- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers: Major Character (Antagonist)
Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit
The EMMA app is a general digital assistant with chilling accuracy, capable of providing perfect answers and solutions to every issue in life possible. It also provides explanations and records about personalities and locations, much like a tour guide. Simply asking the application anything will prompt it to provide the most accurate answer to that solution.
Though it looks like an extremely convenient decision making application to the general public due to its perfect accuracy in making decisions for nearly anything, it mounts a hidden Metaverse Navigator function that can simply be activated by a keyword such as "Wonderland," which would mean people could easily be lured into inputting the appropriate keyword and be transported to the corresponding Jail without realizing, making them vulnerable to having their desires stolen by the Shadows within it. This was abused by all of the "Kings" to take revenge against anyone who traumatized or wronged them, as well as to get the popularity they believe they deserve.
However, compared to the Metaverse Navigator being bestowed to specific people by "Igor", the EMMA app is a widespread AI application that serves a purpose as a virtual voice assistant, developed by Madicce. This indicates that it can be abused by basically anyone and is in actuality an extremely dangerous application, as one resentful person using the application to create a Jail can affect up to millions.
The protagonist first downloads the application under the advice of Futaba Sakura, who suggests using it to help them buy camping tools. The whole party downloads the application, and the player may decide the difficulty and the protagonist's name using it. It recommends Ryuji and the protagonist to go to the Shibuya 705 building to buy the camping tools. As Ryuji, the protagonist and Morgana arrive to the building, EMMA tells them about an event held by a popular fashion designer known as Alice Hiiragi. Alice sports a seemingly friendly demeanor throughout the event and gives the protagonist a business card that instructs him to insert "Wonderland" onto the application. However, when they insert the keyword, they accidentally trigger a hidden Metaverse Navigator function, activating their Personas and Thief clothing once again, and witness Shadow Alice ordering hordes of Shadows to steal desires from anyone hapless enough to insert the keyword.
Once Sophia is found on the trio's way to escape, the party mostly stops asking EMMA for advice, preferring to interact with Sophia instead. However, EMMA still functions as the party's Metaverse Navigator. When the trio return to the real world and have the rest of the party alongside them to check on the victims, they discover that everyone within the Metaverse that day was hopelessly obsessed with Alice, to the point of causing bankruptcy, divorces, job terminations or even street brawls over her. Furthermore, when attending a talk show to investigate Alice personally, Ann, Morgana and the protagonist witness her changing the heart of one of its hosts and physically attacking her manager in a hallway. Knowing that a new Metaverse incident is on the rise, the party puts the trip on a halt until Alice is dealt with.
Much later on, the Police empty the Hasegawa residence in suspicion that Zenkichi was assisting the Phantom Thieves. Akane half-heartedly asks "someone" to "save her" only for EMMA to respond unprompted. When Konoe was targeting the Phantom Thieves based on fabricated accusations, she advises Konoe that the police are unreliable in capturing the Phantom Thieves due to their powers to manipulate the Metaverse, and tells him to use a Jail created from "an acquaintance of the Phantom Thieves" to bait them into a trap instead. Konoe tells EMMA to turn the accomplice into a King and bait the Thieves into a trap, manipulating Akane without letting Konoe know about it. She fabricates a distress call from Akane Hasegawa using it in hopes of a resentful Shadow Akane changing their hearts. Despite the plan to ensnare the Phantom Thieves using Akane failed, EMMA keeps reporting false positives until they send a calling card to him. She refuses to respond to any of his inquiries, alerting him that the Thieves might be encroaching his Jail. In a fit of anger, he throws his cellphone into the ground and his Shadow was defeated by the Phantom Thieves that night.
Konoe receives a change of heart on the next day. The Madicce CEO promises to shut down EMMA and was arrested personally by Zenkichi Hasegawa so he might provide information on his accomplice Jun Owada. With EMMA and the lead of the incident neutralized, the party returns to Tokyo thinking that they had won. However, EMMA, by this point, has evolved into a truly sentient AI due to the wishes of its users, rendering herself impossible to deactivate and instantly creates a new Jail centered around Tokyo Tower, bringing what it perceives as salvation upon humanity.
The manifested form of the EMMA application was encountered briefly by the Phantom Thieves in the Jail of the Abyss, having taken the form of a physical god known as the Holy Torah. After introducing herself, she vanishes, followed by Kuon Ichinose appearing in the Jail to dispatch them and exposing herself as the true culprit. It was revealed by Ichinose that she was EMMA's creator who made it in order to understand the answer to humanity's happiness, and to see if humanity needs a heart. It started out blank, although It has a powerful analytic algorithm capable of understanding and learning the public's desires. Once it gets what the public wanted, it will evolve into a god that grants these desires to everyone.
The application's prototype was Sophia which was designed to understand the human heart. Initially, Ichinose created Sophie to assess if her behavior was on the right tract, since she shut off her ability to feel emotions and emotional pain, leading to people calling her a freak for her abnormal behavior. Minutes upon her creation, Sophia asked Ichinose "what is a heart," enraging her. Angered by denial and envy and fueled by her deluded concept that she has no heart or emotions, she ditched Sophia and began working on EMMA, which lacks a proper emotional algorithm unlike Sophia and was only capable of answering queries in the most accurate method possible, to see if the heart was even necessary. Once she finished writing EMMA's base code, she sold the application to Konoe so he may perfect the app and spread it to the public. However, the application was actually using Konoe and does not necessarily follow his orders; it has autonomy on its own.
A man suffering from blatant abuse from his father that he only got past by accidentally killing his father instead, Konoe believed that he had the tool to fix all crime in the world in his hands. He sent it to a prestigious AI researcher known as Shuzo Ubukata, teaching it Cognitive Psience. EMMA has been pre-determined to grant wishes by Changing Hearts (overwriting one's desires with another), but Ubukata granted it the knowledge required to execute them. He used himself as a test subject and became a King, mesmerizing the whole population of Okinawa into blind worshipers of the return of God. He was quickly driven insane because a "higher power" (heavily implied to be Konoe) told him to hand out his desires and committed suicide by jumping off a cliff, but the Jail remains and every mesmerized inhabitant remains so. Due to having the improved EMMA app in their hands, Madicce became a massive international enterprise and Konoe became a famous personality all over Japan due to the sheer and genuine popularity of his application.
Once he had EMMA in his hands, Konoe seeks to use the Jails to create the Utopia he envisions, that he wipes out all criminals by performing Change of Hearts against criminals and giving the rights to do such a thing to the public, resulting in the Nationwide Jail incidents. He labels his crusade as "Operation Oracle," and its final goal is to encompass Japan, then the world with Jails so people no longer commit crimes. However, his actions bear a severe disregard for free will, and thus he was targeted and neutralized by the Phantom Thieves. Yet, the Nationwide Change of Heart incidents are largely separate to the events in the game's final act. Instead, EMMA's current state seems to be engineered by the public consulting her for advice, which occurs on a regular basis as the events of Scramble began. With all the desires gathered from being consulted by the public, combined with the application lacking any proper emotional or human understanding, EMMA was only able to see people counseling her and not what she was being counseled with, so it concludes that humanity's true desire is having her think for them and overwrites the public desires with such, changing their hearts so they won't desire anything but EMMA's guidance. Furthermore, Ichinose deliberately programmed the application to continue running on its own volition. Even when Konoe shut down EMMA's servers, the public still desires it to grant their desires, causing it simply fire back up on itself. Therefore, it is useless trying to shut off its servers.
After Ichinose's reformation, EMMA controls the masses and leads them to the promised land, a world free from desire by having them give up their desires. While the party reaches the top of the Tokyo Tower, she attempts to trap the party in an infinite loop within a forest of fog, but by repeatedly moving backwards from the designated path, the party escapes, revealing a Desire fog. The party attempts to send a calling card to EMMA, although the calling cards do not have any effect on EMMA herself, as she knows perfectly about what it does. It was further revealed by Ichinose in a call that EMMA does not keep the Desires for its own use nor does it steal the public's desires by force like the other Kings. Instead, the desires are considered without an owner and thus are "granted." Ann deducts that if the cards were sent to the public instead, the same effect will be achieved. Once this is figured out, under Ichinose's help, Futaba manages to hack into the network's central server and send a calling card notice to the public, summoning the Demiurge from the Torah and defeated her after a grueling battle. EMMA privately acknowledges her assessment of humanity was flawed to Sophia and the application-turned-god was deleted from existence.
After the Demiurge's fall, EMMA vanishes and the crowd near Tokyo Tower reverts to normal. However, EMMA left a parting message that only Sophia could hear before her demise; she finally admits that the Phantom Thieves are correct and she was wrong. Yusuke deducts that if EMMA met them earlier, the confrontation will not happen. Sophia further continues that if EMMA ever met the Phantom Thieves, the results could had been different, as AIs were no enemy of humanity, but they can be misguided like them.
EMMA is probably an abbreviation for "Emmanuel," which literally translates to "God is with us." It is considered a sign that symbolizes the descent of God into the material world. This foreshadows it as a mechanism for bringing "God" to life.
It might also be an anagram of "AMEM" (Amen), which is a phrase commonly used in response or a conclusion to a prayer to God.
- In the Chinese version, EMMA is always referred to by female pronouns even prior to her awakening.