Persona 5 Royal: A Look at the Phantom Thieves

March 16, 2020
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Not long to go before the release of Persona 5 Royal! This new release builds on the worldwide success of Persona 5 with the addition of new plots and characters. Fans can expect a whole new depth to the experience with new takes on the storylines of this beloved RPG. New to the world of Persona? We’re spotlighting the cast of characters and the storylines they’ll be finding themselves in.

New characters. New Personas. New Palaces. It’s not going to be your regular school year. Check out more below!

Stealing bad intentions from the hearts of corrupted adults

Play in modern-day Tokyo, where the main character has just moved to attend high school under close watch as he serves probation for a crime he was falsely accused of. During the school year, he and other students awaken to their powers to summon Personas. It’s up to this group of young adults to leverage their Personas to break into the hearts and minds of adults, reversing their negative and corrupt thoughts before they cause harm to others.

So, how does this ragtag group of “problem children” go about removing the evil from the hearts of corrupted adults?

The Phantom Thieves, as they are called, explore what is known as the Metaverse — a supernatural realm born from humanity’s subconscious desires. In the Metaverse lies Palaces — physical manifestations of peoples’ motivations. Some of them are good, and some of them, not so much. The Phantom Thieves must leverage the power of their Personas and break into the Palaces to get ahold of Treasures which symbolize the corrupt thoughts of their targets. Once they take these Treasures, corrupt thoughts disappear from their target’s psyche and they are redeemed for the better. The Phantom Thieves pick out their targets one by one and steal the Treasures from their Palaces to cleanse their consciousness, turning once malevolent people into virtuous citizens.

A teacher who asserts his authority with his fists. An artist who takes credit for other peoples’ work. These are the types of targets that the characters pick out to reform. Starting with people from their schools, the characters move on to other targets and eventually go on to reform the entire city as the story unfolds to new heights. The Phantom Thieves go about their missions by night — by day, they’re but a bunch of unassuming high school kids making their way through their lives with the rest of the lot.

The game opens with scenes that raise all sorts of questions — How did the characters come to start summoning Personas? What happened that led to all of this? What’s going to happen to our character, who starts off by getting caught? It’s an RPG that plays out almost like an interactive movie, creating more mystery and intrigue as players go through. Once you start, Persona 5 Royal is going to be a hard one to put down.

Players are sure to relish the excitement of living a double life. By day, forge relationships with classmates and live what appears to be a typical Japanese high schooler’s life. By night, however, make your way through the Metaverse and break into peoples’ subconscious, redeeming people of their evil thoughts. It’s going through such contrasting experiences that make the Persona series so fun to play.

The Phantom Thieves

Outcasts. Misfits. Problem Children. Teenagers with rebellious spirits. Heroes. Whatever they may be called, these are the guys set to transform Tokyo for the better. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the characters and Personas to look out for:

 
Main Character
Code Name: Joker

Persona 5 Royal’s chief protagonist, Joker is a 2nd-year student transferring to Tokyo in the spring to attend the Shujin Academy. After realizing his powers to summon Personas, he leads the group of Phantom Thieves to rid the city of corruption.

 

 

Initial Persona: Arsene

Characterized by his large silk hat and jet-black hair, Arsene’s Persona takes inspiration from one of French novelist Morris LeBlanc’s characters, who is known for his extraordinary thievery.

 

 
Ryuji Sakamoto
Code Name: Skull

A 2nd-year student at Shujin Academy and one of Joker’s classmates. An odd one out, Ryuji is known as a problematic kid in the school running a foul mouth. However, he is among the kindest and warmest of people to those in his circle of friends.

 

 
Initial Persona: Captain Kidd
New Persona Awakening: William

Nicknamed “Captain Kidd,” William is an aristocrat-turned-pirate who wreaked havoc in medieval Europe. He is rumored to have been funded generously by his peers for his nautical quests.

 
Morgana
Code Name: Mona

Just about everything about him tells you that he’s a cat, but Morgana will never admit to it. In fact, you’ll often hear him throughout the game protesting, “I’m not a cat. I’m Morgana!” He provides transport for the group in the Metaverse with his powers to turn into a bus.

 

 
Initial Persona: Zorro
New Persona Awakening: Diego

A master swordsman in Mexico during the time of Spanish colonial rule, Diego is a Robin Hood-like figure, a masked outlaw who defends commoners against tyrannical officials and other villains.

 
Ann Takamaki
Code Name: Panther

Joker’s classmate at school. Many think she’s beautiful and unique because of her American heritage, but it’s a blessing and a curse because it keeps her from integrating smoothly into the student population.

 

 

Initial Persona: Carmen
New Persona Awakening: Celestine

Celestine was a French mezzo-soprano who was most famous for her role of Carmen in the opera of the same name. She was strong-willed to the point that she would even write and edit her own songs for her shows.

 

Yusuke Kitagawa
Code Name: Fox

A devoted painter, Yusuke is a 2nd-year student at Kosei High on a full art scholarship. A disciple of esteemed Japanese painter Madarame, Yusuke has a unique sensibility at a level far beyond the norm.

 

Initial Persona: Goemon
New Persona Awakening: Gorokichi

One theory suggests that this new Persona takes on the childhood name of the legendary Japanese outlaw, Goemon Ishikawa. The legend goes that he took on the name ‘Gorokichi’ during his time studying the ways of the Iga-ryu ninja before eventually going rogue.

 

Makoto Niijima
Code Name: Queen

Queen is a senior at the Shujin Academy and president of the student council. She boasts a sharp mind with a tight set of values and a strong sense of responsibility. At times, Makoto can also be too straightforward and uncompromising. She is known as the brains behind the Phantom Thieves.

 

Initial Persona: Johanna
New Persona Awakening: Agnes

Agnes was a pope in the middle ages who ascended to the throne on the back of her unrivaled intellect. This, while pretending to be a man the entire time.

 

Futaba Sakura
Code Name: Oracle

One year younger than Joker, Futaba rarely goes to school and mostly stays at home. She’s not a big fan of mingling with people but makes up for it with superhuman programming and mathematical skills. She serves as strong behind-the-scenes support for the Phantom Thieves.

 

Initial Persona: Necronomicon
New Persona Awakening: Al Azif
Al Azif is the original Arabic name for Necronomicon, the most important textbook of magic in Cthulhu mythology.

 

Haru Okumura
Code Name: Noir

A 3rd year student at the Shujin Academy, Shun is daughter to the president of a prominent food business. She sports a gentle appearance and sophisticated demeanor. Possibly owing to her upbringing, she tends to shy away from social interaction as she doesn’t see much of a point in it.

 

 

Initial Persona: Milady
New Persona Awakening: Lucy
A new persona with the same name as the vindictive heroine featured in the Three Musketeers. Lucy is a beautiful woman who, despite being a married woman, was said to be an influential lover to various noblemen.

Kasumi Yoshizawa, bringing the story to new heights

Kasumi Yoshizawa is a mysterious new character with lots more to her than meets the eye.

Kasumi Yoshizawa
Code Name: Unknown

Kasumi is a transfer student who enrolls at Shujin Academy at the same time as the protagonist. Because she’s been an award-winning gymnast since middle school, Shujin Academy has high hopes for her future. Her stream of achievements and amicable personality give us the impression of her being spotless. Yet, she seems to harbor the same sets of doubts and fears that plague the rest of the Phantom Thieves.

Kasumi awakens to her powers to summon Personas, but the why and how behind this is shrouded in mystery. Despite all the rumors circulating about Joker’s past, baseless or otherwise, Kasumi harbors a healthy admiration for Joker. But whether her admiration for him is enough to get her to join the Phantom Thieves is another question. It’s not going to be as simple as that.

Persona: Cendrillon

French for ‘Cinderella,’ Kasumi’s Persona is embedded with hidden symbols, from her shiny dress to the watch she sports on her chest.

Fans are going to want to see how her character and Persona end up affecting the rest of the Phantom Thieves! Find out when Persona 5 Royal comes exclusively to PS4 on March 31.

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