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The General Public (大衆, Daishu)? is a recurring concept in the series. They can refer to any person who is ignorant to their surroundings.
- Persona 3 / FES / Portable
- Persona 4 / Golden
- Persona 4 Arena
- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona 5 Strikers
- Devil Survivor / Overclocked
- Devil Survivor 2 / Record Breaker
The general public makes up most of the residents of Tokyo. Due to it being a massive city, unlike Tatsumi Port Island and Yasoinaba from previous titles, it is heavily populated with faceless masses, as opposed to the closely connected denizens of the previous two settings. This does not encompass Persona users such as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, as well as Confidants or the owners of Palaces, the latter of which are usually corrupt individuals.
Their collective Palace is Mementos, taking the form of a series of subways filled with organic matter. As it is the Palace of the masses, compared to Palaces of individuals, the layout of its tunnels are constantly shifting. However, they can still be influenced by certain factors, such as the weather.
The public's sin is Sloth, demonstrated as when they do not speak up in a conformist society, no matter how much their superiors are abusing or wronging them, or others. They even willingly give up their freedom in exchange for personal security, enabling injustice to run rampant. This plays a key role in the formation of the Phantom Thieves, and having to instead rely on getting the criminal to confess for their own crimes by forcing a change of heart.
Furthermore, they can be led to believe the wrongs are the rights or vice versa, whether it's by being tricked, out of fear, or out of herd mentality. In the case of the latter, as all of the masses follow the same mindset, they only adhere to the concept of what the general public wants, which ironically manifests into reality once they do adopt their wants. Because of this, the public can easily be manipulated by others, whether it's on purpose or not.
The media exploits the masses for the sake of ratings, by twisting their stories to appeal to the "idiotic public." This applies to Kamoshida's crimes, where they frame it so they show them "crude, sensational news," and are made easy for them to understand. They are also not even interested in the credibility of Phantom Thieves at first, but they make them seem real regardless regardless of whether the facts are clear or even if they're wrong entirely.
One such instance is the general public's distrust towards the government via the mysterious psychotic breakdown incidents, which are blamed on the Ministry of Transport and then the Prime Minister himself. As the masses have no awareness of the Metaverse, the alternate world can be exploited into causing mass hysteria for political gain.
This becomes extremely prominent when the Phantom Thief trend got into full swing, and everyone clamored for them to change the heart of Kunikazu Okumura. After Okumura died due to the actions of the black masked assassin, everyone celebrates his death, only for the Phantom Thieves to be pinned as violent murderers over his and Shujin Academy's principal's death over the next few days. Even the Phantom Thieves themselves were caught off guard by the instant turn of events.
Despite Goro Akechi openly opposing the Phantom Thieves, the public's stance on him is fickle in a similar fashion, as he's initially a beloved figure, before he becomes detested after the Phantom Thieves prove their justice and establish influence over the public. After Okumura's death, however, he's again declared a hero due to the widespread belief that the Phantom Thieves killed him, despite the hidden truth that Akechi was actually the one responsible for Okumura's assassination.
During the election season, the public would unerringly support Masayoshi Shido to install his radical nationalist policies that would inevitably cause their enslavement, supposedly having been swayed by his charismatic speechcraft that makes him look more reliable and relatable than he actually is. In addition, many of Shido's supporters do not offer a proper reason on why they support his premiership. They were also led to believe that the protagonist committed suicide while in custody, and most continued to believe this even after seeing and hearing the protagonist on public television.
On election day, Masayoshi Shido was inaugurated for premiership as expected, but suddenly confesses for his crimes during his inauguration speech. Because of Shido's abrupt repentance, seeds of doubt were sown amongst members of the public, and the remnants of the conspiracy were left scrambling in panic. Unfortunately, a few days later, things took a sharp turn for the worst; public support for Masayoshi Shido counterintuitively reaches an apex with people desperate for him to make a comeback. There is now no proof the Phantom Thieves tampered with his heart, as his sudden confession is considered mental instability. Furthermore, the Phantom Thieves are treated as if they never existed. Morgana deduced that something was wrong with the public's cognition, and he suggests that the party goes to Mementos to change the public's heart.
When the party explores the Depths of Mementos, they find the general public's Shadows imprisoned behind bars in the prison of regression, who praise it as the most comfortable place for them. Furthermore, the security seems to be highly systematic, contrary to what was supposed to be a Palace of the people, indicating the possibility of a central ruler behind Mementos. The Phantom Thieves were also shocked to realize that they did not genuinely reform any of their former targets; they only made them a part of the general public, and their targets, including Masayoshi Shido himself, lament their foolishness and praise the prison like the rest of the inmates.
On the deepest level, the Phantom Thieves find the treasure of the public, a Holy Grail. In their battle against it, the Phantom Thieves were rendered helpless as they fruitlessly attack it, only for it to drain the will of the inmates, who sincerely desire for the Holy Grail to remain. These wishes from the people allow the Holy Grail to regain its health at a seemingly insurmountable capacity. After the Thieves become exhausted with the effort of attacking an immortal object, the Grail begins displaying sentience, and it becomes evident at this point that the Grail is not a mere treasure, but also the true master of Mementos who manipulates the public into advancing his "game." The Grail proceeds to eject the party back into the real world and fuse it with Mementos. Despite it being apparent that something is wrong with the world around them, the general public does not notice the changes and continues life as if it everything were normal. Shortly after, the Grail makes the entire public believe that the Phantom Thieves do not exist, leading to them getting erased from reality and exiled into the Velvet Room.
The master of the Velvet Room, Igor, was actually an impersonation by the Grail, and he deliberately engineers and manipulates public ignorance in order to make them believe that the most ridiculous lies are the truth, so he can "prove" that humanity does not deserve freedom from their indolence, and he is the sole perfect god fit to guide them. Most in-game abnormalities within the first nine months, such as the Phantom Thief bandwagon during late September and October (and the subsequent backlash), Masayoshi Shido's abnormal popularity and the events on the 23rd of December, are heavily implied to be caused by the Grail swaying public opinion.
The real Igor believes that a trickster will arise and purge the distortions, but the Grail laughed at this concept. As a result, he compromised the Velvet Room, approached the protagonist (presumably via the incident with Masayoshi Shido which started his probation) and trained him as if he were Igor, only to engineer the public to cast him into despair. Having been prepared for their first true rebellion, the Phantom Thieves scale the fused Shibuya (Qliphoth World) and defeat the Grail's Archangel Shadows, snapping the public to their senses, who begin to notice the discrepancy of the wasteland overlaid into Shibuya, initially sending them panicking.
During the final confrontation, the Phantom Thieves are overwhelmed by the true form of the Grail, Yaldabaoth, but Morgana and Yuuki Mishima rallies the public into cheering for the Phantom Thieves. Because of the entirety of the public changing sides, Arsène gains enough power to transmogrify into Satanael, and it finishes the God of Control with one Sinful Shell, wiping it out from existence. Since then, the behavior of the public reverts to normal, and the Phantom Thieves were met with neutral reception on the Phantom Aficionado Website.
Persona 5 Royal
Mementos is slightly different from how it is in the original game, now including strange flowers that grow all around it, seemingly representing the blossoming inner thoughts of humanity. A strange boy named Jose seems to have been instructed to study these flowers, to learn about humans and their emotions.
If the protagonist had maxed out Takuto Maruki's confidant prior to 11/18, once the new year begins, Maruki will put his grand plan to remove pain from the entire world into motion. He does this by taking control of Mementos, succeeding the Holy Grail as its master, and combining the reach of Mementos with the unique abilities of his Persona to create an ideal reality where no one suffers from anything at all, and boundless happiness is available to everyone.
During the month of January, the entire general public can be seen living their ideal lives in this new reality. NPC chatter that the protagonist can hear while walking around Tokyo shows that everyone is getting exactly what they desire, for example, one student is being held back from graduating, presumably because they enjoy their high school years so much, and a worker is still going to their previous workplace, despite seemingly having been transferred or fired previously.
Furthermore, despite Kasumi Yoshizawa's discovery of an unknown Palace appearing in the real world, no one around her gives it any thought, as if the public believes the odd structure has always been there.
However, Jose's studies of the flowers growing in Mementos reveal that the public may be slightly unsure of their new happiness, as if they believe it too good to be true. This may be what caused the entire new layer of Mementos to form, and its true farthest end is now the control center where Maruki surveys the cognition of the general public, continuing to actualize people's ideal realities into existence right up until February 3rd.
If the protagonist accepts any of Maruki's offers to accept his reality, either on January 9 or February 2, the entire general public, just like the Phantom Thieves themselves, will presumably be completely content with the ideal reality, accepting its new place as the true reality while remembering nothing different, nor recalling anything about the original, painful reality, because Maruki has rewritten history so that no strife or struggle has ever or could ever occur, essentially meaning the original reality never existed in the first place.
Persona 5 Strikers
With the creation of Jails, it has been spotted that the general masses of certain regions have become obsessed with a particular public figure, or the Monarch, the ruler of the Jail. They manage to gain their influence by luring unassuming people in said Jail via entering a keyword in the EMMA app, which secretly doubles as a Metaverse Navigator, and have Shadows steal their desires inside, similarly to a change of heart. As such, their popularity is artificial and built on an individual basis.
In comparison to the previous incident, although the general public has been united via an obsession with a common figure, it has created apparent disorder among these communities, as some of their followers have almost gone bankrupt or went in debt, and even to the point where they start street fights with commoners.
In order to free these desires, the Phantom Thieves tackle these Jails during their Japan-wide trip and take down their rulers in the process. Affected populaces include those of Shibuya of Tokyo, with its populace being affected by pop idol Alice Hiiragi, Sendai by writer Ango Natsume, Sapporo by politician Mariko Hyodo, and Okinawa towards a God, as their former ruler, Shuzo Ubukata, committed suicide. Kyoto has also had a Jail, but its ruler never had the opportunity to steal anyone's desires, as they were swiftly defeated.
The scheme for Jails has been orchestrated by Akira Konoe as part of "Operation Oraculi," which strives to rid the world of crime and corruption, by systematizing each region, and uses his Jail in Osaka as means to enforce the law. His final goal is to spread the Jail system worldwide, but he was stopped by the Phantom Thieves.
"So they don't believe themselves, but they're making up stories to make the Phantom Thieves seem real... ...And they're doing this in front of the actual Phantom Thieves."
|Overclocked - Manga|
|Playable Characters||Protagonist - Atsuro Kihara - Yuzu Tanikawa - Naoya - Amane Kuzuryu - Keisuke Takagi - Midori Komaki - Mari Mochizuki - Kaido - Black Frost - Gin - Misaki Izuna|
|Non-Playable Characters||Haru - Shomonkai Founder - Gigolo - Yasuyuki Honda - Shoji - Azuma - Commander Fushimi - Beldr - Jezebel - Belzaboul - Belberith - Metatron - Okuninushi|
|Locations||Shibuya - Aoyama - Roppongi - Ikebukuro - Akasaka Tunnel - Omotesando - Shinjuku - Akihabara - Nagata-Cho - Shiba Park - Ueno - Kudanshita - Asakusa - Kanda|
|Music||Devil Survivor OST Remix - Reset - Soul Survive|
|Terminology||Extra Turn Battle - COMPs - Shomonkai - Tokyo Lockdown - Demon Summoning Program - Laplace Mail - Death Clock - King of Bel - Devil Auction - Dance Skills - Skill Crack - Racial Skill - Auto Skill - Demon World - Four Devas|
|Archives||Demons (DeSu - DSO) - Skills (DeSu - DSO) - Status Ailments - Titles - Endings|
|Record Breaker - The Animation - Thursday 23:54|
|Playable||Protagonist - Daichi Shijima - Io Nitta - Yuzuru Akie - Hinako Kujou - Keita Wakui - Airi Ban - Jungo Torii - Fumi Kanno - Makoto Sako - Otome Yanagiya - Yamato Hotsuin - Ronaldo Kuriki - Anguished One - Miyako Hotsuin|
|Non-Playable||Tico (Male / Female) - Dera-Deka - Koharu - Jungo's Cat - Polaris - Canopus|
|Tokyo||Tokyo Tower - Sunset Blvd - Diet Building - Akasaka Palace - Cine City Plaza - Sky Tower - Karamachi - Terminal - Bugeikan Arena - Central Gate - Sengakuji - Eikokuji|
|Osaka||Tsuutenkaku - Main Branch (JP's) - Festival Gate - Bickman - Ebisu Bridge - Sankyu Line|
|Nagoya||TV Tower - Planetarium - Gold Clock - Centering Park - Nagoya Branch (JP's) - Parking Garage|
|Other||Fukuoka Tenjin - Sapporo - Akasha Stratum - Stake Terminal - Providence|
|Terminology||Extra Turn Battle - Demon Tamers - Devil Auction - Fate System - JP's - Nicaea β ver. - Septentriones - Dance Skills - Racial Skill - Auto Skill - Skill Crack - Demon Summoning App - Add-On - Dragon Stream - Terminal - Administrator - Akashic Record - Void - Triangulum - Astrolabe|
|Lists||Demons - Skills - Ailments - Titles (RB)- Translations|
|Songs||"Mugen no Sekai" - "Take Your Way" - "Be"|
|Publications||-Show Your Free Will- - The Animation Manga - Cetus's Prequel|
|Mobile Games||The Extra World|