Persona 5 for Dummies

So, obviously Persona 5 is my favourite game (we’re including Royal for the purposes of simplicity), so it goes without saying that I talk about it a lot. It has recently come to my attention that when I’m talking about Persona 5 and the metaverse and confidants… most people don’t know what I’m on about. I’m mainly doing this for friends/ family members who just want to understand what their gamer peeps are talking about but get overwhelmed when they try to look it up online. Also, with the reveal of P5S being mere days away at this point, I thought it might be useful to post this sooner rather than later. So, without further ado- here we go!

The difference between Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal: So the main difference between the two games is that Royal adds another semester, another palace, and two new characters. There is also another confidant to go through, in addition to the two new characters, which was a confidant that was automatic in the original game. Each person feels differently about the games, some feel like the additional content in Royal could have been added as a DLC (downloadable content, like an add on). However, I feel like Royal added so much that it justifies being its own game.

Who is ‘Joker’: Joker is the protagonist of the game. His actual name is up to the player, which is why he tends to be referred to as Joker or Protagonist. His name in the manga is Akira Kurusu and his name in the anime is Ren Amamiya. He’s the person that the character controls for the whole game and the person who’s story the player gets to see/ understand most of.

What is a ‘palace’: A palace when talking about Persona 5 is completely different to what you’re probably thinking. It is a manifestation of a person’s corrupted desires. What that means in practicality is the person believes that the place is something else, usually because that gives them additional power. In the game, I think the best example of this is the first palace. Kamoshida is a teacher who essentially thinks he is the king of a castle. The castle he believes he is the king of is, in reality, the school that most of the main characters go to. Because he believes this so deeply, the school becomes a castle in the metaverse. 

What is the metaverse: The metaverse is pretty complicated and probably the thing that makes the least amount of sense. It’s almost like an alternative reality in which people’s desires (or what they think of reality) are true. Kamoshida has his castle, Madarame has his museum etc.

What is a Persona: A persona is a manifestation of an aspect of a persona user’s personality. The aspect of the personality changes from game to game but in Persona 5, it is their rebellious spirit.

What is the navigation app: The navigation app is an app in Persona 5 that the Phantom Thieves use to traverse to the Metaverse.

Who is Igor: Ah, yet another one that is treading the line of spoiler territory. Igor has been in (as far as I can tell) every Persona game. He has a very important role as the keeper of the velvet room. The velvet room is a space between dream and reality. Igor is the Fool confidant, and he helps the Protagonist on his journey as he lets the Protagonist fuse Personas. Igor is often cryptic while talking to the Protagonist about his actions, usually foreshadowing future events of the game.  

What is Mementos: The best way I can explain this is the way it is explained in the game: Mementos is everyone’s palace. It is the palace of the general public, who’s distorted desires are not yet strong enough to form their own palace. The Phantom Thieves often go to Mementos to complete requests from the Phansite, submitted by the public.

What is a party: A party is the group in which you fight. You have (what I call) active members, which is Joker and the three other members who fight, and then you have backup party members who don’t fight (but they can fight. You can switch them out).

What is a confidant: a confidant (or a social link, if you’ve played the older games) is a relationship with a specific person that has several benefits. Persona 5 is a game where time is so important, and spending time with confidants is one of the most useful ways to advance time. When spending time with the confidant, you get to see a story that relates to that character, as well as gaining extra experience for Personas from that confidant’s arcana (based off of the tarot cards).

What is a confidant ability: Each confidant will give you new abilities when you spend time with them and the confidant ‘ranks up’. Each confidant ability is pretty unique to the confidant but they’re usually themed. The members of the Phantom Thieves are also confidants, and they have similar abilities that help in battle.

Here is the link to the first confidant analysis post that I did (there are three):

The party members-

Joker: Like I said before, Joker is the protagonist. He can use multiple Personas as he is the ‘wild card’. He’s the leader of the Phantom Thieves.

Morgana: Morgana’s code name is ‘Mona’. Morgana is… a cat. A talking cat. He crushes on Ann (to the point where it’s most of his personality), and he lives with Joker. His Persona is Zorro, and the attribute that Zorro uses is wind. Morgana is also often used as a healer, especially in the early stages of the game.

Ryuji: Ryuji’s code name is ‘Skull’. Ryuji is one of the first characters you meet and he is with you the first time you enter a palace. He is the third Persona user in the game (the first being Joker and the second being Morgana). Around school, it soon becomes evident that Ryuji has a bad reputation due to being violent with a teacher, and having his leg broken in that altercation. Ryuji used to be on the track team before this incident and loves running (he just hasn’t been able to because of the whole broken leg thing). He has a hatred for adults who use their power to abuse kids. Ryuji’s persona is Captain Kidd, who is based off of William Kidd. His persona uses electric and physical moves.

Ann: Ann’s code name is ‘Panther’. Ann is, like Ryuji, one of the first characters you meet in Persona 5. She is rumoured to have ‘something going on’ with one of the teachers, which ruins her reputation. Ann looks different from other girls, and has always stood out from the crowd. Ann and Ryuji knew each other in middle school, where Ann met Shiho, who is her best friend. Ann joins the team after something bad happens to Shiho, committing herself so that no one else has to suffer. Her persona is called Carmen, and Carmen uses fire.

Yusuke: Yusuke’s code name is ‘Fox’. Yusuke is an artist. When you first come across him, he appears to be stalking Ann. However, he was following her as she inspired him and he wanted her to model for his next painting. After a lot of back and forth, it is uncovered that Yusuke’s mentor had abused him and other students. Yusuke awakens to his persona, Goemon, and finally sticks up for himself and – more importantly to him – his artwork. Goemon uses ice and physical moves.

Makoto: Makoto’s code name is ‘Queen’. Makoto is the student council president at the protagonist’s school, and she was tasked by the principal to investigate the Phantom Thieves after their first incident. She gets involved with the Phantom Thieves when members of the school start getting involved with (what seems to be) the Mafia. Her persona is called Johanna, and it is a motorcycle. Johanna uses nuclear moves, and Makoto can also be used as a healer.

Futaba: Futaba’s code name is ‘Oracle’. Futaba’s a different case, as the fourth palace is her own. After the death of her mother, she was taken in by several different relatives who abused her. She ended up in the care of Sojiro Sakura, her mother’s old friend. However, she quickly became a shut in. Futaba suffered a lot of trauma after the death of her mother, and couldn’t cope with the outside world. She awoke to her persona, Necronomicon, in her own palace. Futaba is also different from the rest of her party as she cannot fight in battle. She supports the party by providing extra health and stamina in times of need. She can also swap players out.

Haru: Haru’s code name is ‘Noir’. She is the daughter of a very successful businessman whose greed has clouded his moral compass. She is introduced through Morgana, and becomes part of the Phantom Thieves in an attempt to change her father. Her persona is called Milady, and Milady uses both gun and psychokinesis moves.

Akechi: Akechi’s code name is ‘Crow’. He’s a hard one to describe as he is involved in the biggest plot twist of the game. If your Persona 5 nerd wants to show you the big reveal scene (because it is pretty awesome how it all works out), then I don’t want to spoil it for you. So I can’t tell you his persona or anything like that, but I can tell you that he is a student at a different school, and that he is a detective!

For Royal only-

Akechi: Similar thing as above, even more so in Royal as Akechi is very much heavily linked… his first name is Goro if you wanted that added information. Oh, and in Royal, his confidant doesn’t automatically go up like in the original game. It’s fun to hang out with him. 10/10 recommend.

Yoshizawa: Yoshizawa’s code name is ‘Violet’ but, please, if your person hasn’t played all of Royal yet, don’t tell them. It’s not a huge spoiler or anything, but it’s nice to find these things out yourself. I actually spoiled her code name for myself and was devastated. Anyway, like Akechi, she is heavily linked in with the plot so I don’t want to reveal too much. She’s one of the biggest changes in the game, and she’s probably the one that fans like the best. But, I would heavily suggest asking the fan that you’re talking to about how far they are, and keeping an eye on how they refer to her (she’s the newest character so you should be able to pick it up).

I hope this is some use to someone. As Persona 5 is one of my special interests (that’s a new term I’ve learnt after recently being diagnosed with autism), I tend to talk about it a lot and I can see people not understanding, and I figured that some people would probably like to understand but don’t have time to play 100 hours of a video game.

Let me know if this is useful for you, or if any gamers think that I’ve missed something vital! Don’t forget to hit follow to get notified whenever I post, and hit the like button if you want me to do a little happy dance (:


Published by eleanorreeswriting

Hi, I am an autistic gamer in my 20's who loves to share my experiences and thoughts about games, characters and everything about gaming.

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