Artistic drawings of the main characters of the game, as featured on the retail box art
NA: Atlus USA
PAL: Deep Silver
PAL: Sega (Royal)
Director(s) Katsura Hashino
Producer(s) Katsura Hashino
Designer(s) Naoya Maeda
Programmer(s) Yujiro Kosaka
Composer(s) Shoji Meguro
Megami Tensei (main)
Persona 5 Royal
September 15, 2016[show]
Genre(s) Role-playing, social simulation
PLOT / SYNOPSIS
Persona 5[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus. The game is chronologically the sixth installment in the Persona series, which is part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan in September 2016 and worldwide in April 2017. It was published by Atlus in Japan and North America and by Deep Silver in Europe and Australia. An expanded version featuring new content, Persona 5 Royal,[b] was released for PlayStation 4 in Japan in October 2019 and worldwide in March 2020.
Persona 5 takes place in modern-day Tokyo and follows a high school student known by the pseudonym Joker who transfers to a new school after being falsely accused of assault and put on probation. Over the course of a school year, he and other students awaken to a special power, becoming a group of secret vigilantes known as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. They explore the Metaverse, a supernatural realm born from humanity's subconscious desires, to steal malevolent intent from the hearts of adults. As with previous games in the series, the party battles enemies known as Shadows using physical manifestations of their psyche known as their Personas. The game incorporates role-playing and dungeon crawling elements alongside social simulation scenarios.
Persona 5 was developed by P-Studio, an internal development studio within Atlus led by game director and producer Katsura Hashino. Along with Hashino, returning staff from earlier Persona games included character designer Shigenori Soejima and music composer Shoji Meguro. Preparatory work began during the development of Persona 4, with full development beginning after the release of Catherine in 2011. First announced in 2013, Persona 5 was delayed from its original late 2014 release date due to the game not being fully finished. The game's themes revolve around attaining freedom from the limitations of modern society, while its story was strongly inspired by picaresque fiction, the party's Personas being based on outlaws and rebels from literature.
Persona 5 was met with critical acclaim, with praise given to its visual presentation and art direction, gameplay, story, and music. The game is considered to be one of the greatest role-playing games of all time and was nominated for and won multiple awards. The game sold more than three million copies worldwide by December 2019, making it the best-selling entry in the overall Megami Tensei franchise. Several other related media have also been released, including two spin-off games, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight and Persona 5 Scramble, as well as manga and anime adaptations. The game's cast has also made appearances in other games, such as Joker appearing as a playable character in the 2018 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Persona 5 is a role-playing video game where the player takes on the role of a male high school student, codenamed Joker, who lives out a single year while attending school in modern-day Tokyo. The game is governed by a day-night cycle and weather systems that determine general behavior similar to a social simulation game. The year is punctuated by both scripted and random events as Joker attends school. He can perform part-time jobs and pursue leisure activities or create battle items. These various activities raise character attributes, which grant passive buffing effects during battle. When in the real world, the main protagonist can develop character relationships known as Confidants; an evolution of the Social Link system from Persona 3 and Persona 4. With this system, the main protagonist can converse with and improve his relationship with other characters he meets, with some leading to possible romances. Improving Confidant ranks with party members unlocks various abilities for use in combat, such as the "Baton Pass" ability, which allows the player to directly select another character after a critical hit while granting a temporary attack boost. Improving ranks with non-party Confidants grant other bonuses, such as giving access to new items and equipment and boosting experience point and yen gain.
Alongside the normal school life is dungeon crawling gameplay of two different types within a realm called the Metaverse: story-specific dungeons called Palaces and randomly-generated Mementos dungeons. Both are populated by Shadows, physical manifestations of suppressed psyches that are modeled after mythological and religious figures. Within Mementos dungeons, the party can fulfill requests from non-playable characters (NPCs) received from a "Confidant" links. While navigating, the party uses stealth to avoid the sight of enemy Shadows, and some areas hold puzzles that can be solved using an insight ability known as "Third Eye", which highlights interactable objects and enemy strength compared to the party. When exploring story-centered Palaces, an "Alertness Meter" is present, where the party being spotted or fleeing combat results in security being raised. If security reaches 100%, the party is forced to leave the Palace. The Alertness level can be lowered by launching surprise attacks on and eliminating enemies, and also lowers automatically overnight. Throughout Palaces are locations known as "safe rooms". In them, the player can save their game, heal their party, and fast travel to other safe rooms within the Palace.
As with previous entries in the series, the game uses a turn-based combat system: battles can be initiated when the party runs into an enemy, or they can launch a surprise attack and gain an advantage in battle. In battle, the party has access to both melee and gun weapons, in addition to being able to summon Personas, manifestations of the main characters' inner psyche used mainly for special attacks. If a character strikes an enemy's weakness, they knock the enemy down and are awarded an additional turn. If all enemies are knocked down, a "Hold Up" is triggered. During one, the party can launch a devastating "All-Out Attack", demand money or items, or enter a negotiation. Negotiation allows Joker to win the selected Shadow over to their side to become a new Persona: they can only be persuaded to join if Joker is their level or higher. Similar to previous entries, party members can be knocked out, and if the main character is knocked out, the game ends. At times, if a party member is knocked out, they can be captured by enemy Shadows, and is unable to return to the party if the resultant negotiation fails.
New Personas are gained from battle through successful negotiation, and different Persona types are represented through different arcana linked to Confidant links. Personas can be combined, or "fused", or otherwise further manipulated within the Velvet Room, a realm Joker visits as part of his journey through the story. In the Velvet Room, Personas can be fused with "Guillotine" fusion processes, with the resultant Persona inheriting skills and stats from its parents. The more skills a Persona has, the more are passed on to the fused Persona. How powerful Personas are through fusion depends on how advanced its associated Confidant link is. Also, Personas can be sacrificed in various ways, also styled after styles of capital punishment: "Hanging" grants a sacrificed Persona's experience points to another chosen Persona, and "Electric Chair" sacrifice one to create a high-end item. A Persona can also be sent into "Solitary Confinement", where they undergo intensive training and gain additional skills quicker than normal. The number of days a Persona must remain to gain strength lessens based on its arcana strength.
Minor multiplayer elements are incorporated into the game through the "Thieves Guild" feature. Similar to the "Vox Populi" system from Persona 4 Golden, players have the option of seeing what activities other players did during any given day. Players can send messages to each other, in addition to affecting the Alertness meter in the player's favor, and aiding in battle when a party member is taken hostage by an enemy.