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YMMV / Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

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  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: Every time you return to the hub, the characters give a voiced reminder if you're missing a Goho-M, have a full sub-Persona roster, or have an un-initiated Special Screening. If you attempt to enter the labyrinth without a Goho-M anyway, you'll also receive a reminder that you'll need one.
  • Anvilicious: The game tends to beat the "mindless conformism is bad, individuality is awesome" and "No matter how life tortures you, you must go forward and think positive" aesops into your brain over and over and over again until said brain is reduced to mush, and then beat it over your head a couple more times for good measure. Though, considering Japan is generally a very conformist, traditional society that frowns upon people who go against established standards, this moral might be very much needed.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Thanks to Schrödinger's Player Character, the female protagonist from Persona 3 Portable has been entirely absent from further adaptations and sequels to the game. Her appearance here is her first appearance since the release of Portable. To drive the point further, promo art of the game and her "I'm him and he's me" quote imply that her home universe is an alternate reality to that of the S.E.E.S. cast. For extra points, she is confirmed to play a major role in the story.
    • The first game having two routes had a somewhat mixed reception from fans, either because they felt it padded out the game or because of disagreements on which was the canon route, which wasn't helped by the fact that the Persona 4 cast was pushed as being the game's default path. Having to play both routes for the full experience made for quite a bit of tedium as a result. The fact that this game only has one route and a clear focus on the Phantom Thieves effectively removes both issues to allow for a more streamlined storytelling and gameplay experience.
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    • A few gameplay issues in the previous game have been streamlined or re-worked:
      • The ability to switch out the protagonists instead of always being required to have at least one in the party allows for more freedom.
      • All-Out Attacks are no longer triggered randomly depending on how many characters are boosted. They now work like they do in the main Persona games: weaknesses are guaranteed to knock down enemies and an All-Out Attack is available when all enemies are downed. Boost instead powers up certain attacks, like Smirk in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, as well as allowing Boosted members to act first.
      • You no longer need to pay for healing, you are instead fully healed upon returning to the lobby. This doesn't make the game much easier, but it does help you save money.
      • You now get to choose which skills to overwrite when a party member's main Persona learns new ones, unlike the previous game which would replace Boring, but Practical low-cost skills with Awesome, yet Impractical higher-tier versions automatically.
      • Not only do a lot of characters here have more SP than before, several bosses now have weaknesses(even if they can't be knocked down) and many magic skills are cheaper to use, mitigating the issues with casters in the previous game.
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  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Best Level Ever: The fourth labyrinth, the musical dungeon, "Hikari." From a gameplay perspective, it's challenging without being overly frustrating. From a story perspective, it makes for an effective Disc-One Final Dungeon in which Hikari's Dark and Troubled Past is revealed.
  • Breather Boss: The KNS-1000 F.O.Es in A.I.G.I.S are still F.O.Es, but they are much easier than any other F.O.E in the Q series, and you also get to fight them on forced boss encounters. You have to kill them in the overworld to prevent giant security robots from pursuing you in a speed of two squares per player step, however.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • For Persona 3 fans, the 3rd dungeon's boss is the closest thing to a proper battle with Shuji Ikutsuki, who was formerly The Unfought.
    • Fans of Persona 5 have relished in the opportunity to beat up Kamoshida again (or at least, someone who looks like him) twice, if you count the Negative Films. You can also pay Kamoshidaman back for the Hopeless Boss Fight earlier in the first labyrinth by beating him up in the first phase, in which he can't fight back.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: It's very common to see Let's Players on YouTube to have a set party of the four protagonists (Joker, Yu, P3 hero, and P3P heroine) plus Akechi.Why? 
  • Crack Pairing: Believe or not, a pairing between the P3 Hero and his female counterpart is rather popular. The way they look at each other in one of the game's cutscenes suggests there is something between them. It'll still take you 0 seconds to realize why this is labeled as a crack pairing.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Turning a sexual predator into a goofy "hero of the people" seems like a terrible idea on paper, and yet...
  • Disappointing Last Level: Some players regard the final labyrinth, the Cinema District, as a bit of a letdown compared to the endgame of the previous game, as well as the previous labyrinth. The last dungeon is relatively short and doesn't have many unique mechanics apart from the wind. It doesn't help that unlike Rei in the previous game, Hikari has mostly come to terms with herself by now, so all that's left is to defeat Enlil and save everyone else inside the theaters.
  • Even Better Sequel: Q2 is widely regarded to be an improvement in many aspects over its predecessor. The gameplay is much more refined, the storyline is more cohesive and better-paced, and the Flanderization of the characters, a common criticism towards the previous game, is generally downplayed.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: This game is responsible for launching the fan ship of Joker and the Female P3 Protagonist, known as the "Red Duo", thanks to their chemistry in the early parts of the game and the fact that the two effectively serve as the game's protagonists.
    • The P3P Heroine is also paired with her male counterpart, which is already a rather popular to begin with. It helps that the game enforce this when the two first meet and Junpei and Teddie are pretty much Shipper on Deck for them.
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Protective Lexy from the fourth labyrinth isn't too much of a threat on its own, but it can become a nuisance by tanking hits meant for other enemies. Unless you knock it down or kill it, it will be difficult to hit other enemies' weaknesses in order to get an All Out Attack.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • The Overseer in the 3rd labyrinth. He isn't much of a threat damage-wise, but most of his moveset consists of annoying debuffs, he can endlessly summon KNS-1000s, and has Elec Wall to remove his and their weakness (making the fight take longer).
    • There's also the Mother Computer itself in the same labyrinth as the Overseer. Unlike Super Kamoshidaman and Yosukesaurus, he doesn't hit particularly hard, but he has several annoying skills that lock down your vital skills or set your party's HP to the one with the lowest HP. This is not the point however, if you have to defeat him you need to hit him with a specific element for a total of 20 times which swap every turn, since he will auto repair himself constantly after a while and that is the only way to make him stop. The catch is he can be hacked multiple times in a turn, so if you don't hit him with a bunch of link skills if possible you are going to waste 50+ turns and tons of resources to fruitlessly stall him.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everybody Lives... Although it is pretty clear for the Persona 3 and Persona 5 cast, that doesn't last too long.
    • The first thing that Hikari said at the start of the game is asking if Morgana is a cat. And Morgana is not known for being intelligent. Just imagine what would've happened if he responded with "Why do you have to be like that? I'M NOT A CAT!"
    • When the Persona users mention having friends, Hikari shuts down; It almost seems like "friends" was one of her trigger phrases. It was later revealed that her secondary school friends all jumped ship when the bullies targeted her for befriending a bullied girl since none of them want to deal with the bullies, and the bullied girl jumped ship herself too.
    • Hikari's background is pretty much this. While she appears as nothing more than a Nervous Wreck that simply shuts down in front of people, it's being implied many times that her condition is much worse than on the surface; While the Trauma Conga Line is bad enough, it is only made worse by her father accidentally triggering her so that she really considers that her life isn't worth living anymore, then Nagi/Enlil amplifying her negative emotions by letting her watch films of people suffering in a delusional attempt to make her feel better. Judging from that she might be imprisoned there for quite a time prior to the Phantom Thieves' arrival, it's a wonder that how can she sustain this without being Driven to Suicide.
      • This applies to all of the people trapped in the other Cinemas too, who knows how long they had been imprisoned, and how many had been Driven to Suicide? Remember Hikari isn't the first one to be set there.
    • When S.E.E.S hears the Overseer's announcement, the Overseer resembles Ikutsuki, who S.E.E.S does not recognize as a villain or enemy of any sort, making them feel awkward until they are assured that he's an actor. Ironically, the real Shuji Ikutsuki is nearly identical to the Overseer in terms of personality.
    • The definition of "normal" in this game is twisted beyond the usual definition; It doesn't simply mean being the cog in a machine. A more accurate definition of "normal" in this game is withdrawing yourself forever from the world...and Never Be Hurt Again.
    • The Traitor's redemption in this game is genuine, and his personality is actually getting better from what he was before. However since the memories will be wiped once the Persona users return to the real world, Akechi will not remember anything from this game and his redemption is an all for nothing Redemption Failure.
      • In one dead end event on the second level of the fourth labyrinth, Yukiko pretends to narrate what is going on. When she narrates Akechi, she describes him as someone holding a "terrible secret." It's a joke, but if you consider what happens in the base game...
    • A quest in the fourth labyrinth has you bring Marie to get inspirations for her poems by investigating singing flowers. Remember this place is Hikari's personal hell, so what the flowers are singing is probably her mindset. Just compare these songs to the musicals/flashbacks in the actual labyrinth run, they are chillingly accurate portrayals to what you see there:
      "My wings are plucked. I yearn for the sky...I know what I am, a tragic effigy..."
      "No matter what I eat, I'm never satiated. Is it a sin to feel this way?"
      "This is my sanctuary, hidden from all."note 
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The P3P Heroine is the only character capable of performing a unison with every member of her own team, including her male counterpart. This can be viewed as her forming a bond with SEES despite them not being the same people she knows, overcoming the issue that had caused her to feel out of place.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The first game already had a level of this due to having both the Persona 3 and Persona 4 casts, and this game adds on that by including the Persona 5 cast with the former two. But if anyone is interested in this game, chances are it's because the Persona 3 Portable female protagonist is in it.
  • Memetic Loser: Due to the P3 FEMC being in this game, she is slowly starting to subvert this trope. However, after she was announced for the game, the protagonists of the first three (technically two) games are starting to receive this treatment with fans disappointed with the first three game's protagonists' lack of representation.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Since Aigis is supposed to be dedicated to the P3 protagonist, jokes have appeared about Aigis having a hard time deciding between both P3 protagonists in this game.
    • Where is Yosuke's trailer? Explanation 
    • Theodore's Popcorn Costume Explanation 
    • This image from the artbook featuring Yu standing over an apparently dead Joker went memetic within the fandom due to its morbid nature, and has inspired parody edits.
    • Kamoshidaman's presence during Lotus Juice's segment of the opening video has spawned no shortage of comments about Kamoshida becoming a rapper.
      "The raper is a rapper."
  • Narm:
    • Perhaps the worst offender is the final labyrinth where Enlil is about to be confronted; Remember that was a threat that can directly threaten even Yaldabaoth and keeps thousands in catatonic depression. Yet, the team just goes on as usual having fun and doing special screenings unlike in the previous game, in which after Rei gets abducted, the atmosphere immediately becomes much darker and stays that way for the rest of the game.
    • The fourth labyrinth, despite being a perfect hybrid of Adult Fear and Nightmare Fuel, comes off as less serious than Q's reveal when the depressing and dark contents turned out to be reasons why Hikari was so distorted and depressed while the actual person is close to actually recovering from her crippling condition during that point and its purpose is to understand why she ended up there in the first place.
  • Obvious Judas: Just like in Persona 5, the game's big betrayal can be seen coming from a mile away. By the end of the fourth dungeon, almost everyone's roles in the story are pretty clear; Hikari needs to be worked through her Trauma Conga Line of a childhood, the heroes are there to facilitate her character development, and Doe is pretty clearly working towards helping her out as well. This just leaves Nagi, who has contributed absolutely nothing to the plot other than sitting on her hide and doing nothing. Sure enough, she's the Big Bad.
  • Older Than They Think: This is not the first time a cinema is used as part of the setting of a Persona game. The PSP release of Persona 2 had the Climax Theater, which is even referenced through Elizabeth's film reel dress. Fitting, considering the Persona-esque plot of the first game.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: The game doesn't feature most of the Eldritch Location and outright horror as in its prequel; almost every bit of its scenery and enemies are Lighter and Softer in style compared to most Persona games. What seems to be the most terrifying is that all of the movies are nothing short of a reflection into a girl's suicidal depression and nothing else, and they all pretty much stem from the most mundane issues possible.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Teddie, who was one of the worst party members in the last game, got a huge buff here. He now has solid stats all-around and went from being the slowest character in the game to one of the fastest. In a story sense, Teddie is surprisingly more tolerable here than in the first game: his flirting has been toned-down and the game emphasises more of his positive traits like his loyalty to Yosuke. For those who still dislike him, there's a few Take That, Scrappy! moments.
    • Yosuke was a Base-Breaking Character in Persona 4 and other spinoffs, especially outside Japan. Unlike most spinoffs, Q2 makes an effort to have him meaningfully contribute to the plot rather than treating him as comic relief all the time, and he's somewhat of an Arc Hero for the second dungeon, getting a few scenes there that focus on his All of the Other Reindeer aspects that received little attention outside of the start of P4 and his Social Link and showcasing his character development.
    • On the high Tier-Induced Scrappy end, Naoto is no longer a blatant Game-Breaker, but is still decent.
    • On a more general level, magic is actually good in this game as your characters have more SP than in the previous Qnote , magic skills are significantly cheapernote  and the majority of bosses have weaknesses to exploit. This makes all magic-based party members a lot better.
    • While still polarizing amongst the Western fanbase, a lot of fans warmed up to Akechi due to his interactions with characters like Naoto, Ken, Koromaru and Teddie, and attempts to be helpful even while still being mistrusted by the other Phantom Thieves. They also sympathize with his genuine, but ultimately futile, attempts at redemption. Helping things is that he also is around for the entirety of the game, allowing him more chances to endear himself to players.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The game has a lot of Anti-Frustration Features that makes it easier than Persona Q. This time, you recover all HP and SP if you return to the central hub. You are free to visit any floor of any movie, whereas in the first game, you could only choose the first or current floor (or, if you completed it, the final floor).
    • Similarly, while the first game did avert the usual SMT/Persona rule of an instant Game Over upon the leader's death, restricting it only to Risky Mode, you could not drop whichever protagonist you were playing as. In this game, not only is the aversion/Risky Mode clause still in effect, it only applies to Joker, and you can freely drop him from your party at your leisure.
    • In the first Q, you could only perform an All-Out Attack if at least 3 party members were in Boost by the final turn, regardless of whether or not you knocked every enemy down. Here, an All-Out Attack triggers as soon as all enemies are down, just like the mainline Persona games. This makes battles much quicker if you know how to exploit the enemies' weaknesses, and also makes difficult battles far less tedious.
    • Requests from Elizabeth are now divided into selectable side missions that take place within already completed labyrinths instead of being a task you complete during the main quest, making them much easier to keep track of. Characters specified for these missions also receive bonus experience, giving you more opportunities to level up party members that you may have neglected and making character management less of a pain.
    • Sacrifice Fusions can now bestow experience to main Personas, relieving some effort of Level Grinding for the game's enormous playable cast.
    • This is inverted with the main boss fights, however, which are much harder than those of the first game.
    • Rare Shadows are much easier to hit and are far less likely to run away from you unless you take too long.
    • Exiting the labyrinth during a special screening does not reset the mission, meaning that you can pick up where you left off if you want to save, change party members, or get some supplies if you get stuck.
  • Shocking Moments: The surprise appearance by P3P's female protagonist in The Stinger of the first full trailer blew the entire Persona fandom away!
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • As seen above, the message against conformity is quite relevant and necessary, especially in Japan.
    • When the party discusses the herbivores, they point out that the system of making decisions by majority vote isn't the problem- it's that all of the herbivores are letting fear and peer pressure control them, and none of them are thinking for themselves. Not only is this an accurate summary of what's wrong with the herd, but it's also a rather relevant message about democracy in general.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: The fact that the game doesn't have any English audio naturally ignites these sorts of debates. Fans of the dub who enjoy the performances are quite disappointed that it isn't being offered this time (especially considering Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, a spinoff released over a decade after its base game, received a full English dub), while others argue that it wouldn't be feasible to bring back every voice actor from all three previous games (especially for a spinoff title that, outside of Japan, is releasing so close to the end-of-life for the 3DS), or prefer hearing the voices in Japanese.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • At one point in the Junessic Land dungeon the group are forced into a situation where they have to use live bait as a distraction to sneak past a carnivore dinosaur. BOTH of the dialogue options for Joker imply his first idea is to use Teddie.
    • Continuing from Persona 5, the player has some options to be rude to Goro Akechi. The most notable one being in the beginning of the game where after he suggests marking the stairs on the map, you can either ignore him or tell him to stop making suggestions.
    • A subtle one, for those who despise the harem route from Joker's home game: Upon beating the Fourth Labyrinth boss, Hikari will thank you for everything you've done, and one of Joker's dialogue options is him saying he happily helped her because she's a cute girl; naturally, Hikari becomes flustered at this. All of the female Phantom Thieves very slyly call him out for being a potential sleazebag, and even the P4 and P3 heroes indirectly hint that he'll be in for a world of pain if he goes that route. Not helping is that Joker gets nervous at the accusations and doesn't apologize, giving the impression that he's not above philandering.
  • That One Attack:
    • Holy Wrath, an attack that golden Shadows often use if you don't kill them or knock them down quickly enough. It does a lot of damage to your entire party and causes Bind, which can make it difficult to defeat the other Shadows.
    • The Mother Computer has Denial, which prevents all party members from using certain skills. If that skill is a healing skill or one you need to hit the boss's weakness to progress with the "hacking," then you're in trouble.
    • Doe can have the aptly named Infinite Despair, binding your whole party's strength, magic, and agility, which can very easily be game-ending if you didn't have any management in reviving your characters or choosing the targets for Hikari's Cheer.
    • And of course, Final Boss Enlil has two particularly irritating tricks. The first is Retake, which undoes everything you manage to do to them in that turn; particularly frustrating if you used up charged attacks, got lucky with crits or applied a ton of debuffs. Their other notable trick is Time Accel, which just skips your turn. Planning to use a powered-up move like Aeon Rain during a Boost for massive damage? Too bad, your boosts are gone, and your buff/debuff counters advance anyway. By the way, it's guaranteed that after they do this, they'll use their strongest physical attack: Origin Strike, which inflicts colossal Physical damage and splashes.
  • That One Boss: See this page for further details.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Ticket Request #32, "Let Your Fists Do the Talking", is ridiculously hard if you attempt it as soon as it's available, as it flat-out requires you to defeat an F.O.E. that you technically aren't even supposed to be at a high enough level to fight at that point in the game.note  Unless you're either overleveled or if you wait until later on, jumping into this quest without proper strategy means you're more-or-less screwed.
    • Ticket Request #36, "A Frolic in the Flowers," can be incredibly frustrating, since Marie only gives you vague clues about where to look for the second flower.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Aside from their first and final interactions, both P3 protagonists rarely talk with each other, removing any chances for them to discuss the differences of their respective worlds. It doesn't help that S.E.E.S. (like the Investigation Team) was effectively put on the shelf after the third labyrinth and the P3P Heroine's Unison involves all members of S.E.E.S. except her male counterpart.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: High-tier example. Unlike most of the original game's Game Breakers, Aigis didn't get nerfed at all, in fact she arguably got even better.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • After being constantly shafted from other Persona spin-offs and the anime movies, fans were beginning to lose hope that Persona 3 Portable's female protagonist would ever see the light of day again... And sure enough, come this game, she appears as one of the returning characters.
    • To a lesser extent, many were surprised to see Kamoshida in the first PV, due to the previous game in the series notably lacking any characters that weren't Persona users, Velvet Room attendants or Original Generation.
  • The Woobie:
    • Much unlike Rei from Persona Q, even from the moment you meet her, it's quite clear Hikari has not had the best life. And the fourth film shows exactly how she hasn't. If she tries to help somebody to get out of an unjust situation, they turn on her back and assist the very people who made the unjust decisions, and when she tried to pursue her own dream she gets a backlash in the face. All of these events accumulate into extreme depression and transformed her into a borderline suicidal shut in, which is further amplified by her Living Emotional Crutch father who was the only person that she had a good relationship with asking her the trigger word in the exact phrasing, ignorant on how she would feel, causing her to suffer from hallucinations of people telling her that she is abnormal and believing that her father thought of her that way. Nagi ignorantly eating her memories and the last part of her positivity out by showing her movies made of pure negativity was the last straw. While the game only states that she wanted to discard her self, her issues are so horrendously crippling that you can easily imagine her getting Driven to Suicide.
    • Akechi also feels secretly lonely since he's the only one of the Phantom Thieves who isn't friends with them (other than Joker trying to get to know him). This is best highlighted during Akechi's segments with Shinjiro, Koromaru, Ken, and Teddie. Also, according to the PQ2 artbook, he ends up valuing the friendships he made in the movie world so much that he doesn't want to leave.
    • The P3 Heroine as well, due to feeling isolated from the S.E.E.S. group. Having been separated from her version of S.E.E.S., she distances herself from the P3 Hero's group, even though it's clear she wants to be friends with them too.


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