Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit
Jails appear throughout Japan that the protagonist and the Phantom Thieves of Hearts investigate. They are ruled by Kings, discredited or downtrodden people who have used the Metaverse and the EMMA application as revenge against people who wronged or traumatized them and to gain back their fame, or gain the fame they desire by inducing Change of Hearts on the public. Unlike Palaces, Jails resemble overlays placed onto the places they are on, although the skyline's color is greatly altered, Shadows and other environmental hazards infest the overlaid streets and a massive castle, also overlaid on a specific location important to the King acts as its main body.
They are powered by the collective desires of the public instead of by a treasure; usually, a Ponzi scheme is set up by a would-be King during an advertising campaign. Once anyone inserts the keyword, they will be teleported into the Jail overlay where Shadows can freely attack them. It is possible to escape unscathed however, should a Persona user or anyone else with the ability to defend themselves in the Metaverse accidentally intrude into it. When a person's treasure is taken by the King, they become fanatical towards them, although this does not affect anyone out of the people whom they stole the desires of. To outsiders, everything is obviously wrong. Furthermore, any adversaries to the King can get their heart changed without any physical use of the EMMA application as soon as the King wishes for them to.
Jails do not have a treasure, although a crown on top of its King keeps all of the desires inside them. If they take off the crown, all affected people revert to normal. The King is also sealed inside a "Bird Cage" that plays the reason why they become distorted, which is presented as a flashback that depicts the Jail owner's breaking point. It's purpose is to control the King by reminding them of the disatisfactory experience and preventing them from regressing to their former selves. Once the Cage is confronted, the source of this trauma would transform into a powerful Shadow known as a Lock Keeper. This Lock Keeper is required to summon the King from the cage, in which the Phantom Thieves would send a Calling Card to actually drag the King out into the Jail and defeat them. After they are defeated, the King would admit their crimes and take off their crown, freeing all desires. Unlike "Changing a Heart" as seen in most of Persona 5, many of these targets actually turn into better people instead of simply being reduced into weeping husks. Lavenza might offer quests to rematch with former Jail Kings, which are actually flashbacks from the party's memories.
As opposed to the natural distortions manifested by Palaces, Jails are manually manifested by EMMA per its user's request. As soon as its user tells it to save them, it will be able to create a personalized Jail of that person, turning them into a King and allow them to artificially increase their popularity by stealing hearts. Furthermore, anyone who uses this function can become a King and have a Jail. Even if the King surrenders and vanishes or is killed outright, it will still remain with no owner and people can still be entranced by the King's work. This function is added by Akira Konoe as a tool for the downtrodden to be able to stand against injustice, and via it, the Jails can be manipulated simply via its user's voice to have its King fulfill their agenda. However, a Jail cannot affect anywhere out of the city where it was set up, so Konoe seeks to spread the Jails all over Japan so crime will cease to exist. Kuon Ichinose, the creator of the application also monitors the Jails of potential intruders and is merely using Konoe as a front to figure out the answer to humanity's salvation.
After Konoe's Downfall, EMMA evolves into a physical god and fires back up itself, creating a massive Jail with Tokyo Tower as its center to perform mass change of hearts upon the public so the application-turned god enforces what she envisions as the final answer to humanity's pain; the removal of people's desires and ambitions so they won't need to suffer from the need to think, since EMMA will give them the answer. The usage of the Jail function by Kings to mesmerize the public into their favor does not seem to affect EMMA's evolutionary process; instead, daily interaction with the application (i.e. venting personal issues, having it make decisions for its owner) advances this behavior, although due to EMMA lacking any actual empathy it only considered people interacting with the application into factor and not what they actually wanted, leading it to believe that the public's true desire is having her grant them the answer for everything. Additionally, unlike other Jails, EMMA's Tree of Life and Wisdom steals desires in a different way; the public hand EMMA their desires by drawing themselves into the "Promised land" instead of Shadows appearing to take the desires of people, and those desires do not have an owner.
Once the evolved EMMA application, the False God Demiurge is defeated and destroyed, the Jails cease to exist and the surroundings near Tokyo Tower revert to normal as if nothing ever happened.
- The methods which Kings steal the desires of people into Jails are similar to the Dark Hour, where normal people are drawn into the collective unconsciousness and had their mental state stolen by Shadows, then come back to the real world abnormally.
- The Jail's mechanics are similar to those of Maruki's Palace, which is also represented as parts of the metaverse overlaid into reality and locally altering the behavior of the public. The instigators of both incidents also have a nearly identical well-intentioned, yet deluded goal.