"You are held captive. A prisoner of fate to a future that has been seeled in advance. This is truly an unjust game... Your chances of winning are almost none. But if my voice is reaching you, there may yet be a possibility open to you..."
Welcome to the GWJ RPG Club's pick for the first quarter of 2019: Persona 5!
Here's what we have in store:
That number can be daunting, and I know people are working on other long games too. To pace ourselves, and to try to keep everyone involved in the conversation, here's a proposed schedule:
January: Palaces 1 and 2
February: Palaces 3 and 4
March: Palaces 5 and 6
April: Palace 7; Endgame.
We'll check back in a month to see if this schedule is working.
Please post in this thread if you plan to join us! I'll update this list as we go.
A Note about Spoilers:
This game is rich with plot. Use your own best judgment with spoiler tags, but here are a few suggestions:
- Refer to palaces beyond the current month's schedule by their number or setting (Castle, etc.) rather than by the Phantom Thieves' target.
- If the identity of a confidant could be a spoiler, refer to them by Arcana (Chariot, Lovers, etc.) rather than name.
- Most of the game is told in retrospective. To be safe, everything that occurs after the game catches up with the flashbacks should be treated as a spoiler.
Before You Play Persona 5:
And finally, here are some spoiler-free tips for new players. I've hidden them so you aren't assaulted by a wall of text.
Stealing Hearts (Palaces / Combat / Difficulty Levels)
- Keep Joker safe. If he dies, it’s game over.
- You should budget at least 4 days for events surrounding a palace (the game’s main dungeons). You need (1) at least a day to infiltrate; (2) a day, for story reasons, to make the boss available; and (3) a day to fight the palace's boss. I suggest budgeting more than one day to infiltrate because the palaces are long, and at least one has an element requiring you to leave (burning a day) and do something in the real world before returning.
- Your very first deadline can be misleading. You aren't explicitly told, until you finish infiltrating the palace, that you need to come back another day to fight the boss (to be fair, the game encourages you, over and over, not to wait). This has led some players to misjudge their window. You get a non-standard game over and can rewind by a week, but that can cost you hours of play.
- Magic (SP) is your primary resource in dungeons. Outside of battle, you should heal with items, not magic. SP restoratives are important but generally harder to come by and/or more expensive than HP restoratives.
- You can vastly improve your odds at negotiation by tailoring your answers to a shadow’s personality, which is visible if you inspect it. This hint is buried in a help menu, but never provided to you directly.
- Don’t be afraid to use your consumable items.
- When you craft infiltration tools, the tools you can craft actually are spread between three pages. I stumbled upon this mid-way through the game, by accident.
- Difficulty: here’s what the levels mean.
Safety - Damage received: x0.5 - Damage dealt: x2.0 - Experience: x3.0 - Money: x5.0
Easy - Damage received: x0.5 - Damage dealt: x1.0 - Experience: x1.0 - Money: x1.0
Normal - Damage received: x1.0 - Damage dealt: x1.0 - Experience: x1.0 - Money: x1.0
Hard - Damage received: x1.6 - Damage dealt: x0.8 - Experience: x1.0 - Money: x1.0
Challenge - Damage received: x1.6 - Damage dealt: x0.8 - Experience: x0.4 - Money: x0.4 - Critical and technical hit damage on both enemies and allies is tripled
Taking Your Time (General, Non-Combat Tips)
- Social stats allow you to begin or advance relationships, take on part-time jobs, and make certain dialogue choices. They have no effect on combat.
- There are two convenient ways to boost stats without using time: (1) feeding the plant in your room, and (2) buying juice from a stand in the Shibuya Underground.
- Keep a book with you. If you get a seat on the subway, you’ll have free time to read.
- Accept invitations from your confidants. Sometimes, they will text you with an offer to go to a movie, hang out and play video games, study together, go shopping, etc. Not only are these vignettes fun, but these hangouts often let you get the benefit of two activities at once.
- You can use the map of Tokyo to find your confidants. Simply select a particular location to see who’s there. You can also see a little “UP!” over a confidant’s name if you are ready to deepen your relationship with them.
- When spending time with a confidant, you’ll get a boost to your relationship if you have a persona of the corresponding arcana. For example, when you hang out with Ryuji, bring a persona of the Chariot arcana. Any will do, and you don’t need to have it equipped.
- Two confidants will require a lot of money to begin or deepen your relationship. Don’t worry: they are totally worth what you spend.
- Consulting the network can help you on pop quizzes (but not exams). Many of the quizzes ask you about things not brought up in game, so you would only know the answers by chance.
- You can’t get a platinum trophy during your first playthrough. Several trophies are impossible to obtain except during a New Game+, others are merely very difficult to get unless you are following a guide.
- If you think you will play the game twice, you might want to go for the trophy for reading all books or for finishing all of the video games. Both of these activities improve your social stats, but those stats carry over to a New Game+.
- Eventually, one confidant can help you craft infiltration tools. I believe that items they craft do not count toward the “make all tools” trophy. Found this one out the hard way.