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The difficulty is a setting that allows the player to influence the balance of gameplay in video games. It affects how challenging the game is to play, and usually run on a general scale of "easy", "medium", and "hard". Typically, the choice of difficulty affects various gameplay settings, including but not limited to the following: the damage output (from allies and/or enemies), and the Experience and money received from battle.

Overview

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

In the PlayStation Portable remake of Persona, the difficulty of the game can be chosen at the start of the game but it cannot be changed once selected. There are three difficulty choices (Easy, Normal and Hard), which affect how much damage the enemies deal to the player's party. Easy and Hard difficulties deal 80% and 120% of damage in Normal difficulty.

Persona 2: Innocent Sin

As with the PSP remake of Persona, there are three difficulty choices (Easy, Normal and Hard).

Persona 3 / FES / Portable

In Persona 3, the difficulty of the game can be chosen at the start of the game but it cannot be changed once selected until New Game Plus. The player can choose from Easy and Normal. In Persona 3 FES, a Hard difficulty option is added for the original story (The Journey) but in The Answer, there are no difficulty options. In Persona 3 Portable, two additional diffculty options, Beginner and Maniac, have been added.

  • Beginner: Enemy damage is significantly toned down, and the protagonist is given 30 Plumes of Dusk to continue in case of a game over.
  • Easy: Enemy damage is toned down, and the protagonist is given 10 Plumes Of Dusk to continue in case of a game over.
  • Normal: Standard difficulty. Enemies deal average damage.
  • Hard: Enemies deal 1.5 times more damage than normal and can gain a higher chance of Enemy Advantage when not taken by surprise.
  • Maniac: Enemies deal 2 times more damage than normal, can gain a higher chance of Enemy Advantage when not taken by surprise, and certain weapon fusions cannot be performed (Ultimate Weapons are still available). Moreover, when starting a New Cycle from any difficulty level to Maniac, no data from the prior playthrough carries over to the new one apart from total play time (character level and Social Stats start at 1, the Persona Compendium will reset, and the doors for Vision Quest and Monad will not be present early in the game).

Persona 4 / Golden

In Persona 4, the difficulty of the game can be chosen at the start of the game but it cannot be changed once selected until New Game Plus. The player can choose from Beginner, Normal or Expert.

In Persona 4 Golden, the player can also choose from five difficulty options instead of three; the two new difficulties added are Very Easy and Very Hard (referred to as Safety and Risky respectively in outside of the North American PlayStation Vita version). Beginner and Expert were renamed Easy and Hard respectively. During New Game Plus, customization options are expanded as well, allowing the player to either choose from the five difficulty presets, or modify each setting individually.

  • Damage taken - Great, Normal, Small
  • Damage given - Great, Normal, Small
  • EXP won - More, Normal, Less
  • Money won - More, Normal, Less
  • Retries in dungeons - Use, Don't use
  • Retries in battles - Use, Don't use

The five difficulty presets use the following combination of choices for each setting:

Difficulty Damage taken Damage given EXP won Money won Retries in dungeons Retries in battles
Very Easy Small Great More More Use Use
Easy Small Great Normal Normal Use Don't use
Normal Normal Normal Normal Normal Use Don't use
Hard Great Small Normal Normal Use Don't use
Very Hard Great Small Less Less Don't use Don't use

In the Steam version of Persona 4 Golden, it is possible to change the difficulty setting even during a first playthrough.

Persona 4 Arena / Ultimax

In Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, the player can adjust the difficulty of the computer-controlled opponents in all offline modes other than Score Attack Mode. The available difficulties are Beginner, Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Hell in the former while the latter game has Safety, Easy, Normal, Hard and Risky.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night / 3: Dancing in Moonlight / 5: Dancing in Starlight

In the Persona Dancing games, the player can choose to play song charts from four difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard and All-Night. Higher difficulties tend to feature a greater number of notes as well as the type of notes shown, with All-Night in particular featuring more combinations of Unison Notes not seen in the other three difficulties. In all of the games, All-Night charts of each song are unlocked once the player fulfills certain conditions.

Persona 5 / Royal

In Persona 5, the difficulty setting can be selected at the start of a new playthrough, and changed in the middle of one. Via modifiers, the difficulty setting affects the damage output (which differs between whether it's from allies and enemies) and the Experience and money received from battle. The modifiers vary between Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal.

In Persona 5, the Merciless difficulty setting (also known as "Challenge" in Asian releases) is offered as a DLC. In Persona 5 Royal however, the setting is available in the game by default, and it does not need to be downloaded separately.

Difficulty Damage received Damage dealt EXP Money
Safety x0.5 x2.0 x3.0 x5.0
Easy x0.5 x1.0 x1.0 x1.0
Normal x1.0 x1.0 x1.0 x1.0
Hard x1.6 x0.8 x1.0 x1.0
Merciless x1.6 x0.8 x0.4 x0.4

Difficulty Damage received Damage dealt EXP Money
Safe x0.5 x1.6 x1.5 x1.5
Easy x0.5 x1.0 x1.2 x1.2
Normal x1.0 x1.0 x1.0 x1.0
Hard x1.6 x0.8 x1.0 x1.0
Merciless x1.6 x0.65 x1.2 x1.2

Additionally, in Safety/Safe mode, if the protagonist dies and triggers a Game Over, the game will grant the option to revive the entire party with full HP and SP. However, the difficulty cannot be changed if set up for the rest of the playthrough, and can only be changed in New Game Plus.

If the game is set to Merciless, in Game Over, there will be no option to retry from the previous Safe Room. Additionally, in battle, damage from elemental weaknesses, Critical and Technical damage from any source will be tripled in comparison to other difficulties.

The difficulty setting also affects infiltration and exploration: it can determine how much the Security Meter raises and lowers. Also, enemies are slowed down in Easy and Safety.

In fusion, if the difficulty is Merciless, the experience gain from hanging is cut to 1/3.

Persona 5 Strikers

In Persona 5 Strikers, there are 3 standard difficulties available upon starting a new game: Easy, Normal and Hard. The difficulty can be changed at any time outside battle or during an in-game cutscene. After the option to start a New Game+ is unlocked, the player will have the option to start New Game+ on Merciless difficulty (known as Risky in Asian releases). This option is only available when starting New Game+, and if chosen, the difficulty cannot be changed during gameplay. Within the standard difficulties, the difficulty choice mainly affects the damage dealt from both the player and the enemies, with the multipliers favoring the enemies at higher difficulty choices (higher enemy damage, less player damage).

Unlike the standard difficulties, the Merciless difficulty imposes vast changes to gameplay, making the game significantly harder:

  • Enemies will have their levels and stats scaled to match the player's expected level upon unlocking New Game+.
    • As a consequence, enemies defeated in Merciless will also drop Persona masks of an appropriate level. This makes fusing Personas in Merciless significantly easier, as this allows the player to earn high level Personas needed for certain Fusions without spending Persona Points to level up the materials.
    • Enemies deal much more damage, have more health and their Down Gauges are harder to break.
    • Some enemies will also have more challenging resistance tables, and some will even possess new attacks.
  • If the player's party is defeated, the Retry Battle option will not be available, and the player must resume from either the last accessed checkpoint or the start of the current infiltration.
  • Being detected by an enemy will automatically raise the Security Level by 5% even if the enemy does not immediately initiate combat.
  • While the Security Level is at 30% or higher, the party cannot escape from regular enemey battles due to the presence of red KEEP OUT barriers, as if the party is in a forced encounter.
  • EXP and Money awarded by combat is greatly increased.
  • Normal encounters drop much more valuable items, such as powerful Accessories formerly exclusive to Dire Shadows, high-tier Skill Cards and varying types of Incenses. Dire Shadows themselves drop a character's ultimate weapon upon their first defeat instead of an Accessory.
  • Dire Shadows can be refought infinitely after their initial defeat rather than disappearing for the rest of the playthrough; they will respawn by exiting and re-entering the Jail or when the player defeats other groups of enemies while the Security Level is above 30%.
  • In the battle against the Reaper, four Dire Shadows will gradually spawn to attack the player's party once the Reaper's health drops below half.

In Hard and Merciless, the player must run against the blue KEEP OUT barrier for a longer period of time if they wish to escape from battle compared to Easy and Normal.


Characters
Playable Protagonist - Yosuke Hanamura - Chie Satonaka - Yukiko Amagi - Kanji Tatsumi - Rise Kujikawa - Teddie - Naoto Shirogane
Social Link Margaret - Nanako Dojima - Ryotaro Dojima - Naoki Konishi - Kou Ichijo - Daisuke Nagase - Hisano Kuroda - Sayoko Uehara - Yumi Ozawa - Ayane Matsunaga - Ai Ebihara - Fox - Shu Nakajima - Eri Minami - Marie - Tohru Adachi
Major Igor - Mayumi Yamano - Misuzu Hiiragi - Saki Konishi - Mitsuo Kubo - Hanako Ohtani - Kinshiro Morooka - Noriko Kashiwagi - Taro Namatame - Old Lady Shiroku - Master Daidara - Minoru Inoue - Yuuta Minami - Kaneko - Aika Nakamura - President Tanaka - Chihiro Fushimi - Mr. Edogawa - Kanami Mashita - Moel Gas Station Attendant
Major enemies Shadow Yosuke - Shadow Chie - Shadow Yukiko - Shadow Kanji - Shadow Rise - Shadow Teddie - Shadow Mitsuo - Shadow Naoto - Kunino-sagiri - Ameno-sagiri - Kusumi-no-Okami - Izanami
Locations
Inaba Central Shopping District - Dojima Residence - Junes Department Store - Samegawa Flood Plain - Velvet Room - Yasogami High School
Midnight Channel Twisted Shopping District - Yukiko's Castle - Steamy Bathhouse - Marukyu Striptease - Void Quest - Secret Laboratory - Heaven - Magatsu Inaba - Hollow Forest - Yomotsu Hirasaka
Other Okina City - Shichiri Beach - Midnight Trivia Miracle Quiz - Tatsumi Port Island (Gekkoukan High School - Club Escapade - Iwatodai Station)
Music
Albums Original Soundtrack (Persona 4 / Golden) - Never More -Reincarnation- - Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album
Songs "Studio Backlot/Backside of the TV" - "Heartbeat, Heartbreak" - "Heaven" - "Never More" - "Pursuing My True Self" - "Aria of the Soul" - "Reach Out To The Truth" - "I'll Face Myself" - "Signs of Love" - "Someone Else's Man" - "Your Affection" - "P3 FES" - "Sky's The Limit" - "Beauty of Destiny" - "True Story" - "Key Plus Words" - "The Way of Memories" - "True Feelings" - "Shadow World" - "Time To Make History" - "SNOWFLAKES" - "We Are One and All" - "Time For True Revelation" - "Falling into Right Places" - "Alone in this World" - "Koisuru Meitantei" - "Dazzling Smile" - "Ying Yang" - "Ain't Nobody Can Hold Me Down" - "Just Like The Wind"
Archives
Terminology Persona (Initial / Ultimate) - Persona user - Glasses - Fog - Shadow - Shadow Self - Party - Tactics - All-Out Attack - Shuffle Time - Arcana Chance - Fusion Forecast - Weather Forecast - Investigation Team - Mystery Food X - Phoenix Ranger Featherman R
Lists Arcana - Personas - Shadows - Skills - Items (Vending Machines) - Requests - Status Changes - Activities - Calendar - Golden Trophies - The Animation / Golden Animation Episodes - Patches and Updates
School Life Weather Forecast - Seasons - Social Link - Social Stats - Yen - Class - Studying - Books - Movie theater - Bed - Fishing - Cooking - Part Time Jobs - Shrine - Scooter - Gardening - School Club - Bug Catching - Refrigerator - Crane Machine - Chagall Café - Tanaka's Amazing Commodities
Other Media
Games Golden - Arena - Arena Ultimax - Dancing All Night
Productions The Animation / -The Factor of Hope- / The Golden Animation - Visualive / the Evolution - Persona Stalker Club - 「PERSORA AWARDS」 - PERSORA AWARDS 2 - PERSORA AWARDS 3 - Persora -The Golden Best-
Publications Manga - The Magician - Kiri no Amnesia - Your Affection - Persona x Detective Naoto - Persona Magazine
Drama CDs Persona 4 (Vol.1 / Vol.2 / Vol.3) - Persona 4 The Animation (Vol.1 / Vol.2) - Persona 4 Golden (Vol.1 / Vol.2)
Mobile Games The Card Battle - Colors - Persona 4: The Slot - Persona 4 the Pachinko
Events Music Live 2008 - Music Live 2009 - Music Tour 2010 - Music Live 2012 - Music Fes 2013 - Music Box 2014 - Super Live 2015 - Livehouse Tour 2015 - Super Live 2017 - Super Live 2019- 25th Anniversary Symphonic Concert
20th Anniversary Festival - 25th Anniversary
Miscellaneous Merchandise
Characters
Playable Protagonist - Morgana - Ryuji Sakamoto - Ann Takamaki - Yusuke Kitagawa - Makoto Niijima - Futaba Sakura - Haru Okumura - Goro Akechi - Sumire Yoshizawa
Confidant Igor - Sojiro Sakura - Chihaya Mifune - Munehisa Iwai - Tae Takemi - Sadayo Kawakami - Ichiko Ohya - Shinya Oda - Hifumi Togo - Yuuki Mishima - Toranosuke Yoshida - Caroline & Justine - Sae Niijima - Takuto Maruki
Major Targets Suguru Kamoshida - Ichiryusai Madarame - Junya Kaneshiro - Shadow Futaba - Kunikazu Okumura - Masayoshi Shido - Holy Grail / Yaldabaoth - Azathoth / Adam Kadmon
Other Principal Kobayakawa - SIU Director - Shiho Suzui - Natsuhiko Nakanohara - Mika - Lala Escargot - Angel and Julian - Medjed - Wakaba Isshiki - Sugimura - President Tanaka - Kazuya Makigami - Naoya Makigami - Shadow Mishima - Shinichi Yoshizawa - Rumi - Shibusawa - Jose - Kasumi Yoshizawa - Coach Hiraguchi
Locations
Tokyo Yongen-Jaya (Café Leblanc) - Shibuya - Aoyama-Itchome (Shujin Academy) - Shinjuku - Akihabara - Kichijoji - Ogikubo - Inokashira Park - Tsukishima - Akasaka Mitsuke - Suidobashi - Odaiba Seaside Park - Ichigaya - Ikebukuro - Ginza - Harajuku - Meiji Shrine - Jinbocho - Miura Beach - Maihama (Tokyo Destinyland) - Kanda - Roppongi - Ueno - Asakusa - Chinatown - Nagatacho - Shinagawa - Nakano - Kosei High School
Palace Kamoshida's Palace - Madarame's Palace - Kaneshiro's Palace - Futaba's Palace - Okumura's Palace - Niijima's Palace - Shido's Palace - Mementos (Path of Qimranut - Path of Aiyatsbus - Path of Chemdah - Path of Kaitul - Path of Akzeriyyuth - Path of Adyeshach - Path of Sheriruth - Depths of Mementos - Qliphoth World - Path of Da'at) - Maruki's Palace
Other Velvet Room - Hawaii - Thieves Den
Music
Albums Original Soundtrack (Persona 5 / Royal (JP / EN))
Songs "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" - "Life Will Change" - "Beneath the Mask" - "Last Surprise" - "Rivers in the Desert" - "The Whims of Fate" - "Tokyo Daylight" - "Hoshi To Bokura To" - "Break In To Break Out" - "Infinity" - "Dark Sun..." - "Autonomy" - "Found a Light" - "IT'S TOO LATE" - "Colors Flying High" - "Take Over" - "He's a Trickster☆" - "I Believe" - "No More What Ifs" - "Throw Away Your Mask" - "Our Light"
Archives
Story Persona - Persona user - Shadow - Shadow Self - Second Awakening - Picaro Persona - I am thou - Cognition - P. A. D. - Metaverse - Metaverse Navigator - Mask - Wild Card - Phantom Thieves of Hearts - Phantom Aficionado Website - Antisocial Force - Treasure - Police - Calling Card - Change of Heart - Psychotic breakdown - Mental shutdown - General Public - Seven Deadly Sins - Sea of Souls - Bond - Featherman
School Life Daily Life - Activities - Calendar - Weather - Seasons - Confidant - Social Stats - Yen - Hideout - Class - Train - Invitations - Gifts - Bathhouse - Studying - Diner - Cleaning - Maid Café - Billiards - Books - DVDs - Retro Games - Movie theater - Big Bang Challenge - Gigolo Arcade - Bed - Batting Cage - Fishing Pond - Crossword Puzzle - Darts - Infiltration Tools - Cooking - Training - Old Temple - Laundry - Part Time Jobs - Shrine - Confessional - Jazz Jin - Houseplant - Refrigerator - TV Quiz Show - Blackboard - Vegetariano - Lottery - Cultivation - Fortune Telling - Decorations
Vendors Shops: (Persona 5 / Royal) - Vending machines - Takemi Medical Clinic - Untouchable - Jose's Shop - Home Shopping Program - Tanaka's Shady Commodities
Phantom Life Mementos Requests - Third Eye - Security Level - Search Objects - Treasure Chests - Treasure Demon - Safe Room - Thieves Guild - List of Shadows - List of Bosses - Skill Card - Will Seeds - Deviations
Battle Items: (Persona 5 / Royal) - Skills: (Persona 5 / Royal) - Party - Battle Stats - Damage - Accuracy - Experience - Level - Difficulty - Status Changes - Element - Traits - Navigator - Tactics - Guard - Follow Up - Harisen Recovery - Endure - Protect - Pickpocket - Party Switch - Baton Pass - One More - Critical - Technical - Showtime - Cut-in - All-Out Attack - Hold Up - Personality - Battle Drops - Game Over - Disaster Shadow
Velvet Room List of Personas: (Persona 5 / Royal) - Fusion - Special Fusion - Hanging - Lockdown - Electric Chair - Arcana - Skill Inheritance - Fusion Accident - Fusion alarm - Challenge Battle
System Trophies: (Persona 5 / Royal) - Cutscenes - New Game Plus - Patches and Updates
Unused Content: (Persona 5 / Royal)
Development
Corporate Atlus Co., Ltd. - Sega
Personnel Katsura Hashino - Shigenori Soejima - Shoji Meguro - Lyn Inaizumi - Atsushi Kitajoh - Ryota Kozuka - Kenichi Tsuchiya - Toshiki Konishi - Kazuhisa Wada - Lotus Juice
Other Media
Games Royal - Dancing in Starlight - Strikers
Productions Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers - Persona 5 The Animation (Episodes) - Persona O.A. - Persona 5 The Night Breakers - Persona Stalker Club V - PERSORA AWARDS 3 - Persora -The Golden Best 5- - Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album - Persona 5 The Stage
Publications Manga - Dengeki Comic Anthology - Comic à La Carte - Comic Anthology (DNA Media Comics) - Tartarus Theater Wild - the Animation Dengeki Comic Anthology - Mementos Mission - Persona Magazine
Events Super Live 2015 - Super Live 2017 - Super Live 2019 - TGS 2021 - 25th Anniversary Symphonic Concert
20th Anniversary Festival - 25th Anniversary
Take Tokyo Tower - E3 2016 - Take the Treasure
Miscellaneous Merchandise
Characters
Playable Protagonist - Morgana - Ryuji Sakamoto - Ann Takamaki - Yusuke Kitagawa - Makoto Niijima - Futaba Sakura - Haru Okumura - Sophia - Zenkichi Hasegawa
Major Targets Alice Hiiragi - Ango Natsume - Mariko Hyodo - Akane Hasegawa - Akira Konoe - Kuon Ichinose - EMMA / False God Demiurge
Other Lavenza - Sojiro Sakura - Miyako Kaburagi - Shuzo Ubukata‎‎ - Jyun Owada - Aoi Hasegawa - Sae Niijima - Akane's Joker
Locations
Japan Yongen-Jaya (Café Leblanc) - Shibuya - Sendai - Sapporo - Okinawa - Kyoto - Osaka - Tokyo (Tokyo Tower)
Akasaka Mitsuke - Aoyama-Itchome (Shujin Academy) - Ogikubo - Fukuoka - Yokohama
Jail Shibuya Jail - Sendai Jail - Sapporo Jail - Okinawa Jail - Kyoto Jail - Osaka Jail - Jail of the Abyss - Tree of Knowledge
Other Velvet Room
Music
Albums Original Soundtrack
Songs "You Are Stronger" - "Daredevil" - "Life Will Change" - "What You Wish For" - "Axe to Grind" - "Counter Strike" - "Beneath the Mask" - "Last Surprise" - "Rivers in the Desert" - "Towards a Dream"
Archives & Terminology
Story Persona - Persona User - Shadow - Shadow Self (Monarch) - Treasure Demon - I am thou - Cognition - P. A. D. - Metaverse - Metaverse Navigator - Mask - Wild Card - Phantom Thieves of Hearts - Madicce - Antisocial Force - Police - Calling Card - Change of Heart - General Public - Seven Deadly Sins - Zephyrman
Summer Trip Calendar - Yen - Cooking - Hideout - Shrine
Vendors Shops - Vending Machines - Sophia's Shop - Big Bang Burger
Phantom Life Requests - Third Eye - Security Level - Shadows - Bosses - Lock Keeper - Dire Shadows
Battle Items - Skills - Combo Attacks - Master Arts - Party - Battle Stats - Damage - Accuracy - Experience - Level - Difficulty - Status Changes - Element - Navigator - Party Switch - Baton Pass - One More - Critical - Technical - Follow Up - Protect - Harisen Recovery - Endure - Cut-in - All-Out Attack - Showtime - BOND - Game Over
Velvet Room List of Personas - Fusion - Arcana - Persona Points
System Trophies - Patches and Updates - New Game Plus - Cutscenes
Development
Corporate Atlus Co., Ltd. - Koei Tecmo Games Co., Ltd. - Omega Force
Personnel Daisuke Kaneda - Shigenori Soejima - Atsushi Kitajoh - Lyn Inaizumi - Lotus Juice
Other Media
Events Persona Super Live 2019
Miscellaneous Merchandise
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