"This atmosphere... is this a Palace!?"
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
A world within the Metaverse that is seemingly created by Takuto Maruki, although unlike the others, Maruki is physically present (instead of just his Shadow Self). It appears as a large, towering structure of glass and gold, with the interior resembling a mental health center. The long, spiral structure consisting of the lower half of the Palace is just an elevator, while the actual interior is the golden sphere on the middle, shaped like a Globe depicting the earth's continents. Unlike the other Palaces, it appears to be directly connected to Mementos. Its key words for the Metaverse Navigator are "Dr. Maruki," "Stadium," and "Laboratory."
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, connected to the surface by an extremely long elevator towards the globe on the top, consists of a lobby, a control center, a laboratory, a warehouse, with an elevator connecting to the middle level at the end of the Warehouse. The middle floors contain a monitor room (housing a roadblock connected to Mementos), a research ward, a mental health check center and a counseling room. The Counseling Room contains an elevator going upwards into the Twilight Corridor; a paradise-like area resembling a massive conservatory. A passageway from the Twilight Corridor connects to the topmost floor; the Garden of Eden. Its cognitions are patients that slowly degrade into basic versions of their former selves that only want blind happiness. Since Maruki does not see anyone in a distorted manner, these cognitions appear as human and passive.
The Shadows resemble lanky, purple and black, vaguely humanoid beings that are either undressed or in doctors' coats, while guard captains have large, exaggerated muscles. In addition, as seen by the mid-boss that transforms into Hastur, they release turquoise liquid from their orifices instead of black liquid. Furthermore, they wear turquoise and white masks with black spirals and a pale blue spot on the side. Some undressed Shadows also have messy hair that resemble Maruki's prior to his ascension into a godly being.
It first materialized as a distortion of the Odaiba construction site, which is a stadium that was about to be reconstructed into a cognitive research center (The Cognitive Laboratory) by Maruki, but construction of it was stopped due to the fundraising being halted. Kasumi Yoshizawa inadvertantly accesses the Palace because she said the key words. The protagonist, who was going to meet her near the stadium to return a good luck charm of hers, is pulled into the Palace with her, along with Morgana.
With Kasumi missing, the protagonist and Morgana go down and search, revealing its interior that resembles a research lab. When they enter the center hall, an image of Kasumi's supposedly dead sister appears and mutters "Because...of...me...Kasumi...instead..." implying Kasumi was the one that died, causing an adverse reaction to her. The image was quickly squashed by a Shadow before it can continue talking, and it bursts out into a Byakhee to attack the party. Kasumi awakens to her Persona Cendrillon and fights the Shadow 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.
In order to unlock the upcoming events, the Confidant with Takuto Maruki must reach Rank 9 before the 18th of November (max rank is achieved automatically on this date) so he can gain the tools to change the masses' cognition to their favor.
On January 2, Kasumi can detect the Palace in the real world on her way home, and requests the protagonist investigate it with her. Goro Akechi, who had been discussing a deal with the protagonist at the same time, overhears their conversation, and accompanies the protagonist to the Palace. The trio explore together, as the Palace appears to be responsible for the strange occurrences surrounding the protagonist's friends, such as Futaba's mother Wakaba Isshiki being alive or Morgana taking the form of a human. Unlike in October, when it was deserted, the Palace is now full of cognitive patients seeking happiness, and Shadows begin to spawn. Due to the other party member's personas being temporarily erased from existence thanks to their traumas being wiped out from the fabric of history, along with none of them being willing to depart from their happiness at this point, none of them will join until the end of January 9, and most confidant abilities from them are unusable.
As they go further, pieces of the truth about Kasumi are revealed, much to her confusion and pain. This eventually results in Kasumi's disguise breaking off bit by bit, causing her to recklessly rush into battle. After defeating several Belials in the Test Track, they warn the trio that "agony" awaits them before vanishing. The image of a girl resembling Kasumi, but with brown hair and a beauty mark below her left eye, then appears and reaches out to "Sumire." 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 and the instigator of the strange occurrences; the former school counselor of Shujin Academy, Takuto Maruki. He claims that reality is too painful, and he used his power to create a new reality devoid of misery, ignorant to the fact that such a world only leads to stagnation and existential nihilism. 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 Kasumi's younger sister Sumire Yoshizawa, who was always jealous of her sister's talent.
Her jealousy led to 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, along with her Phantom Thief attire disappearing, her will of rebellion snuffed out. When she expresses her desire to return to her life as Kasumi, Maruki takes Sumire to treat personally before sending out a Hastur to attack the boys. Afterwards, he grants them a week of time to reconsider his offer, in which the protagonist uses to sow seeds of doubt into the Phantom Thieves' minds, gently reminding them about the lives they have left behind, while Akechi takes the opportunity to get intel on Maruki. In order to make sure Sumire's parents don't worry about their daughter, Maruki makes them think that she is in a training camp.
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 are still living in Maruki's reality, their locations being marked by a blue tarot card. The protagonist cannot visit more than one member per day, and is not allowed to progress otherwise. The others brush off whatever he tells them, too content with living their ideal lives, but each see a glimpse of themselves in the true reality. Though they show hesitation, they ultimately ignore the protagonist.
Once all of them have been spoken to, the protagonist returns to Akechi at Odaiba at the end of the week. The remaining Phantom Thieves all gather in Leblanc discussing if the protagonist was ultimately right and they are missing something, despite the fact that they are truly happy. They all reach a consensus and the illusion breaks for them, turning Morgana into a cat instantly, along with the Sayuri painting returning to LeBlanc's wall.
The duo reaches Maruki, and he offers the protagonist to accept his reality; doing so results in a bad ending where all of the Phantom Thieves live in his reality permanently with no hesitations, bar the protagonist who may still be partially aware. If he refuses, Sumire will awaken and, still in denial of the truth, attack the party in desperation. Akechi stays out of the fight in fear of killing her due to his combat instincts. Sumire goes down easily after a few attacks. Maruki will then summon a device straight out from Mementos to restrain Sumire, causing Cendrillon to go berserk and attack the protagonist and Akechi, with Maruki summoning Byakhee for it to absorb to keep itself alive. The duo is no match for Cendrillon's berserk state and are left helpless until the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts join the fight, having decided to come help the protagonist after breaking free from Maruki's reality. They gather to defeat the berserk Cendrillon, with two random members from the party composition used to defeat Yaldabaoth filling in the remaining party slots, leaving Akechi in the team. After Cendrillon is defeated, Maruki gives Sumire back to the party and then tells them to meet him in 30 days if they wish to change his heart.
The Thieves meet Lavenza in the school's nurse's office. There, she tells them about Maruki, and how it's possible he's a Persona-user. The next day, the party storms the Palace with Sumire Yoshizawa appearing as herself, being given the codename "Violet." Her personality and appearance drastically change to match her true self.
Once Violet is surrounded by five Shadows that drop out from the ceiling, she attempts to summon Cendrillon, but fails as it has been destroyed. Once she establishes herself as a rebel against her old cowardly and selfish self and rips off her mask, the soul of the real Kasumi Yoshizawa takes the place as the new Cendrillon. The Shadows break into five Loa and are quickly defeated. Right after this, it turns out that a Shadow guard standing on top of the Auditorium's balcony ordered this stealth attack, who must be defeated in order to gain access to the Warehouse leading to the Laboratory's center as it holds the ID card required to enter it.
However, once they enter the center of the research laboratory, they are instantly met with the cables that were used to drive Cendrillon berserk, which must be broken at the true depths of Mementos, the Path of Da'at. The deadline for the 3rd of February will now begin and the depths of Mementos must be traversed to remove the roadblock before the party can proceed into the second half of the Palace. This means that the infiltration route needs to be secured by the 1st of February, after exploring the true depths of Mementos on the 31st of January at the latest.
Should the party miss this deadline, Mementos and reality will permanently become fused together, and Maruki will summon the protagonist into his office at Shujin Academy in his dreams, with the protagonist wearing his Velvet Room prison uniform. Believing it was difficult for the protagonist to act, Maruki tells him to sleep for all eternity so he wouldn't have to worry ever again, with the scene cutting to the protagonist lying on his bed in his room LeBlanc with his phone long dead, and his room covered in dust and cobwebs. He is unwilling to leave his bed as he does not wish to think of anything, and not even Lavenza is able to reach out to him, as, in her butterfly form, she weakens, fades away and then vanishes as soon as she tries to reach the bed.
The mental health check center of the Palace has no enemies on its own, although the party is presented with an examination which trials its patients for how much their wishes correspond to Maruki's version of true happiness. There are 2, 3 and 5 answers respectively, and any answer that does not correlate to Maruki's 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, known as the Twilight Corridor and Pscientifc Model Eden, resemble a paradise with patient cognitions doing nothing but laughing wildly and floating in the air. A staircase known as the "Stairway of Light" connects the upper floors of the Twilight Corridor to Psientific Model Eden. 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 sheet detailing the color mixing combinatons can be seen taped near the controllers to assist the player.
Several areas in the Palace are barricaded by query-locked gates, which require passwords related to Maruki's personal life; all of these correspond to a VHS tape that must be viewed, which reveals parts of Maruki's past. It turns out that in the past, his ex-girlfriend Rumi's parents had a home invader while the two were visiting. Her parents were murdered in front of her, and she never got past the trauma, falling into catatonic depression. In Maruki's desperation to help her, a sleeping god contacted Maruki and gave him the subconscious power to change severe mental conditions, and Rumi mysteriously recovered from her depression. However, she consequently got her memories reshuffled, and thus she also forgot Maruki completely. He then distanced himself from her, believing her to be happier this way.
He then became an accomplished cognitive psience researcher in the lines of Wakaba Isshiki, though his thesis was rejected for lack of evidence, and his lifelong dream of building a cognitive psience research lab in Odaiba was destroyed due to its funding being cut off. He became a counselor afterwards and met Sumire Yoshizawa, who was so depressed that she refused any traditional methods that he used and confided in him that she secretly wished to become Kasumi, Maruki's subconscious powers were able to grant this wish immediately, causing Sumire to believe that she is Kasumi, and as a result, is distanced from her depression and survivor's guilt.
On the Day of Reckoning, on the 24th of December, it's revealed that Masayoshi Shido was the one who cut Maruki's funding. He presented his final essay to a university professor and expressed his 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 Maruki to awaken to his Persona, Azathoth, an inadvertant result of his merging the Metaverse with the real world. After Yaldabaoth's fall, Maruki enacts his plan for mass salvation on Christmas Eve.
The treasure chamber of Maruki's Palace 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 gives Maruki a calling card in LeBlanc on the 2nd of February, which seemingly does not cause any psychological distress on him unlike other targets, most likely because he is fully prepared for it.
On the next day, the Day of Fates, the final confrontation begins and the party and Maruki 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 Maruki twice, with one tentacle preventing Maruki from being damaged, one healing Maruki and other casting buffs or debuffs. All of these tentacles swap weaknesses once Maruki regenerates them, and Azathoth takes greatly reduced damage in relation to how many tentacles are currently alive.
After defeating Azathoth, the Palace collapses and reveals its treasure, a golden torch. Maruki however, quickly confiscates the torch and fuses it with Azathoth, evolving it into its ultimate form, the Being of Infinite Wisdom, Adam Kadmon. After being defeated once, Maruki fuses himself with Adam Kadmon and is virtually invincible.
Futaba scans it for weaknesses, and finds that it's only vulnerable while it's attacking. The Phantom Thieves hold back the brunt of the attack using their personas, giving Joker the opportunity to grapple up to Adam Kadmon's head and fire the final shot, cracking Maruki's mask and destroying his Persona completely.
As Adam Kadmon is destroyed and the Palace collapses, Morgana transforms into a helicopter to escape with the rest of the team. However, Maruki pulls the protagonist down to the ground and asks him to "help kill" Maruki's regrets, finally venting all his frustrations after years of shutting them out. With the destruction of the Palace, and in turn the entire Metaverse, they resort to a fist fight due to the loss of their Personas.
After the fight, Maruki collapses, distraught and defeated. The floor beneath him shatters, and he falls. The protagonist catches him, but Maruki begs him to let go. The protagonist refuses, and Morgana rescues them.
After the Palace collapses and Adam Kadmon is destroyed, Maruki loses all of his power, resulting in everything returning to normal; the protagonist is now in juvenile hall where all of his Confidants, including ones that he maxed during the third semester, work together to free him. Morgana has not yet reappeared, and Akechi is once again missing.
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.
Maruki's treasure is the torch of guidance. After Azathoth is defeated on the Day of Fates, Maruki fuses this torch with the remains of Azathoth and evolves 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 Maruki's madness and grief. The newsletter is picked up by Sumire outside Maruki's Palace, and the protagonist keeps it.
- The following Confidant skills that can be used in Palaces do not activate during January 2 and January 9. They will return during phase two of the Cendrillon boss fight.
- Instant Kill, Card Duplication, Card Creation, Position Hack, Emergency Shift, Final Guard, any abilities that require any party member bar Akechi or Kasumi to be physically present within the party and any Velvet Room related Bonus.
- Futaba's Moral Support and Treasure Reboot, as well as Makoto's Shadow Calculus does activate during these two days, even before re-joining. However, when activating the latter, Akechi will be narrating instead.
- Loa, Nebiros and Byakhee might manifest as a Disaster Shadow.
- Bugs cannot be recruited in this Palace.
- Red Shadows always manifest as Fafnir. This Shadow has no weaknesses and is unaffected by physical and gun attacks, so use technical damage or down shot to initiate a Hold Up.
- The following Confidant skills that can be used in Palaces do not activate during January 2 and January 9. They will return during phase two of the Cendrillon boss fight.
|Tentacle of Protection||???||Councillor||Wk||Rp||Rp||Rp||Nu||Nu||Nu||Nu||Rp||Rp||20|
|Tentacle of Healing||???||Councillor||Nu||-||Nu||Nu||Rp||Rp||Wk||Wk||Wk||Wk||20|
|Tentacle of Assistance||???||Councillor||Nu||-||Wk||Wk||Wk||Wk||Rp||Rp||Nu||Nu||20|
|Maruki (Adam Kadmon)||???||Councillor||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||20|
|Adam Kadmon (Top)||???||Councillor||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||20|
|Adam Kadmon (Right)||???||Councillor||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||20|
|Adam Kadmon (Left)||???||Councillor||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||20|
- Maruki's Palace takes motifs from the Depths of Mementos represents. In Kabbalistic tradition, the Sefirot is the channels where God emanates its will through the person. The final form of Maruki's persona (Or the entity using Maruki as a vessel) is also Adam Kadmon, which is considered the Cosmic Man and the combination of all ten Sefirot as one. This ties to how Maruki is actually enlightened by the will of the people and used it to the benefit of people, even if it's a distorted version of benefit, as opposed to how Yaldabaoth impersonates itself as God and enforces its own view of humanity (that they desire eternal suffering and apathy) upon the General Public. It should also be noted that much unlike normal Judeo-Christianity where no mortal may become equal to or surpass god, Kabbalah does allow a person to reach the enlightenment of God, referencing how Maruki is an ordinary human who has reached godlike status by succeeding the Grail's position.
or the tree of life, as opposed to the Qliphoth that the
- If one pays attention, the floorplan of the lower levels of Maruki's Palace vaguely resembles an upside down version of the Qliphoth World's map. The layout of Psientific Model Eden also vaguely resembles the Shrine of the Grail, albeit scaled upwards instead of downwards.
- The entrance area of Maruki's Palace is an incredibly tall elevator shaft leading to the Entrance Hall, which appears to be midway into the structure. This is probably a reference to the sphere of the Sefirot, which leads to the other Sephirah above it.
- This Palace has the longest clear deadline in the entire game, at 30 days total. However, there are only 21 free days prior to deadline.
- This Palace bears similarities to 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, contain recordings of how their hosts became distorted, and have their true names hidden until later.
- The Palace's exterior resembles the Mother Computer's body.
- 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.
- This is the only Palace to not be ruled by the ruler's Shadow Self, but the actual person; in this case, Maruki himself.
- The distortions this Palace manifests is also similar to a Jail from the game's sequel, as it forcefully traps a large portion of the population, albeit only specific people, in an illusion of happiness and is overlaid into the real world's Tokyo instead of a personalized space like other Palaces, and were created out of a genuinely altruistic intent. However, unlike the Jails (which never got the chance to overwrite the fabric of reality), the reality Maruki creates is able to affect the entire world, and his distortions will replace the true reality on February 3rd, if he was left unstopped, no longer being illusions.
- Apparently, Maruki did not believe that this place was a Palace until Akechi explained it to him.