Persona, also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, is a video game franchise developed and primarily published by Atlus. Focusing around a series of role-playing video games, Persona is a spin-off from Atlus' Megami Tensei franchise, and was originally based on the high school setting of Shin Megami Tensei If.
The first entry in the series, Revelations: Persona, was released in 1996. There have since been five further main games, with the most recent, Persona 5, being released in 2016. Numerous spin-offs have also been developed. The series takes its title from beings summoned by characters in battle, manifesting from their personality.
Persona main series include the following:
- Revelations: Persona. The first entry in the series, was released in Japan and North America for the PlayStation in 1996. Set in the town of Mikage-cho, it follows a group of high school students from St. Hermelin High, who are forced to confront an outbreak of demons in their hometown.
- Persona 2: Innocent Sin. After the success of Persona's PSP port, a port of Innocent Sin was greenlit. For this version, adjustments were made so that it played more like its sequel, along with added features and a new scenario. Set in the coastal city of Sumaru, the story follows Tatsuya Suou, a student of Seven Sisters High, as he confronts phenomena generated by reality-altering rumors.
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. The third entry in the main series, released in Japan and North America for the PlayStation in 2000. Like Innocent Sin, it was remade for PSP, and included a new scenario by the game's original writer. Set shortly after the ending of Innocent Sin, the story follows Maya Amano, a supporting character from the previous game, as she confronts a similar rumor-created threat along with Tatsuya.
- Persona 3. Developed for PlayStation 2, the story takes place in the town of Iwatodai, following a group of students known as "SEES" who fight monsters that appear during a time known as the Dark Hour.
- Persona 4. The success of Persona 3 Portable inspired the creation of a portable version of Persona 4. As using the PSP would result in cutting too much content, it was instead developed for PlayStation Vita, which allowed for new features and content. This version was titled Persona 4 Golden and takes place in the rural town of Inaba, where a group of students investigate a series of killings related to a realm known as the Midnight Channel.
- Persona 5. The sixth entry in the main series, released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in 2016 in Japan, and in 2017 in North America and Europe. Persona 5 is set in Tokyo and follows a group of students as they adopt the guises of thieves to tackle the city's corruption and attain freedom from imposed societal pressures.
- Don’t forget to use the game’s social features. Persona 5 has a few helpful social features that you can opt into every time you start up your game. There are the minor ones, like summoning a beatdown in a dungeon when an enemy is trying to flee, or seeing how other players choose to spend their days in game — great for pinpointing new characters to meet. But the best use of the feature is for pop quizzes, little moments in class when teachers will ask you the answer to questions about art, history, language, and other topics. With social features, you can tap the large pad on the PS4 controller to pull up the percentage of players that chose each answer; usually the majority answer is the correct one.
- Finish dungeons early. The game’s core dungeons need to be finished by a specific date, or you’ll suffer game-ending consequences. Clearing a palace is a multi-step, multi-day process that requires you to locate its treasure, send a calling card to its owner, and then return to enact your plan. Plus, finishing a dungeon with lots of days to spare is a thrill. You can use all that free time to do fun stuff around Tokyo, and build relationships with friends.
- Swap out your tired party members. Every palace has a series of safe rooms where you can save your game, chat with your party, or quick-travel to places you’ve unlocked. Your best line of defense against an unexpected party wipe is to save often. And if your character’s are low on SP (the precious fuel of most Persona abilities) remember to fast-travel to the dungeon’s entrance to swap-in fresh, fully powered teammates.
- Don’t forget to use your sense skill. Lost? Make sure you’re using your sensing skills (holding L1) to highlight specific paths in each palace (marked by exclamation points). It’s also the best way to sniff out items to loot and sell later. The sense skill also works perfectly fine when you’re not in dungeons, highlighting places to visit and people to chat with.
- Spend time in Mementos. Mementos is akin to Persona 3’s Tartarus, a randomized dungeon with unknown depths. You’ll occasionally be asked to come here to complete requests from the Phantom Thieves fan site. Those requests are worth completing, and sometimes they will help you progress specific social links. Make time for them, and be sure to reach the lowest level available between each dungeon. At the very least, Mementos is an easy place to grind for levels and additional Persona masks.
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