During last month’s E3 reveal, we were given a date for Take Tokyo Museum, a livestream event that hyped up the release of Persona 5. Participants in Japan were invited to attend the Tokyo Museum in order to participate in gameplay demo events, as well as take the part as the investigator of the thieves for Detective Goro. This guide is a complete news roundup of all of the information we received, as well as analysis on each. We were treated with so many announcements and trailers, making the February release of Persona 5 even more exciting. Let’s get started.
Day 1 : Mini-Trailer Playlist and Analysis
On Day 1 of the Tokyo Tower livestream, Persona fans were really surprised with a series of mini-trailers that appeared after an episode of the Persona Stalker Club and countdown. These short vids depicted gameplay, both dealing with school life and combat. Check out this playlist compiled by Dual Shockers:
- The first gameplay trailer depicted Chair-kun on the way to school during his morning train commute. Ann (e) Takamaki approached him, showing that there may be a chance to interact with friends and classmates before school. This could be like the walk to school in P3 and P4 that pertains to the story or calendar day. However, it also could be a slight chance to interact and increase social links. This is not confirmed, just speculation.
- The second reveal shows Chair-kun reading a book on the bus, revealing that players have opportunities to increase stats in the mornings.
- Viewers were shown a mini-map in which they can navigate to get to certain parts of town. A fishing minigame was shown, which seems to be a vast improvement over the Persona 4 fishing game. There is much more player interactivity in the stat-increasing games than ever before.
- Chair-kun also was shown working out and training in a gym. Unlike the other mini-games, this seems to increase HP/Strength rather than the major stats. This will be particularly useful combat wise.
- After the minigames were shown, there were a few trailers depicting social situations. More than likely, these will be related to the hang outs/dating in the game and will increase cooperation levels of the tarot cards certain people represent. Ryuji was up first, and he appeared to be hanging out with the protagonist in his room. Some translators believe that they were watching a sports/soccer game together.
- A few videos later, the protagonist was shown going to the movies with Futaba Sakura. By watching a movie, one of his major stats increased and presumably his relationship with Futaba. Many speculate that this could have been a date.
- Some other situations depicted Chair-kun in a maid cafe, conversing with a maid, as well as playing a classic video game in his room. He also was shown completing a crossword puzzle, preparing food, and taking a trip to the hot springs. These were only some of the activities in which the player can choose to spend their time. By the looks of it, there will be so many choices available to the player to increase stats, which is a major step from the already amazing mini-games from past titles.
The rest of the videos depicted combat, and they were mostly meant to show off the amazing character endgame animations/special attacks that occur after a successful all-out attack that defeats the enemy. In the batch, we got new the animations for most of the characters, and we finally got to see Ann(e) and Morgana’s cards. Although it was only a few mere seconds, we did get a small bit of insight regarding the character’s personalities. Some of the critical hit cut-in’s were cool to see. Yusuke and Makoto have the scariest and most emotional critical attack images, which can possibly be attributed to their situations and character roles. Both of them are honor students with a chance to “act out” or escape. When given the freedom, they are affected by it. This is just a theory, but could explain their actions.
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Day 2 Event and Announcement Analysis:
After several events that ended in 1-minute announcements and the lack of sleep of some viewers, we were finally shown the Tokyo Museum. People attending the event were invited to play a demo of the game. There were many “treasures” (game merchandise) displayed like a real museum exhibit. Goro, the detective in the game who hunts down the thieves, “hosted” the event. Many guests like Persona musical artists Yumi, Lotus Juice, and Persona 5 singer Lyn also attended and were interviewed by the hosts. However, the most intriguing part of the events were the mystery announcements that went on during the livestream. We’ll go through them one by one and provide our analysis and thoughts on each.
Game Intro Breakdown
Although we were shown snippets of people playing it before the announcements began, the entire introduction to the game was revealed in an 18-minute video. This, by far, was the best announcement and experience for all Persona fans. Since we could not play the demo ourselves, we were allowed to see it on the broadcast and it was breathtaking:
- The beginning of the game starts at the Casino, which is presumably a dungeon available later on. We see a gorgeous anime cutscene of the Phantom Thief breaking into the casino in plain sight, people spotting him as he takes a case.
- After some dialogue, players are prompted to jump up and down from railings, which appears to be a tutorial on how to navigate through the dungeons.
- Darkened silhouettes of characters such as Morgana and Haru Okumura can be seen talking to the protagonist in the upper right screen. This confirms that this is a scene that is definitely later in the game.
- Players must defeat an enemy with basic attacks. This seems to go by too quickly to be a proper tutorial, so it’s probably just for effect.
- After being chased down by guards, the phantom thief runs towards a window and SPEAKS. In a series with a history of silent protagonists, it’s so awesome to hear that he will be voiced, giving him more of a set personality that will still allow the player to make choices.
- An incredibly intense scene of him being chased by guards is shown, as well as detectives ripping his mask off. It was incredibly emotional to hear his team’s voices call out in terror as he didn’t make it back. This sets the scene for an extremely serious interrogation.
- The protagonist is shown in a chair, beaten and nearly tortured after being caught. A detective uses physical force, alluding to the “rotten/corrupted adults” theme in the story. This is definitely police brutality.
- Players are given a clipboard that is presumed to be a confession statement. This is where you must write your player name. Compared to other JRPGs, this is a super interesting way to name your character.
- Makoto Niijima’s relative, Sae, a detective, comes into the scene and interrogates the Phantom. She seems to have a more respectable way of talking with him and seems eager to find out the mysteries found in the game.
- While sitting there, a butterfly comes by, and many players think it is Philemon from the first Persona games. The Velvet Room theme plays and the Velvet Twins communicate with him.
- The protagonist wakes up on the train, which can lead to several theories:
- First, what we saw could have been the bad ending to the game in which the player must prevent from being caught.
- Second, this could be an event that will happen towards the end of the game.
- Third, the protagonist is given a chance to prevent it from happening (kind of like restarting another timeline in time travel stories).
- A scene of the protagonist preventing a sexual assault is shown. He barely touched the attacker, but was blamed for his “crimes” and potentially was betrayed/framed.
- A phone app from the “other world” appears, as well as a potential “shadow self” with yellow eyes and a wicked smile. Time nearly stops as everyone in Shibuya stands still. This can allude to the future of the protagonist awakening his Persona and potentially facing another part of himself.
After the demo was shown, there was a brief staff interview with the masterminds behind the game. Interviews were held with director Katsura Hashino, composer Shinji Meguro , and character designer Shigenori Soejima. Hopefully, it will be translated for those who do not speak Japanese, but it is still awesome to watch the various character designs/screenshots. There was some new footage that was snuck in there as well.
It was not a major announcement, but there is going to definitely be more advertising in Japan starting next week. A commercial spot was revealed, which will run until the release date. The spot showed a few more screenshots we haven’t seen, such as the team in their festival wear and a few seconds of unseen footage. It’s attention grabbing, and I can only hope that some type of commercial makes it to the US.
Persona 5 Full Opening
Finally, we were shown the fully voiced opening of Persona 5, complete with musical artist Lyn’s amazing vocals. Although the opening was part of the PV we saw back in February 2015, we were given the full song and animation. One very interesting thing about it is that characters Futaba Sakura, Makoto Niijima, and Haru Okumura were added into the opening, but for a brief second. The final “skating scene” does not show them. Were they not supposed to be in the pre-delayed game? Persona 5 was pushed back due to the developers wishing to make a longer experience for players, and up until that point, we only saw Morgana, Chair-kun, Ann (e), Ryuji, and Yusuke. This has some speculating that the three female characters were added in as a result of more development tine. Although the wait was frustrating, we were glad that time was taken.
Persona 5: The Daybreaker’s Anime Trailer
Although the Persona 5 anime OVA was announced last September, we did not receive any information or visuals it until now. The art style is slightly different from the games, and it appears to take place when Yusuke joins the team. It will not be an introduction to the game, which is a very interesting approach to the OVA. More than likely, it will involve showcasing the characters of the game in both their school and phantom lives. Someone pointed out to me that there seems to be a focus on Yusuke, so potentially this could be part of his dungeon or when he joins.
The anime OVA is such a great decision on the developer’s part because it gives both fans and potential fans something that will increase the hype surrounding the game. Hopefully, it will be officially translated because it needs more worldwide coverage.
Persona 5 Manga
Starting on the release date, September 2015, there will be a Persona 5 comic debut. This announcement was sort of a surprise but not completely unexpected as there are several volumes of Persona manga in Japan. Even in America, we have received numerous volumes of manga in the past few years, so there is a good chance we will get it. However, it may be a while before we see a translation. It’s interesting for them to release a manga on the release date. Perhaps the creators want to reach out to even more people.
The Palace and Exclusive Cutscene
From the PVs, many fans have speculated that Morgana the cat was a shapeshifter. During PV03, Ann (e) Takamaki throws Morgana into the desert, presumably enabling her to “transform”. We finally get confirmation that Morgana has the ability to transform into a getaway van, which will be super helpful in heist missions.
There was an exclusive anime cutscene shown that probably took place after the beginning scene from PV03, as the team of Ann (e), Makoto, Yusuke, Ryuji, and the protagonist were seen overheating in the van in the desert environment. This scene showed the humor that will be present in the game, as Ann (e) was trying to cool off while Ryuji and the protagonist decided to take a peek at her bra. I absolutely loved how Ann (e) stopped the car and beat all of the guys up, revealing a little more about her character.
It also was revealed via translations that the Palace is a special dungeon separate from the game. It’s going to be a huge area that you can explore by driving Morgana. This immersive experience gives something additional to players that we didn’t even expect, but will totally love.
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Morgana Mobile and Japanese Nationwide Demo Events
Following up on the reveal of Morgana’s shapeshifting abilities was the announcement of the Morgana “mobile” A real life Morgana van was shown on screen, complete with a tail.
Additionally, at select locations, players will be able to try out a demo of the game. Some do not require sign up. However, some require an application for the “special experience”.
Does this mean we will not see a digital demo? Although this concept is cool, it’s so limited to those who can sign up and play it. We really hope to see a digital demo released worldwide, because that would get even more people hyped and interested in the game.
Tokyo Game Show 2016 Appearance and Persona Concert Events
A brief announcement revealed that the thieves will be present at TGS this year and on the launch date. This will be very special as this is the release date of the game. Will they take over TGS?
Hopefully, this will be broadcasted as well, as there is now a countdown on the website. Some speculate that this may be the last event, as it takes place on the release date.
There were also Persona concert dates as well as 20th-anniversary dates revealed. These events are Japan exclusive, but we hope to at least be able to see some of it either through livestream or video posts.
Cooperation Characters and Trailers
As one of the final announcements, seven cooperation characters/NPCs were revealed. Cooperation in this game is similar to social links in Persona 3 and Persona 4, in which you will have the chance to build relationships with characters who each represent an Arcana of the Tarot. These arcana relate to the Personas you utilize in combat, making the social element of the game also beneficial to the combat side of the game. Below are each character, their Arcana, and our initial thoughts/speculation on each:
- Chihaya Mifune: Her Arcana is the Wheel of Fortune and she is also a fortune teller. According to the wiki and past games, characters of this Arcana must face decisions that make or break their fate. Since she is a fortune teller, Chihaya’s fate might have to do with her fortunetelling business or something external she must face. Her design is really appealing.
- Yuki Mishima: His Arcana is of the Moon and he is a student in the same class as the protagonist. Dubbed by fans as “Moon Moon”, many were excited to see that he was revealed as a co-op character. His “link” appears to focus on his coverage of the Phantom Thieves based on a website he made to track them, and could potentially lead to him finding out the protagonist is the thief. Because he is of the Moon Arcana, he may have trouble with his self esteem and possibly created the website to reject his faults.
- Hifumi Togo: She is of the Star Arcana and attends another high school in the area. She is a professional of the game of Go. The Star Arcana deals with happiness, confidence, luck, and joy. Hifumi may be experiencing something in her life that is challenging her sense of hope, which she may be fighting in her co-op.
- Toranosuke Yoshida: He is a speaker who talks on a soapbox at Shibuya station and is of the The Sun Arcana. Those of The Sun Arcana are optimistic in nature, but are threatened by “something terrible”. Since it is said he is passionate about the future of the country, he probably is effected by the actions of the thieves or corrupted adults in the society.
- Ichiko Oya: Of The Devil Arcana, Ichiko is said to be a gossip press writer who is in her twenties. People associated with The Devil usually have questionable characteristics, such as selfishness, greed, and pride. Because she is a gossip writer and flirts with the protagonist during her trailer, she may be dealing with problems related to her profession. It could have possibly changed her.
- Shinya Oda: An elementary school student who loves to play video games at an arcade, Shinya is of The Tower Arcana. Characters with this card are facing something particularly terrible in their lives and have lost part of themselves. Perhaps he is playing video games to cope with his problems.
- Sadayo Kawakami: The teacher of the protagonist and Ann (e) Takamaki, Sadayo is of Temperance Arcana. Characters of the Temperance Arcana usually have problems balancing their two lives, which was shown in the trailer. She was shown as both a teacher and a maid, suggesting that her hobby is working at a maid cafe.
- More of the co-op trailers soon, especially of the main characters.
- An explanation of the dating system or more on school events.
- More combat trailers/footage.
- More trailers translated officially.
- A worldwide gameplay demo for PS3/PS4, available digitally (Hopefully!)
- More livestream events to hype up the release.
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