written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Recently, it was revealed that Atlus has been on a bit of a domain buying spree; picking up Japanese URLs for P5D, P5U, P5AG, P5R, P3D, Persona-Dance, and PQ2. With the buzz still fresh from their recently released Persona 5 and the sheer volume of positive praise the game is getting (we at LG gave it a solid 5 out of 5 in our review) it’s no wonder that Atlus would continue to ride the Persona train while they can. So with that… I wanted to break down my speculations for what these URLs could be and what the future may hold for the Persona franchise.
First let’s look at P5D, P5U, and P5R… these to me clearly scream cross-genre games with Persona 5 characters. When Persona 4 Dancing All Night came out, it surprisingly was well received here in the west. Rhythm games are very popular in Japan but here in the west I’ve noticed that western developed rhythm games (like Rock Band and Guitar Hero) were more in line with what American gamers wanted. Here’s hoping that with the buzz surrounding P5, we get P5D a successor to Persona 4 Dancing All Night. Shoji Meguro’s soundtrack for P5 has already been highly regarded as one of his best works to date, it’s a given that we get the chance to dance around as our favorite characters to Meguro’s jazzy vibe.
You may think that P5AG is the Persona 5 fighting game, but you need to remember that these are Japanese URLs. Persona 4 Arena was originally titled Persona 4 The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena in Japan, which would make sense for the Persona 5 fighter to also be subtitled with “The Ultimate” or “Ultimax” in the title. This leads me to suspect that P5U will be the Persona 5 fighting game, utilizing the same control system from Persona 4 Arena.
As for P5R… this is the one that puzzles me the most but then I remembered how the Arcana in Persona 5 all featured French translations of their names; Le Pendu for Hanged Man and La Lune for the Moon arcana just to name a few. So to continue the French theme here, and it may be a stretch, but perhaps P5R may be Persona 5 Revisité… I think this game’s version of Persona 4 Golden. This can be the game that expands on the Persona 5 story, giving the player more social links and added content that wasn’t in the original release. Another possible name for the title could be Persona 5 Rouge if Atlus wants to stick with a color scheme, makes sense since gold was such a prominent color in Persona 4, much like how red (rouge being the the French translation) stood out in Persona 5.
NOW… here is where I plan to get into heavy spoiler territory so if you haven’t finished Persona 5 yet, I highly discourage reading on… instead if you want to read the final part of this that covers non Persona 5 releated URLs, scroll down to the next image that tells you that you’ve left Persona 5 spoiler territory.
You’ve been warned… so if you are still reading this then I assume you have beaten the game already… sooooooooo, how about that Goro Akechi twist eh? Not only was he the last party member you could recruit, but he turned out to be a villain the whole time. During Shido’s Palace, Akechi seemingly has a change of heart and sacrifices himself so the Phantom Thieves could get away, but we never see his death… and if media has taught me anything, if you don’t see them die it’s fairly certain the character lives.
In my review I stated how Persona 5 felt like a love letter to the series, retaining what made Persona 3 & 4 so great but also incorporating elements from Persona 1 & 2. In the Japanese market, Persona 2 was told across two games with Tatsuya being the hero in Persona 2: Innocent Sin (just subtitled “Tsumi” or sin in Japanese) and Maya, a supporting character in Innocent Sin, playing the hero in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (just subtitled “Batsu” or punishment in Japanese). Both games told the story of Persona 2, with P5 it was revealed by the false Igor that both Akechi and Joker were two sides to the same coin, both able to summon multiple personas and were crucial to the overarching story of Persona 5, but unlike Maya who played a major role in Innocent Sin, Akechi was barely given any scenes and when he finally made it as a party member his contributions were way too short.
It’s still possible that behind the scenes there could be a chapter as DLC, akin to “The Answer” expansion for Persona 3 included with the release of Persona 3 FES, that expands more on Akechi after Shido’s Palace. Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to a whole game where Akechi stands as the silent protagonist that neatly wraps up the story.
With spoilers done, let’s look at the three non P5 related URLS that cropped up. Persona-Dance and P3D both look like URLs for titles that expand on the Persona Dance games. P3D could be a dance game set to the fantastic soundtrack for Persona 3, it’s also possible that Persona 3 could get a PS4 port with updated visuals. While Persona 3 is indeed a great game, it didn’t benefit from the same acclaim… at least here in the west… like Persona 4 had, and subsequently Persona 5. Maybe a title like Persona 3 Declassified could be a chance to give current gen gamers a chance to play this PS2 classic albeit with updated combat and visuals. I won’t get too far in Persona-Dance because it seems like a URL for a portal that plans to compile the entirety of their Persona-Dance games, or maybe it’s a DDR like arcade game featuring tracks from the series.
PQ2 looks to be the sequel to Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. With the first game blending the teams of P3 & P4 together, I feel that PQ2 would either be another crossover featuring the cast of the prior games with P5’s Phantom Thieves, or more ambitiously allowing the cast of earlier titles like Persona and Persona 2 to get the chance to stand by P5’s heroes. Personally, I think that this game would be better if they went back to the roots… perhaps following the same timeline melding narrative from PQ1 but utilizing the cast of say P2 with P5. I felt that the first game’s crossover worked because even though the circumstances were for battle were a bit different… what with the Dark Hour and Midnight Channel… the enemy archtypes were largely the same. Persona 5 went back to the series’ roots by reintroducing demons as shadows which eventually become your personas, much like the enemies of P2. This could also be a chance to introduce a crossover between other Atlus properties among the vast Megami Tensei series of games.
Despite all my predictions, it’s hard to really place any concrete evidence on what Atlus plans to do with the franchise going forward. With high praise from fans (new and old) along with the stellar review scores from several online publications the Persona train doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Only time will tell what we’ll get next… and who knows eh? You might be in for a last surprise and you may never see it coming.