Persona 5 RoyalEdit
A world within the Metaverse that is seemingly created by Takuto Maruki, although unlike the others, it is easily detectable in the real world even by non-Persona users and Takuto is physically present as opposed to other palaces. It appears as a large, towering structure of glass and gold, with the interior resembling a mental health center.
This Palace is the largest one in the game and exploring it requires at least two days alongside an exploration to a new area in Mementos to its true bottom in order to prevent the palace from channeling its power, making it a total of three days. The lower levels are consisted of a lobby, a control center, a laboratory, a warehouse and finally a mental health check center, and its cognitions are patients that slowly degrade into shadows of their former selves that only want blind happiness. Since Takuto does not see anyone in a distorted manner, these cognitions appear as human and passive. The Shadows resemble black, vaguely humanoid beings that are either undressed or in therapist clothing, while guard captains have large, exaggerated muscles.
It first emerged on top of the Odaiba construction site, which is a stadium that is about to be reconstructed into a cognitive research center (The Cognitive Laboratory) by Takuto, but construction of it was stopped due to the fundraising being halted. Kasumi Yoshizawa requests the protagonist to come there and investigate after a threat to revoke her scholarship is issued. Once they enter, its interior resembles a research lab. When they enter the center hall, an image of Kasumi's supposedly dead sister appears and mutters "I...instead...my...sister," implying Kasumi was the one that died, causing an adverse reaction to her. The image was quickly squashed by a Shadow which bursts out into a Biyarky to attack the party. Kasumi awakens to her Persona Cendrillon and fights it alongside the protagonist and Morgana. With her power of Persona awakened, Morgana invites her to join the party, to which she declines.
The event takes place naturally on October 3. Should the calling card for Kunikazu Okumura be sent at the previous day, the boss encounter in Okumura's Palace will overwrite this event and it will happen on the next day, October 4, after beating Okumura instead.
On January 2, Kasumi can detect the Palace again and requests the protagonist and Akechi to investigate with her. The trio explore together. Unlike the previous time where it is deserted, it is now filled with cognitive patients seeking for happiness and Shadows begin to spawn. As they go further, pieces of the truth behind Kasumi are revealed, and all of these images cause an adverse reaction to her. This resulted in Kasumi's disguise breaking off bit by bit, eventually causing her to attack enemies mercilessly in distress. After defeating several Belial shadows in the Test Track, they warn the trio that "agony" awaits them before vanishing, then the image of a girl resembling Kasumi, but with brown hair and a beauty mark below her left eye appears and reaches out to "Sumire," causing an adverse reaction to Kasumi. The voice of a man through a speaker then warns them that their heart will be torn should they dare proceed.
As the trio venture into the center of the Test Track, they finally encounter the owner of the Palace; the former school counselor of Shujin Academy, Takuto Maruki. He claims that reality is too painful and he used his power to help them create a new reality devoid of misery, ignorant to the fact that he can cause stagnation and existential nihilism with that. Unable to talk past the protagonist and Akechi, he shows the truth of Kasumi Yoshizawa on a large television screen; the "Kasumi" whom the protagonist has known is in fact, a fake named Sumire Yoshizawa who was always jealous of her sister, the real Kasumi's talent which degenerated into suicidal depression, eventually resulting in Sumire unknowingly throwing herself onto traffic because of a fit of suppressed emotions, only for Kasumi to sacrifice herself to save her sister. With the truth fully revealed, "Kasumi's" disguise unravels and reverts to her own form. Takuto then confiscates Sumire for his own use then sends out a Hastur to attack the boys. He grants them a week of time to snap out all other party members out of his power.
This deadline is impossible to miss, as the only way that the protagonist can spend time within the week is to find any of the seven party members that would be trapped in Takuto's spell, which are marked by a blue tarot card. The protagonist cannot free more than one member within a day and is not allowed to progress before he freed one during that day. Once all of them are freed, the protagonist will free Morgana as well and must return to Akechi at Odaiba at the end of the week.
Once the duo reaches Takuto, he will offer the protagonist to accept his reality; Doing so results in a bad ending where all of the Phantom Thieves are trapped under his spell bar the protagonist who was still partially aware. If he refuses, Maruki will awaken Kasumi and use her denial of the truth to provoke her into attacking the party; Akechi stays out of the fight in fear of killing her due to his combat instincts. Kasumi goes down easily after a few attacks. Takuto will then summon a series of electric cables to force Cendrillon to go berserk and attack the protagonist and Akechi all the while summoning Biyarky for it to absorb. The duo is no match for Cendrillon's berserk state and left helpless until the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts join the fight. They gather to defeat the berserk Cendrillon. Takuto restores Sumire to Kasumi to give them a fighting chance. He then tells them to meet him after 30 days if they wish to change his heart.
Should the party miss this deadline, Takuto will summon the protagonist into his office at Shujin Academy in his dreams, with the protagonist wearing his Velvet Room prison uniform. Takuto tells him to sleep for all eternity, with the scene cutting to the protagonist lying in bed in LeBlanc with his phone long dead, and his room covered in dust and cobwebs. He is unwilling to leave his bed as he is unable to think of anything, and not even Lavenza is able to reach out to him, as, in her butterfly form, vanishes as soon as she tries to.
The mental health check center has no enemies on its own, although the party is presented with a quiz which trials its patients for how much they know about Takuto's very own version of true happiness. There are 2, 3 and 5 answers respectively, and any answer that does not correspond to Takuto's current ideals will result in the party being attacked by a normal Shadow encounter. At the second and third quizzes, they can also cheat by looking inside the windows of the control room for shadow therapists.
The upper floors resembles a paradise with patient cognitions doing nothing but laughing wildly and sending themselves to air; This area features a color puzzle that requires the party to match the lights of the controllers into the gate's corresponding colors to open various areas, including creating bridges or opening gates blocked by vines. A cheatsheet can be seen near the controllers to assist the player.
Several areas in the Palace are barricaded by a quiz about Takuto's mindset; All of these correspond to a cassette tape that must be viewed, which reveals parts of Takuto's past. It turns out that in the past Takuto's ex-girlfriend, Rumi got her entire family murdered and fell into catanonic depression as a result, and the word "family" became her trigger word. In a desperate attempt a being of infinite wisdom contracted him and gave him magical powers to cope with severe mental conditions, and Rumi was mysteriously recovered from her depression. However, she consequently got her memories reshuffled, and thus she also forgot Takuto completely. He then distanced from her afterwards.
He then became an accomplished cognitive psience researcher in the lines of Wakaba Isshiki, although his statements were rejected for being purely original research and his lifelong dream of building a cognitive psience research lab in Oodaiba was destroyed due to its fundraising being cut off. He also found that the powers are in fact, dangerous, and he will not use it to cure depression unless when he has no other option. He opened a clinic afterwards and met Sumire Yoshizawa who was so depressed that she refused any traditional methods that he used and actively asked him to turn her into Kasumi, which he did; Sumire was transformed into Kasumi and was seemingly cured of her depression and survivor's guilt.
During the day of reckoning on the 24th of December, it was found out that Masayoshi Shido was the instigator who stole his research for nefarious purposes, which contributed to the cutting of his Oodaiba research lab project's fundraising. Despite this, Shido's lackeys didn't know what they were trying to do with it. He presented his final essay to his university professor and expressed a desire to stop Shido, although the professor chides him for attempting to stop such a powerful politician alone and kicks him out. During the same time, Yaldabaoth enacts his final plan for world domination and accidentally causes the being of wisdom to be transformed into a tentacled monster. He was driven insane and enacts his plan for mass salvation after Yaldabaoth's fall.
The treasure chamber reveals itself to be the Garden of Eden, where barely dressed cognitive patients enjoy their life there and become ignorant to their surroundings. Once returning to the real world, the protagonist actively meets and sends him a calling card in LeBlanc on the 2nd of February, which seemingly does not cause any psychological distress on him unlike other targets, implying that he is fully prepared for it.
On the next day, the final confrontation begins and the party and Takuto fight inside the central dome of the Garden of Eden, in which he changes his outfit into a golden priest garb and summons his Persona, Azathoth. The party must defeat either Azathoth or Takuto twice, with one tentacle preventing Azathoth from being damaged, one healing Takuto and other casting buffs or debuffs; All of these tentacles appear to swap weaknesses once Takuto regenerates them. After defeating Azathoth, The Palaces collapses and reveals its treasure, a fire torch. Takuto however, quickly confiscates the torch and fuses it into Azathoth, restoring into its true form, the Being of Infinite Wisdom, Adam Kadmon. This implies that Yaldabaoth accidentally separated the torch from Adam Kadmon and caused it to degenerate into the blind Azathoth, and thus Takuto began misusing his magical powers to blind others from the truth. After being defeated once, Takuto fuses himself into Adam Kadmon and is basically invincible; Only by the protagonist's party members stalling its fist while Futaba scanning its head to be fully vulnerable while distracted can he deal a final shot to its head and destroy it completely.
As Adam Kadmon is destroyed and the Palace collapses, Morgana transforms into a helicopter to escape with the rest of the team; However, Takuto pulls the protagonist down to the ground and challenges him to a fist fight. After a while both collapse to the floor and Takuto attempts to commit suicide by falling off the Palace's remains, only for the protagonist to save him, all the while when Morgana rescues both to leave Oodaiba. It should also be noted that both ways that the protagonist can respond to Takuto have the same meaning and thus will prevent him from falling to his death.
After the Palace collapses and Adam Kadmon destroyed, Takuto lost all of his magic, resulting in everything returning to normal; the protagonist is now in juvenile hall where all of his confidants, including ones that he maxed at the third semester support him in leaving it, Morgana remains vanished, Akechi is once again missing, and the treasure that is Adam Kadmon's torch reveals itself to be the newsletter about the murder of Rumi's family. The protagonist keeps this newsletter as a memento.
Takuto's treasure is the torch of guidance. During the day of reckoning, Yaldabaoth unintentionally removed the torch from Adam Kadmon, degenerating it into Azathoth and driving Takuto insane as a result. Takuto fuses this torch with the remains of Azathoth and restores it into Adam Kadmon as a last-ditch attempt to protect his reality. Once stolen, it reveals its true form as the newsletter about the murder of Rumi's family, which marks the beginning of Takuto's madness and grief. The newsletter is picked by Sumire near where the palace was, handed to Futaba and protagonist keeps this letter as a trinket for their friendship.
- This Palace has the longest clear deadline in the entire game, at 30 days.
- This Palace bears similarities with the musical dungeon of Persona Q2, as they are heavily associated with toxic escapism and false happiness, are the largest dungeons in their respective games, and contain recordings of how their hosts became distorted.
- Unlike other Palaces, if the party has not encountered the Palace owner yet, its security meter portrait is merely a silhouette of a black humanoid figure.
- The deadline of this Palace falls on the same date as Rumi's birthday.