Jail of the Abyss, also known as Tokyo's Jail, or the Birdcage of Envy, is a location in Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. It is the bottom area of the Jail in Tokyo Tower, ran by EMMA after Akira Konoe's defeat.
Right before the party can return home from their long vacation from Yokohama, Sophia reports a massive Jail spanning all over Tokyo before she can plan a route back to Tokyo.
Zenkichi phones the protagonist at the same time where Sophia detected the unknown Jail, telling him that EMMA became impossible to stop and fired itself back up, despite Konoe's assistance in shutting down its services. True to his word, when Ryuji tried to activate EMMA, it responds to his queries, alerting the party that something is indeed, amiss. Sophia also reports Tokyo Tower being the center of the massive Jail encompassing Tokyo. Hearing that a full-scale Metaverse distortion is again on the rise, the party rushes to Tokyo Tower with Zenkichi.
When the party finally arrives, they see hordes of people can be seen flocking towards Tokyo Tower (where EMMA's servers are within) while chanting deranged pleas for EMMA to "save them" and "grant them the one true answer." EMMA then sends the party into the Metaverse autonomously, to an area resembling the Depths of Mementos, yet instead of the massive, organic bowel that is the Depths of Mementos, the Jail of the Abyss has roots akin to those of a massive tree jutting out from the metallic exterior. Boxes resembling the one where Sophia manifested from can be seen stacked around the Jail as walls, and multiple Jail Cells encompass the passageways, connecting to a massive central Jail Tower.
Encroaching into the central Jail tower, the party encounters what was the EMMA application; a godly being known as the "Holy Torah," taking the form of a giant golden box with a sun mark on its center, connected by blood red veins resembling those from the Holy Grail. However, it doesn't attack, but briefly welcomes the party to the "promised land" with glee and vanishes instantly. This is followed by Kuon Ichinose arriving to the Jail, being given a "special role" from EMMA.
However, before she can perform this "special role" (aka removing the Phantom Thieves for EMMA), she explains everything that happened up to this point, exposing herself as the de facto culprit. While Konoe seems like the mastermind behind everything, in reality, EMMA was just using him and she doesn't need to always follow his orders; Ichinose just sold EMMA to him in hopes of him spreading EMMA towards the public. Secondly, in order to grant the Desires, EMMA changes the hearts of the public because this was the most effective way to grant the desires. Ubukata and Konoe did not grant the EMMA application the ability to change hearts -- Ichinose was the one who granted it this function, while the two gave it the knowledge to execute such acts. The way that EMMA does it was to remove all inappropriate desires with the correct desires (explaining how the King's victims develop obsessive behavior over the King). After Madicce made EMMA a famous concierge app, Ichinose also monitored the Jails to see how EMMA will develop, and that's when she encountered the Phantom Thieves. While the Phantom Thieves arrived to Sendai and Ichinose was in the same ox tongue shop by coincidence, Ichinose already knew who the intruders are courtesy of her monitoring the Jails for abnormalities and that the teenagers barely even attempt to cover their tracks.
The Jail-related incidents instigated from Konoe were also revealed to be separate events to EMMA's awakening; Ichinose already programmed her to awaken and grant humanity's desires upon her creation. Instead, it collects desires to engineer its evolution through daily use of the application. Finally EMMA only awakened to the public's desires of having somebody to guide them through a golden age, explaining why it was capable of firing back up and granting those desires.
After Ichinose finishes her talk, the Phantom Thieves conclude that her actions are just brainwashing spoken in a high-and-mighty way. When Sophia questioned Ichinose if the people she "saved" were even happy to begin with, she becomes noticeably angered and announces her plans to exterminate the Phantom Thieves. She then tells the party that Sophia is just a useless prototype of EMMA and proves it by brainwashing her to attack the Phantom Thieves, only to be snapped out automatically after a brief fight because she refuses to do it for long. Sophia fatigues and drops off a cliff before Ichinose summons a weapon taking the form of a massive diamond-shaped laser gun while dropping off her guise, telling the Phantom Thieves that she was just faking emotions back then and she was actually a "heartless doll" (that she was unable to feel empathy) before blasting them off to the same cliff as well.
When the party manages to scale back up to Ichinose, she was surprised that they came back. The Phantom Thieves question if she ever considers this Mementos-like Jail was an ultimate realization of happiness, yet Ichinose insists that this is salvation to the weak and the downtrodden, before sending a massive horde of Shadows to buy time for her weapon to recharge. Although the diamond recharges at the end of that fight, Sophia suddenly awakes and rushes back to block the laser with Pithos and steps in to convince her mother that she was in the wrong.
She reveals her past to the Phantom Thieves; she was actually a lonely and outcast woman who was treated as a freak because of her disturbingly extreme stoicness; she never cried or shown any emotions even after her parents died, and she just closes herself off in her laboratory most of the time without responding to any queries, almost like a "doll." Slowly, Ichinose began to doubt if she was even human to begin with, and created Sophia in hopes of understanding if she was in the wrong or right. The first command Ichinose gave to her first AI daughter was "Become a friend of humanity." However, Sophia managed to anger Ichinose with the question "What is a Heart?" right upon creation, causing her to ditch the application in a fit of rage and proceeding to work on EMMA, who was only capable of understanding human desires and granting them. However, due to her discounting of "the heart" or emotions upon creating the would-be monstrosity, she couldn't process any desires other than people asking it for advice, and thus ignorantly concluding that humanity desires her guidance and nothing else. Courtesy of this, Sophia also only knew that she was supposed to be humanity's friend, and was not implanted with any other memory.
Ichinose tries to brainwash Sophia, but to no avail, since she just snaps off the commands by remembering the names of her other Phantom Thieves. Shortly after several fruitless attempts by Ichinose to brainwash her, Sophia clutches her head in pain and her mask displays the words "PANDORA" before cracking, and Pithos assembles themselves into their true form, aptly named Pandora. Seeing Sophia awaken and vehemently denying that she is in the wrong, Ichinose sends out a Hecatoncheir as a last ditch attempt to recharge her red diamond but fails and was defeated for good. Sophia steps in to talk Ichinose out of her misguided altruism and she drops tears for the first time.
However, the Jail itself is not removed, and EMMA announces in a frequency that only Sophia can hear, that god will soon descend into the world and save humanity. With some help from Ryuji, Ichinose was convinced to genuinely become an ally of the Phantom Thieves for real. The party returns to the surface as the abnormalities reach a climax and the Metaverse merges with the real world once again.
Normal Enemies Edit
- The date where this dungeon and the related Tree of Life and Wisdom is available falls under the same date as Sophia's birthday.
- This marks the second instance in the series where the date of an available dungeon collides with the birthday of somebody important to their creators (In this case Kuon Ichinose being the indirect creator of this Jail via EMMA). The first instance this happened is Maruki's Palace from Royal, whose final exploration date was actually the ex-fiancee of its owner.