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Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth[edit | edit source]
The Cinema is the main hub of the game. It is the place where the Phantom Thieves of Hearts land right into after escaping from a city inside a movie. Unlike the false Yasogami High School from Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, the Cinema is seemingly deserted. In reality, it has three original inhabitants;
- Nagi, the curator of the Cinema that is puzzled by the events that suddenly happened. She was supposed to be trapped inside the Cinema alongside Hikari and it was her mission to protect her.
- Hikari, a depressed girl who cannot talk or socialize properly. She was supposed to be the last customer in the Cinema, in which Nagi had the duty to protect her.
- Doe, a mysterious creature that does not talk, but broadcasts the movies in the Cinema. Supposedly the Cinema had acted oddly when he appeared.
Just like a normal cinema, it has several facilities that accommodate its guests. These include a staff room that contains the Velvet Room and is inhabited by Margaret, Caroline and Justine and Marie, a snacks booth that acts as the in-game shop ran by Nagi before she allows Theodore to take over it, and a tickets booth that gives out special quests ran by Elizabeth after the completion of the first movie. Unlike the previous game's Yasogami High School, there are no Nurse's Office or similar facilities; The party's HP and SP will be automatically and fully recovered as soon as they return there.
It contains four theaters, each staring one movie. In order to unlock the next movie, the previous one must be cleared. All four of the movies will naturally start with a bad ending in favor of the authority of the movie's setting and portray them as "heroes" and the entities who oppose them "villains," but it is possible for the party to enter it and change its ending and moral by defeating the authorities inside each movie. The exit of the Cinema is sealed by four locks, each of them requiring a unique key created by Doe to remove, which he creates after clearing the corresponding movies with a spasmodic reaction. Giving the movie labyrinths an appropriate ending also forces a gradual change in Hikari's heart as they are actually realities formed from it, and is also the only way for everyone to escape the Cinema. Eventually, Doe himself also becomes the key required to remove the last lock on its gates.
It is heavily implied that the person who trapped the Persona users inside the Cinema is actually Doe, who converted the movies of the Cinema into forms that are capable of drawing them in, so Hikari can be released from her self imposed chains and confront her past, and everyone trapped can escape the Cinema.
After the party successfully reforms Hikari and breaks all four locks, she expresses the wish to escape the Cinema back into reality. Nagi claims that she did not have a choice and lets everyone out, despite still expressing discontent due to Hikari might possibly experience the same pain as before. However as they exit, the outside area reveals a twisted landscape and Nagi drops off her guise, in which she reveals her true identity as Enlil, an administrator of the collective unconsciousness born from humanity's wishes. She reveals that the party is inside her domain in the collective unconsciousness all the time and the cinemas are actually refuge facilities that she took Hikari and other weak people in because they were unable to cope with the hardships of life, whom she put into cinemas in a delusional belief that it will bring forth "Salvation" to them by putting an end to their thoughts and suffering.
The cinema that acts as the hub of the game was in fact just Hikari's Cinema and cinemas housing other people exist in her domain, who just like Hikari once was, they gave up their desire to move forward in life due to being unable to face its hardships, instead staying in their confines to escape their pain. She also reveals that she technically lets the people she trapped leave whatever time they want, but their cognition prevents them from ever considering leaving, causing them to forfeit their lives in apathy even if she never directly manipulated them.
Despite Enlil allows the party and Hikari to leave the Cinema and claims that they are strong willed enough to not require her protection, they do not approve of Enlil's twisted patronizing of humanity and her salvation plan that sacrifices personal freedom and fuels depression in place of false comfort and ventures outside the cinema to deal with her. They also have to do this in order to free other people trapped in her domain.
The movie labyrinths are initially nothing but lifeless "entertainment" made out of collective negativity that the souls of Hikari or other trapped people had to watch alone, and served no purpose other than keeping their physical person in depression and apathy. However, this changed when Doe appeared in Hikari's Cinema and transformed these movies into meaningful forms that included elements from Hikari's memories, forming the labyrinths seen in-game.
After Enlil was finally defeated and forced to surrender by the party with Hikari's help, her domain was destroyed and all people trapped inside the cinemas in it return to reality, and the a transformation in the space time continuum allows the trapped to return to their respective realities. Theater 1, 2 and 3 leads to respectively Tokyo, Inaba and Tatsumi Port Island, while those who end up in the movie world via dreams wake up as they exit Theater 4. With all persona users and Hikari successfully escaping, the cinema was presumably destroyed afterwards.
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Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The Cinema is the first main hub in any Persona game whose owner is also the main antagonist and the final boss of the game.
- It was greatly implied that the locks on the exit of the Cinema are set up by Hikari's cognition, with each of the movies corresponding to their respective locks suppressing her desire to live and preventing her from considering leaving it, resulting in the formation of locks that directly prevent anyone trapped in the Cinema from leaving. Hikari's Cinema is also the only one with locks, as the other people trapped are simply driven by a lack of will to escape their imprisonment.
- Posters of each of the four movie Labyrinths can be seen outside the Cinema. Its logo also resembles Hikari's hat.