"Desires have no physical form by nature. Hence, we'll first need to make the real person aware that their desires are in fact a Treasure. Once they're conscious that their desires might be stolen, the Treasure will finally show itself.
We warn them. Tell them, "We're going to steal your heart." Once we do that, the Treasure will appear for certain! ...I think!"
- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
- Persona 5 Strikers
Once the Phantom Thieves of Hearts find a target's Treasure inside their Palace and establish an escape route, their next step is to send them a Calling Card; the methods of which vary from simple vandalism via an actual "calling card," to mass broadcast hijacks. Once this occurs, the target's Shadow Self reacts due to internal knowledge of the wrongness of their actions, provoking them to defend their Treasure at all costs. The Treasure, previously incorporeal mist, then manifests into a physical object the Thieves can steal to induce a Change of Heart. Treasures usually take the form of a mystical object, while materialized desires in Strikers always take the form of a large, pink diamond if they have an owner. (In case of stolen desires with no owners, they take the form of smaller diamonds instead.) The effect is only temporary however, as the Treasure will only manifest on the day the calling card is seen, and the process can not be repeated; therefore, the Phantom Thieves must steal the treasure immediately once the card is sent.
Targets in Mementos do not require a calling card and the party can go at them immediately. That is because the Phantom Aficionado Website leaves comments on these respective targets, which serves as an effective substitute to calling cards if they've read their comments, which will also leave them fearful for a long period of time rather than just a day.
Most calling cards, aside from the first one sent to Suguru Kamoshida, were created by Yusuke Kitagawa (with certain exceptions), or in the case of a broadcast hijack, by Futaba Sakura. The first set of cards sent to Kamoshida were created by Ryuji Sakamoto. The card sent to Alice Hiiragi is written by Ann Takamaki, with Sophia helping with the phrasing, the card sent to Akira Konoe is written by Zenkichi Hasegawa and the one sent to the public to summon EMMA into action required the help of a reformed Kuon Ichinose, as Futaba herself couldn't hack into its servers alone.
Akira Konoe is the only target of the Phantom Thieves that is not affected by the Phantom Thieves' Calling Cards, as he firmly believes himself to be justice incarnate, in addition to the Calling Card being poorly written due to being handled by Zenkichi instead of the usual Yusuke. Instead, it was EMMA's failure to trap the Phantom Thieves that ended up alerting him.
Technically, in Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal, the option to send a calling card is usually unlocked the next day after locating the Treasure, with the exceptions of Niijima's Palace and Maruki's Palace, where the calling card is sent on the final day before the deadline. Once a calling card is sent, the current day will end and the protagonist will be locked in Café Leblanc that night. Any free-time activities within Leblanc's vicinity, such as making infiltration tools or brewing coffee, can still be performed, but the protagonist cannot go outside at all. The next day's free time is overwritten by the calling card event, and the game automatically locks the party in the Palace. Once this happens, the party cannot exit until they defeat the boss encounter and steal the Treasure.
Calling Card Texts
|Suguru Kamoshida||Sir Suguru Kamoshida, the utter bastard of lust. We know how shitty you are, and that you put your twisted desires on students that can't fight back. That's why we have decided to steal away those desires and make you confess your sins. This will be done tomorrow, so we hope you will be ready. From, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts||Cards on school billboard|
|Ichiryusai Madarame||Sir Ichiryusai Madarame, a great sinner of vanity whose talent has been exhausted. You are an artist who uses his authority to shamelessly steal the ideas of his pupils. We have decided to make you confess all your crimes with your own mouth. We will take your distorted desires without fail. From, [The Phantom Thieves]. *||Morgana places the card at Madarame's exhibit|
|Junya Kaneshiro||Sir Junya Kaneshiro, the money-devouring sinner of gluttony. You indulge in scamming others with horrendous methods that target minors exclusively. We have decided to make you confess all your crimes with your own mouth. We will take your distorted desires without fail. From, [The Phantom Thieves]. *||Ryuji litters calling cards all over Shibuya|
|Futaba Sakura||Futaba Sakura has committed a great sin of drowning in sloth. Thus, we will rob every last bit of those distorted desires.||Personal delivery to Futaba's room|
|Kunikazu Okumura||Sir Kunikazu Okumura, the great profiteering sinner of greed. Your success and global fame exists due to the tyranny you rain over your employees. Thus, we have decided to make you confess all your crimes with your own mouth. From, [The Phantom Thieves]. *||Haru places it in the Okumura residence|
|Sae Niijima||Madame Sae Niijima, a great sinner of jealousy. You have lost yourself amidst your obsession with success. For its sake, you are even willing to promote injustice as justice. From, [The Phantom Thieves]. *||Delivered to Sae by Makoto, who claims to have found it in their mailbox|
|Masayoshi Shido||Yo! What is UP, everybody! We are the ones who you all know as the Phantom Thieves. And all of us are alive and kickin'. But those shitty guys in power? They've been manipulatin' information to try and hide the truth. So, before we appropriate our next target... We would like to first borrow your time! The recent scandals of public figures, the accidents caused by psychotic breakdowns and mental shutdowns—These weren't caused by unknown reasons. One man is behind every single instance... simply to satiate his own greed. That man was afraid his crimes would be exposed and shifted the blame on us. He even manipulated the police for that. We only steal the hearts of criminals. But this asshole tried to dump what he did on us. That just shows he doesn't care about those victims at all! The identity of that cowardly man is— (Police stops broadcast only for Futaba to advance it)
The man behind it all is a current cabinet member, of all things. The Minister of State for Special Missions... Masayoshi Shido! Everything that guy says is a lie! And to prove that... Look! As you can see, all of us are alive and kickin'! I'm sure the people investigating us can tell if this is a lie or not. Shido himself will soon confess all the crimes that he's committed. Please look forward to it, everyone!
We're not gonna sit back and watch some crook wreck this country just 'cause of his goddamn ego. Ain't that right... Leader? (Protagonist speaks) Yes. Before that happens, we will take this country!
|Nationwide broadcast hijack|
|Takuto Maruki||Takuto Maruki has committed the great sin of creating an overblown self-righteous reality granting people's wishes. However, we will not soak ourselves in this false happiness, and we will overcome our pain and move forward. As a result, we will not accept your proposed salvation. And therefore, we will steal your distorted desires and take back our future. From, the Phantom Thieves.||Protagonist personally delivers the card to Maruki inside Café Leblanc|
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
|Kamoshidaman||We will take the Kamoshidaman statue||Stuck on Kamoshidaman's back|
|Enlil||Madame Enlil, curator of the movie theaters of deceit. Since you play movies that advocate self-abuse and trick audience members into confusing soullessness for peace, we will steal those distorted movies from you. Signed, the Phantom Thieves.||Protagonist throws the card to Enlil|
Persona 5 Strikers
|Alice Hiiragi||Okay, folks, listen up! Good evening. Been a while, huh? Perhaps you remember us. We are the Phantom Thieves. And we're back in action with a new heart in our sights! A wicked witch who treats people like toys. Alice Hiiragi! You pretend you're a ray of light, but all you do is hurt people to indulge your own darkness. You're a bad person, and bad people have to be stopped. And all those Desires you stole? Tonight, we're taking them all back!||Futaba Cannon -- Broadcast hijack in Shibuya|
|Ango Natsume||To the ostentatious swindler, Mr. Ango Natsume... You are a depraved miscreant who holds others in contempt and steals their work, lining your own pockets all the while. We refuse to overlook the crimes you commit as you wear a false crown. Tonight, we take back the Desires you've stolen.||Vandalism on Natsume's stall|
|Mariko Hyodo||Mariko Hyodo, the false empress with a frozen heart... You are a cold manipulator who treats people as tools to be discarded. We find this unforgivable, and will end your reign of abuse. In fact, we will take back the Desires you stole this very night.||Vandalism on Hyodo's campaign poster|
|Akira Konoe||To the criminal tyrant masquerading as a hero, Sir Akira Konoe... (All subsequent references will henceforth be shortened to "Party A".) Party A has wronged multiple innocents by flaunting a false sense of justice and shifting the blame for the murder of one of his employees. On top of that, Party A is also guilty of wrongfully imprisoning a group of minors. Therefore, in addition to putting out a formal warrant of arrest for Party A's crimes... Tonight, the Phantom Thieves will commit some larceny of their own, and take back every Desire you've stolen.||Hacking a Madicce zeppelin to air drop the cards, as well as a live broadcast.|
|EMMA||Attention! You know the logo by now, right? We are the Phantom Thieves. And we've got a big announcement for everybody! Our target this time... is you! You've all been made sheep. A mechanical god has usurped what self you had... and you let it happen. Do you really want someone telling you what your own life is about? All of you have paths only you can take... but you make your own choices to get there! That's why we're here. We're going to snap you out of this! You don't owe this dumb god your Desires! The Phantom Thieves are taking them back!||Futaba hijacks the EMMA central server with help from Kuon Ichinose|
"Our infiltration route is secure. All that's left now is to pump out a calling card in reality, then come back to take the Treasure!"
"Once we send out the calling card, there will be no turning back. Just let me know when you're ready. We'll head back to the hideout and send out that calling card!"
"...Look at that. A predictable reaction for someone who knows what we mean by distorted desires."
- According to Ryuji, he used references online to produce his calling card for Kamoshida;
- The party's thoughts on his calling card were low: Ann describes his speech to have "sounded like an idiot trying to be an adult," and Morgana found his logo lacking.
- Of all Phantom Thieves' targets, only Akane didn't receive a calling card, which can be attributed to how recent the Kyoto Jail was made, which lacked a locked Bird Cage and a lack of stolen Desires.
- Unused dialogue suggests Futaba's calling card originally read "She never leaves her room or interacts with people, living an unproductive life of indolence. We are the Phantom Thieves that steal hearts. You will be made to bask in the light of the sun. Look forward to that time." The scene using this version was fully voiced in English despite going unused, and it portrayed Ann much more aggressively.