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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Persona PSP Logo

Developer(s)

Atlus

Publisher(s)

Atlus (main)
Koei (P3 Europe only)
Square Enix (P4 Europe only)
Ubisoft (P4 Australia only)

First Game

Revelations: Persona (1996)

Genre(s)

Role-playing game
Social simulation

Platform(s)

PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Arcade, Xbox 360

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, known in Japan as PERSONA (ペルソナ Perusona) is a series of role-playing video games developed and published by Atlus. The series is a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series which focuses on demon summoners. However, the Persona series centers around groups of teenagers who have the ability to summon facets of their psyche, known as Personas, into being. The game draws many elements from Jungian psychology and various Jungian archetypes. The first game in the series is called Megami Ibunroku (女神異聞録?) in Japan which translates to "Record of the Goddess' Strange Tales," denoting a side story or alternate universe. The series underwent a drastic change in design during Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 which introduced elements of simulation games into the series which was continued in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Each title in the series utilizes a different method to summon Personas such as Evokers in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3.

GamesEdit

Main GamesEdit

  • Revelations: Persona (1996-1999)- Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin (1999)- PlayStation
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2000)- PlayStation
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (2006)- PlayStation 2
    • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (2007)- PlayStation 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (2008)- PlayStation 2
  • Persona 4 Arena (2012)- PlayStation 3, XBOX 360
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 (TBA)- N/A

Handheld GamesEdit

  • Shin Megami TenseI: Persona (2009)- PlayStation Portable
  • Shin Megami TenseI: Persona 3 Portable (2009)- PlayStation Portable
  • Shin Megami TenseI: Persona 2: Innocent Sin (2011)- PlayStation Portable
    • Shin Megami TenseI: Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2012)- PlayStation Portable
  • Shin Megami TenseI: Persona 4 Golden (2012)- PlayStation Vita

FutureEdit

In March 2010, the director and producer of Persona 3 and Persona 4, Katsura Hashino, told Japanese gaming magazine, Dengeki PlayStation, that he is beginning to develop the next game in the Persona series. He also mentioned that he "wants to add things that are being expected of the series and change things that can be changed within those boundaries." In September 2009, Shoji Meguro, a member of Atlus, was listed in Sony's site as the producer on Persona 5 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. However The Australian Classification Board seems to have confirmed a PSP version when it listed Shin Megami Tensei: Persona and "(PS3)". The date of classification is May 24, 2010, which could mean that Atlus changed it to being a Sony PSP game instead. At E3 2010, a game in the series was announced for the Nintendo 3DS system; all that is known at this point is that it will be part of the Persona series - it is unknown if it will be a port, remake, or a new game altogether. In August 2011, Persona 5 was officially confirmed to be under development, with Soejima, Meguro, and Hashino returning to their roles as art designer, composer, and director. However, Hashino stated to "wait for quite some time for Persona 5 to be released." In August of 2012, it was confirmed that Shigenori Soejima had already submitted sketches for Persona 5 and that the game was in "full-speed ahead" development.

AnimesEdit

  • Persona: Trinity Soul (2008)
  • Persona 4: The Animation (2011)
  • Persona 3 The Movie: Spring of Birth (2013)

Common elementsEdit

PersonaEdit

In each game Personas are summoned differently and have different attributes though they are usually used for combat. In Revelations: Persona each character is allowed to have three Persona, more powerful Persona are acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons in the Velvet Room. These spell cards cannot be obtained by fighting demons, but instead require the player to communicate with them, a feature the game shares with games in the Megami Tensei series. In both Persona 2 games, summoning Persona is similar to that of Revelations: Persona, however characters are limited to equipping persona according to their arcana. Philemon also transforms the main characters Persona into more powerful versions. In Persona 3, Persona are summoned by each member of the "Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad" using an Evoker. Each character's Persona also has its own set of strengths and weaknesses and belong to a major Arcana. The Protagonist of the game is the only one able to carry multiple Personae which gives him access to a wider variety of skills than any other character. From Persona 3 onwards, each party member's Persona will transform to a more powerful form after completing certain events in the game's story relating to that character. The Protagonist is unique in that he can carry multiple Persona and switch between them during battle, giving the player access to a new set of skills similar to that of Persona 3.

NegotiationsEdit

In the spirit of past Megami Tensei games, which allow players to recruit demons to fight for them, Revelations: Persona and Persona 2 allow players to negotiate with enemies to gain money, items, or information. This is known as the "Contact" system. Contacts are performed during battles, and allow the player to skip combat entirely. To contact an enemy demon, the player selects a character to talk with the enemy. Each playable character has four unique methods of communication, such as praising the enemy or singing to them. Every enemy, based on its specific personality, will give a different response to specific forms of contact. A demon will elicit one of four emotions: joy, fear, anger, or sadness. Generating enough interest in a demon will prompt it to give the player a spell card, used to create a Persona in the Velvet Room.

In Persona 2, each playable character has a specific method of communicating with enemy demons. For example, The game's protagonist Tatsuya (in Innocent Sin), who is always silent, sometimes will make sounds like jets, a construction site, etc., Maya, who works for a teen magazine, will attempt to interview an enemy, while the character Ulala (in Eternal Punishment) will offer to read its fortune. In addition to using one character, the player may combine up to three characters to initiate a conversation as well. As with Revelations: Persona, demons have a set of personality traits which determine how they will respond to different methods of communication. The player can elicit four different responses out of a demon: anger, fear, joy, or interest.

Triggering the same emotional three times will cause the demon to do something. An angry demon will assault the player, a scared demon will flee the battle, a joyful demon will give the player money or items, and an interested demon will give the player a number of Tarot cards, which can be used to create new Personas.

Social LinksEdit

Social Links were only introduced in Persona 3 but are an integral part in the gameplay of that game and Persona 4. Social Links are the life as well as dating simulation elements of the game. In Persona 3, the player controls a high school student, who attends classes during the day; after school, the player's character is free to engage in a number of activities, such as seeing a movie or spending time with a classmate. These actions all have effects on the game's combat, which takes place at night. In Persona 4, social links present the same benefit to the player. Social Links are friendships the Protagonist makes as the game progresses, each represented by one of the Major Arcana. When a Social Link is first formed, it starts at Rank 1, increasing over time as the Protagonist spends time with that person, until it reaches Rank 10. Social Links grant the player bonus experience when creating new Personas in the Velvet Room. Because level grinding is a very inefficient way of levelling a Persona, social links become a vital part of the game play. Social Links are also influenced by the protagonist's attributes, which vary depending on the game. In Persona 3, the protagonist's attributes are Charm, Intelligence and Courage. In Persona 4, the protagonist's attributes are Understanding, Diligence, Courage, Knowledge and Expression. They can be improved through various activities such as part-time jobs. These attributes in turn may also affect player's interaction in daily activities outside of Social Links.

Velvet RoomEdit

The Velvet Room is a special room that is present in all Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games, it is usually manned by a person named Igor and its functions remains the same throughout the series: to fuse and strengthen existing Personas though the methods used are usually different each game. In Revelations: Persona a more powerful Persona is acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons. In Persona 2, a more powerful Persona is acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons; however all characters have restrictions on which personas they can equip. In Persona 3, the main character is the only character who has access to the Velvet Room in which the player is able to fuse multiple Personas together to create a new, more powerful one. A new Persona inherits several abilities from the Personas used to create it; in addition, it can gain an experience point bonus, based on the rank of the Social Link that matches the Arcanum of the Persona being fused. The player is limited by the level of his character when fusing a Persona; the level of the Protagonist must be at least equal to the level of the Persona to be fused. There is also a Persona Compendium which contains all previously-owned Personas; this allows the player to retrieve, for a price, an older Persona to be used. In Persona 4, the functions of the Velvet Room are similar to that of Persona 3 with the exception of a number of new features. Each Persona is of one of the Major Arcana. Fusing Personas of an arcanum that matches an established Social Link will grant the Persona a bonus when it is created. The bonus is greater based on the current rank of the Social Link.

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