice Hiiragi (before triggering the new Metaverse incidents), she almost passes off as a friendly young woman holding an advertising campaign for her new store at 705. It's subverted however, since that's actually a scheme to change the participant's hearts.
    • The antagonistic and shady-looking Zenkichi can be first seen casually hanging around Leblanc. Inverted, since he's actually no villain to begin with.
    • Played straight with Ichinose, the game's traitor and Greater-Scope Villain. She can be first seen and met casually hanging out alone in a beef tounge store in Sendai.
  • You Didn't Ask: Sophia casually mentions that she has a Persona and that she's an AI shortly after the Phantom Thieves first meet her. When asked why she didn't say that from the beginning, Sophia says that it's because nobody asked her.

Alternative Title(s): Persona 5 Scramble


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