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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Philemon isn't like the Abrahamic God, being all-powerful compared to Nyarlathotep's Devil. No, Phil and Nyarly are roughly equal in power and Philemon is actually saving us by making his bet with Nyarlathotep—because if he didn't push Nyarlathotep into accepting a game with rules, using humans as the pieces, then Nyarlathotep would just lash out first and destroy everything. This way, we get a chance and Philemon gives us the power to keep pushing back. He's still kind of a callous jerk about the damage this does to his chosen champions' lives, though.
      • Philemon is the incarnation of humanity's greatest aspects and potential and gives everyone the Personas and motivation they need to stop Nyarlathotep. Does he do this because he genuinely loves humanity, or because he's just as prideful as Nyarlathotep and doesn't want to lose his bet? Are his words of encouragement given because he's benevolent Guardian Entity who wants humanity to flourish, or a Manipulative Bastard who sees humans as pawns to use against Nyarlathotep?
      • That's because both Philemon and Nyarlathotep are morally ambiguous. Philemon represents Neutrality and Nyarlathotep represents Chaos, with Yaldabaoth filling in the Law/Order gap in Persona 5. None of the Law, Chaos and Neutral alignments are considered "good" in the Shin Megami Tensei sense, they are just Cosmic Horrors doing their own thing. In fact, the only thing that makes Philemon "good" is the Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous rule in MegaTen, where he would appear more benevolent than the other representatives.
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    • You know, Tatsuya's classmates' fawning over him doesn't make a whole lot of sense, given that he does nothing to warrant any of it. That is, until you consider all the rumors swirling around him.
  • Anticlimax Boss: If you prepare for the bosses, they'll become this trope. It's also possible to kill 'em all with Armageddon.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The North American version of Eternal Punishment is a peculiar example, as it reverted the original Persona's characters back to their canonical Japanese surnames. For sake of continuity, however, the characters' first names were left Anglicized. The localization team tried to compensate for this Continuity Snarl by retconning some of the bigger translation goofs; for example, the revelation that "Guido Sardenia" is actually an alias for Guido Kandori, the previous game's antagonist. He's still named Guido, due to Nate and co. retaining their western names, so Eternal Punishment breaks even and just calls him Guido Kandori.
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    • One criticism lodged at the PSP port/remake of Persona was the number of tracks from the original Playstation version that had been replaced with new tracks by Shoji Meguro. The debate namely boiled down to whether or not the new tracks, which were largely in line with the music of the series post-Persona 3, fit the atmosphere of the original game. As a measure of reconciliation, the PSP remake for Persona 2, while adding some new tracks and remixing others, mostly keeps its tracks in the vein of the original PS1 soundtrack, and furthermore provides the original Playstation MIDI soundtrack as an option in the game settings.
  • Awesome Ego: For most of Innocent Sin Eikichi Mishina would happily talk about how awesome he is, and most of the fans of the game would agree.
  • Base-Breaking Character: While the other main characters from Innocent Sin have each garnered their own small but devoted fanbases over the years, for Lisa things are a bit more divisive. Some players come away from the game turned off by her sense of entitlement and dogged Clingy Jealous Girl behavior towards Tatsuya, despite how obviously uncomfortable she makes him. Even as the story progresses and her feelings for him do take on some shade of realness, she never completely lets up on her possessive behavior, and she flat-out refuses to accept being rejected if she becomes his Romantic Runner-Up after her Shadow is defeated. On the other hand, Lisa isn't without her charms with people liking her silly Lovable Alpha Bitch antics with Eikichi which are the source of some of the funniest, most light-hearted moments in an infamously dark game, and someone whose darker hidden depths add a lot to her character.
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  • "Common Knowledge": No, Adolf Hitler is not the Final Boss of Persona 2. Rather, he's the first form of the Final Boss of Innocent Sin, and even then, he's just an avatar of Nyarlathotep, the actual Final Boss of both games.
  • Complete Monster::
    • Innocent Sin: Ginji Sasaki, AKA Prince Taurus, is a member of the Masked Circle and easily one of the most depraved. A record producer, Ginji became infamous for his sexual advances toward his female artists, especially those underage. Out of a desperate attempt to regain his fame, Ginji made a deal with Joker in exchange joining the Masked Circle and helping them absorb Ideal Energy, using inspiring artists. Working with King Leo, Ginji, using the power of the rumors, started a new music group called MUSES, forcing Lisa to join by using her friends, with the intent of trying to bring her to their side and arrange a giant concert so he could absorb the Ideal Energy of the audience and then blow up the evidence with the bombs he help set up. When his plans were thwarted by Lisa and the party, Ginji tries to kill them, and when's he defeated, he decides to absorb the life energy of Lisa's friends in front of her out of spite before retreating. Ginji would commit atrocities without remorse just so he could keep his fame.
    • Eternal Punishment: Tatsuzō Sudō is the tyrannical Japanese Foreign Minister who uses the doomsday cult he founded, the New World Order, to further his own political ambitions, and to coordinate an ascent to a utopian society free from original sin; through the cult, his criminal activity runs the gamut from unethical human experimentation, to assassinations, to political whitewashing. Even his own son Tatsuya proves to be no exception to his father's despotism, and when he escapes from the sanitarium he was committed to, Tatsuzou orders a hit on him from the Taiwanese mafia. When the New World Order successfully raises the spaceship Torifune from underneath Sumaru City, nearly annihilating everything on the Earth's surface in the process, he transforms his companions, and finally himself into mutant demons to protect both the ship and his "god" from the party, though his efforts are unsuccessful. Is it any wonder he was revamped into the nasty piece of work that is Masayoshi Shido?
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • For being the Sixth Ranger of Innocent Sin with the least amount of screentime, Jun Kurosu is beloved for his plot-relevance, depth of character, and for being the first and only same-sex romance option in the entire series. That he's also the only Big Bad in the series to actually atone for his actions has also done its part to bolster his reputation.
    • Bizarrely enough, Hitler gets this treatment simply due to the sheer audacity of making Hitler a villain in a JRPG even if he's actually just Nyarlathotep in disguise. And when the PSP rerelease gave him a pair of Cool Shades and renamed him to "Fuhrer" in a half-hearted censorship attempt, it made fans love him even more. The fact that he actually has a pretty memorable boss theme helps as well.
  • Epileptic Trees: Many players noted how Tatsuya Sudou's clothes bear a strong resemblance to the garments of The Reaper from Persona 3 onwards, as well as both of them missing an eye on the same side. This has caused some to speculate that The Reaper is either Sudou's reincarnation or a the result of Nyarlathotep cursing him.
  • Game-Breaker: Some of the Fusion Spells are these. Of note is Dashing Strike (Zio + Tackle), which can be obtained as early as level 15 if you get lucky when mutating Minotaur; going off Michel's huge attack stat, it deals massive amounts of damage to multiple enemies multiple times that can easily carry you throughout the endgame provided the enemy doesn't resist Physical. There's also Armageddon, but it's less practical due to needing to be at least level 94 to even invoke the exclusive personae needed to use it. Level 94, and a new game plus, as you can't get both materials in one run of the game. You need the Accuser's Diary and the Morning Star from the casino, but the Star won't show up unless you clear Nate's Route and the Diary won't show up unless you clear Ellen's route.
  • Genius Bonus: There's several small bits of trivia, ranging from Aztec Mythology to the significance of the names Maya and Maia.
    • The publishing company Maya works at, Kismet, is a synonym for "destiny".
      • And, of course, all the Personae (except Tatsunoshin Suou, Maihime Amano, Junnosuke Kuroda, and Alfred/Yamoaka from Eternal Punishment) are from real mythologies.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many people have heard of Persona 2 or played it solely because Hitler is the first form of the final boss in Innocent Sin. Many of the Persona series LGBT fans have played Innocent Sin because of Jun Kurosu, a canonically gay party member who gets a lot of focus in the story and as well as the only Gay Option in the Persona series.
  • Les Yay: Yukino and Anna in Innocent Sin. If you choose to leave Yukino behind at the entrance to Caracol, you encounter Shadow Yukino and Anna instead of the Longinus mechs, at which point Shadow Yukino kisses Anna. After the battle, Shadow Yukino convinces Anna to jump off the bridge at Caracol with her so that they can be Together in Death, effectively inducing a mental shutdown in the real Yukino. If you bring Yukino, she gives up her Persona ability to Jun after you defeat him, and go off into the city to fight Nazis with Anna, who promises to take care of her now that she doesn't have a Persona.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Takahisa Kandori returns from the original game.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Let's positive thinking! note 
    • Tatsuya's talent in SFX-imitating, as lampshaded in the drama CD. Fans took it and ran with it.
    • Tatsuya likes raw meat. note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Innocent Sin, Okamura takes a nosedive across the horizon when she murders Maya with the Spear of Longinus so that the prophecies of In Lak'ech may be fulfilled.
  • Narm: The voice acting in Eternal Punishment leaves much to be desired. "It's self-defense. There's NO problem with that," anyone? Also, Hitler wearing sunglasses in the PSP remake in an attempt to get past the censors.
    • Narm Charm: Nobody can deny this makes the fight even better.
    • In the Japanese version of Innocent Sin, Eikichi’s Ultimate Persona, Hades, loses a fair amount of coolness points once you realize he sounds like Kermit the Frog. The remake’s English dub averts this by giving him a far more appropriate Patrick Stewart-esque voice.
  • Never Live It Down: Even if Philemon is the personification of humanity's goodness and tries his best to help the heroes against Nyarlathotep with his hands tied, no one's going to forget that he made the bet with Nyarlathotep in the first place any time soon.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hitler (the Fuhrer in the English dub). Despite only appearing in the finale of Innocent Sin as one of Nyarlathotep's disguises, is extremely memorable among the fanbase. This is particularly so for PSP remake, where he's given a pair of Cool Shades that contributed to his appeal.
  • The Scrappy: Now and forever, Tadashi Satomi.
  • Signature Scene: The finale of Innocent Sin, particularly the boss fight with Hitler, which is on the level of fighting YHVH in Shin Megami Tensei II, and to a slightly lesser extent, Okamura killing Maya, resulting in Nyarlathotep destroying the world and the setup for Eternal Punishment.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While still showing its age as a PS1 RPG in many ways, it's generally accepted that Persona 2 is a massive improvement over its predecessor, removing most of the Scrappy Mechanics that bogged down the original game. Its writing is also held in a higher regard, with specific commendation given to its cast, narrative, and atmosphere. It's no wonder that even though Personas 3, 4, and 5 are the more popular, well regarded iterations of the franchise, there is a small portion of the fandom that still considers Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment to be the amongst if not the best games in the franchise.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: According to the game, Tadashi is absent from Eternal Punishment because he's being chased by assassins, but more practically he's gone because the fans didn't want him to come back.
  • That One Attack:
    • One of the Bolontiku in Innocent Sin and Metal Jun in Eternal Punishment have an attack in their respective games called "Terror Fortune" which deals moderately high Wind and Dark damage to the entire party, which isn't so bad. The problem is that it ALSO inflicts random ailments on your party, including instant death. Have fun keeping your party alive...
    • "Old Maid" in Eternal Punishment is no fun either. It's a spell that turns one of the character's persona into Joker. When this happens, if you don't immediately abort your battle and defend, it will do some decent damage to the party. What makes this spell a real pain in the ass is that Jokers spam the spell repeatedly, dragging the battle out.
    • Kudan's Prophecy (though you'll only see it once per game) completely resets your Persona to rank 1, taking all the mutations and bonus spells it once had with it.
    • Kiyohime's Fire breath in Eternal Punishment. You don't likely have good fire resistance at that point in the game, and taking huge fire damage when you not only have problems resisting it but healing from it can make the dungeon infinitely harder than necessary.
    • Hula of Misfortune. You lose half of your total money in the battle and you don't get it back. Financial setbacks, especially in Eternal Punishment, hurt.
  • That One Sidequest: The cartography (map-making) side quest in Eternal Punishment involves a lot of running around every square inch of a dungeon, probably doing one or two of the dungeon's puzzles (like the Secret Lab's Fuse Box puzzle), walking over all the traps and pitfalls, and generous use of the Estoma spell. It's not fun and it can be draining. And if Salam didn't offer up a King's Ransom for his requests (for an equivalent, think of the rewards on par with Chocobo Hot and Cold) nobody would willingly do them.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Joker Ulala is your first Joker encounter, the first time you're down a member (potentially meaning your fusion spells are limited) and likely going to be a vicious encounter if you've been skipping encounters in the Gym. You're going to be hard-pressed to resist her magic as most personae by that point are weak to magic in general and she has the Old Maid attack as well as Fata Morgana to inflict illusion. If you haven't learned how to work all facets of the game (such as realizing you can make personae 5 levels above you for Tengu's Wall of Air), mutations and rumors for weapons, armors, etc. She can be a vicious brick wall.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: From Eternal Punishment: General Sugawara is surely no saint, having been the one to oversee the development of the X-series robots in exchange for immortality, but his presumed fate of being transformed into a grotesque, undying monster is such high-octane Nightmare Fuel, it's hard not to feel sorry for him.

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