Persona was release original on the PlayStation in Japan and North America back in 1996. Since then the Persona series has become a favorite among most RPG players.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona was release for the PlayStation Portable in 2009 for Japan and North America. The game is pretty much the same has it’s America PlayStation counterpart, but with added stuff like an extra chapter called Ice Queen.
The game opens up to a quote from a book called The Butterfly as Companion by Kuang-Ming Wu. “Once, I dreamt I was a butterfly. I forgot myself and knew only my happiness as a butterfly. Soon, I awoke, and I was myself again. Did I dream that I was a butterfly? Or do I now dream that I am a man? Yet there is a distinction between myself and the butterfly. this is the transformation of the physical - Zhuangzi”.
I really like that quote too. I have heard or read it in a few other things. Like anime, video games, and live action shows. I actually never knew it was a quote from a book. It’s really no surprise to me either. There are a lot of favorite quotes that come from books, movies, Television shows, plays, and games.
Now of course no game is complete without a cast of heroes.
The main characters in this game are:
Hidehiko Uesugi – nickname: Brown.
Masao Inaba – nickname: Mark.
Maki Sonomura – nickname: Maki.
Yuka Ayase – nickname: Ayase.
Eriko Kirishima – nickname: Elly.
Kei Nanjo – nickname: Nanjo.
Yukino Mayuzumi – nickname: Yukino.
Reiji Kido – nickname: Reiji.
Now unlike other RPG games Persona only let’s you have up to 5 members in your party and no more. Maki, Mark, Nanjo, and The Protagonist are the main 4. Then you have to choice between Brown, Ayase, Elly, Yukino, or Reiji. The story of the game will change a bit base on who you pick and of course I didn’t know you had a choice. So, I end up with Brown for my 5th member. You meet Reiji later in the game and I was like how do I get this guy on my team and that’s when I find out you can only have 5 members and once you get your 5th member you can’t change your team. I was really disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t have more then 5 members. I’m use to RPGs that let you have more members and you can switch them around, but Persona does not let you do this and it was one of the things that bug me about the game. I would have been checking out guides a lot more if I knew I couldn’t have more then 5 members.
Then you have your subcharacters:
Philemon (He gives you a Persona).
Natsumi Yoshino (School nurse).
Saeko Takami (teacher at St. Hermelin High).
Doctor (Mikage Hospital).
Trish (Healing Spring).
Igor (He let’s you make new Personas with spell cards).
Item shop owner
Weapon shop owner.
The one thing I like, but dislike about this game is the healing stations. Long has you are in the school you can be healed by the nurse at no cost, but use a healing station outside of the school will cost you about 3,100 Yen. Even the hospital makes you pay to get healed up, which is really stupid if you ask me, but in trust. Hospitals do make you pay if you don’t have health insurance and that really does suck.
Now onto the Personas. Each character gets a unique persona. There are 5 different types of personas:
And then there is subtypes:
Fire, Ice, Wind, and Earth for Element.
Electric, Nuclear, Gravity, and Blast for Force.
Expel, Miracle, Prayer, and Bless for Light.
Death, Cruse, Nerve, and Occult for Dark.
You can also make new Personas by fusing spell cards together at Igor’s place. To get spell cards you have to make contact with demons. This can be done by hitting the contact in a battle or when a demon asks to speak with you. You can only get spell cards if you get a demon's eager maxed out. There is 4 emotions all together.
Happy maxed out: You get status ailments and gives gift.
Angry maxed out: The demon’s power increases and you will get bind status ailment.
Scared maxed out: Demon will get a bind status ailment, gives gift and/or escapes.
Eager: You obtain a spell card like I said before.
You can also mix emotions too. Like Eager and Happy will give you a spell card and an item. Once you max out Happy, Scared, or Eager. The battle will end. You will not have to fight the demon, but you will if you max out Angry.
Each character has their own set of contact techniques:
The Protagonist: Persuade, Taunt, Invite, and Sing.
Maki: Plead, Flatter, Lie, and Cringe.
Nanjo: Bribe, Pontificate, Condescend, and Sarcasm.
Mark: Dance, Taunt, Stare, and Brag.
Brown: Pick up, Joke, Chat, and Startle.
Elly: Horrify, Sing, Soothe, and Invite.
Ayase: Abuse, Seduce, Cry, and Threaten.
Yukino: Bully, Persuade, Scold, and Ignore.
Reiji: Prestidigitate, Ignore, Threaten, and Scream.
I didn’t know at the time of playing the game that each character had their own contact techniques. I kept using only The Protagonist’s contact technique. After watching a walkthrough video that helped me out in one area. I find out each character had their own unique set of contact techniques and it made it so much easier to get spell cards to make newer Personas and actually made it much easier for me to finish the game too.
Now there of course are weapons, armor, and items in this game too, because you can’t just fight demons with Personas. Each character gets a melee weapon and a gun.
You can buy them at the weapon shop, get them from demons, or item chests.
Now you can also get armor from the weapon shop too. You have armor for both male and female characters. Each character can have 5 pieces of armor, which is:
You can also get them from demons or item chest too.
I actually had trouble with getting armor pieces. I got a lot of weapons for each of my party members, but armor seem to be very limited or I wasn’t doing something right. I had the same armor for each character until I got close to the end of the game and I finally got more stronger armor. Like I said. I probably was doing something wrong.
Then we have the item shop. This is where you get stuff for healing or dungeon escaping.
Here is a small list of items:
Medicine (restores a little HP for 1 person).
Life stone (restores a little HP for 1 person).
Rattle drink (restores a moderate of HP for 1 person).
Bead (restores full HP for 1 person).
Muscle drink (restores HP and increases it, but can make you sick).
Chewing soul (restores a little SP for 1 person).
Hiranya (restores a little HP and SP for 1 person).
Dis-poison (cures poison for 1 person).
Dis-sick (cures sick for 1 person).
Dis-stone (cures stone for 1 person).
Dis-para (cures paralyze for 1 person).
Demons attacks can sometimes paralyze, stone, sick, poison, blind, mute, guilt, charm, confused, scared or freeze. The ones you really don’t want to get hit by is paralyze, stone, sick, poison, scared and freeze. Frozen lucky wares off after a few round if a demon hasn’t already killed that character. Scared will make that character leave the battle they will still fight for awhile, but after a few rounds they will run away. Guilt makes it so you can’t use your weapons for a few turns. The ones I really hated was charm and stone. Charm would make the characters attack each other and if all 5 got hit. It was pretty much a game over. You can not run away from a fight if all party members are hit by statue effect like charm. You just get to sit and watch them kill each other. Also if you become freeze or paralyze and have only one character left. It’s an automatic game over, which really sucks.
Now of course I haven’t gotten to the bosses of this game. I wanted to save this for last. The bosses are unique and I like most of them. One of my favorites Tesso, which is a robotic rat with a machine gun on it’s back. He is the second boss in the game, not very hard to beat either.
Here is the list of bosses:
Yog sothoth Jr.
Mr. Bear. (bad ending only).
Hariti (bad ending only).
I didn’t have too much trouble with the bosses. I did a lot of level grinding to make sure I was strong enough to fight in each area. Every time I got a game over. It told me I wasn’t strong enough to face that area yet and I would just do some more level grinding until I could handle the demons in that area and once I got to the boss area. I would do a little bit more of level grinding to make sure I wouldn’t lose that battle. I think the Harem Queen was the hardest, since you can only use 2 characters to fight her. It was an annoying fight believe me. I gotten use to having 5 members to fight the bosses and switching to just 2 made things hard for me.
Some of the bosses can only be fought if you get the bad ending. Through out the game you have to pick choices and that reflects on the outcome of the game. I was lucky enough to get the good ending, which shows a really cool ending.
This game was so much fun to play and the story was fantastic. Each character had their own uniquest and for a game from 2009. The cutscenes looked amazing. I mean every time a 3D cutscene happen. It just blow my mind. There was of course more 2D cutscenes with text, but I really enjoyed the 3D cutscenes. I was surprise it didn’t look badly rendered like most games do. Of course this is Sony I’m talking about. Nintendo on the only hand….
I’m looking forward to playing Persona 2 next and if that game is just has good. You will be seeing a review on it. I guarantee.