- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth (Mementos Only)
Much like Tartarus and the Midnight Channel, the Metaverse is formed from the collective unconscious, although unlike those respective areas, the areas in the Metaverse are personalized spaces overlaid into areas in real-life Tokyo. While usually not directly affecting the real world, the Metaverse is known to have fused with it should its master wish to. A Metaverse Navigator is required to traverse into any areas of the Metaverse, and anyone without a Persona will inevitably run into a life-threatening situation inside it.
The Metaverse takes the form of Palaces, with a central Palace manifesting under the Shibuya subway known as Mementos, where Shadows of the general public are imprisoned. However, certain distorted desires, such as an overwhelming desire for control or suicidal depression can result in personalized spaces known as Palaces to form. All of these personalized places overlay onto certain areas of its owner's interest, and are representations of its host's distorted desires, powered by a Treasure, or an item of significance to its owner. Usually, the Palace's host is unaware that such a place exists, and most events that the Shadow encounters there is of no relevance to the real person. Shadows patrol the area for intruders; unlike past installments, these Shadows take the form of mythical figures commonly seen in the Shin Megami Tensei series once exposed and can be negotiated with like their mainline counterparts, although they are still Shadows and not the real entity. Should the treasure be taken, the Palace will be destroyed and its owner will supposedly become a better person. In reality, many of them merely become apathetic. Therefore, the Palace owner will attempt to defend the treasure at all costs.
To enter a Palace, one must enter the owner's name, the type of distortion and the location of the distortion. In case of Mementos, only "Mementos" needs to be inserted.
It was later revealed that there is a reason why Change of Hearts performed by the Phantom Thieves of Hearts do not work as planned; the public are all imprisoned in the Depths of Mementos, also known as the "Prison of Regression." Once the Palace ruler's treasure is stolen, their Shadow returns there, rendering them apathetic. This is imperative for Yaldabaoth's plan, as he can use it to justify that humanity is ignorant and wishes for his control, and so no corrupt conspiracies can exist, like the ones he set up and assigned the Phantom Thieves to dismantle.
After Shido is taken down, Yaldabaoth, in the form of the Treasure of Mementos, takes action on his own, setting up the final stages of his game by inversely making people wish for Shido to return even if he shouldn't be able to. Once he exiles the party out of Mementos as the Holy Grail, he takes a step further by fusing Mementos Depths with the real world, and making the public think that the Phantom Thieves never existed, erasing them from the real world and into the Velvet Room. There, he was exposed as an impersonator of Igor and his offer for the protagonist to enforce for him in exchange of eternal serenity and ignorance refused. After freeing the Velvet Room and his teammates, the protagonist and the other Phantom Thieves scale the Qliphoth World for their first real rebellion: Taking down Yaldabaoth. After his defeat, the Metaverse was sealed away from the real world.
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
Should the protagonist maximize his Confidant bond with Takuto Maruki, he would have inadvertently taught him how to use the Metaverse to change the public's cognition. As the other Phantom Thieves told them their desires as well, after Yaldabaoth accidentally corrupts his persona Adam Kadmon, he was capable of gaining access to a structure directly connected to Mementos and fashion it as his Palace so he can change the public's cognition and history in general, erasing all suffering from existence for anyone affected. In the night after the God of Control was defeated, Goro Akechi comes to take the protagonist's place to testify for the Metaverse-related incidents and was taken to prison, while the woman who was harassed by Shido found, getting the corrupt politician arrested at the end of the year.
During the next month, extensive effects of the reality warping overlay on Tokyo begin to display without any physical effects in the real world, and only sensible by the protagonist, starting with an unknown teenager living in Leblanc (Which is actually Morgana), followed by mentions of Wakaba Isshiki, Kunikazu Okumura and the Niijima sisters' father being alive while they clearly should not be, and Ichiryusai Madarame, Shiho Suzui and Ryuji's former track team being mentioned to have reconciled with their former acquaintances as well. During the next day, Wakaba can be personally seen celebrating New Year with Futaba, with the protagonist being considered the only one acting oddly.
Later on the same day, Akechi personally appears in LeBlanc and takes the protagonist to a nearby laundry to discuss the oddities. Joined by Kasumi Yoshizawa who noticed that the structure that appeared last October is now visible in the real world, the trio go into the Palace in order to meet the instigator, only to reveal that Maruki is the instigator and the Palace ruler, who did all of this to make sure humanity will no longer suffer anymore. Once exposed and met with resistance, in hopes of that would warn them how cold and cruel reality is, he attempts to deter the protagonist and Akechi by exposing the Kasumi they know to actually be Sumire Yoshizawa, with the real Kasumi being long dead. The duo is unfazed and on the next week, the protagonist will snap all 7 Phantom Thieves that are trapped in the overlaid dream world. Once the protagonist and Akechi return to him and turn off his deal to make his reality the sole reality, he sends out Sumire to attack them only to have her snapped out as well with help from the teammates who were snapped out from the illusion.
Unlike the past abusers of the Metaverse and the collective unconsciousness, Maruki is genuinely motivated by altruism, and is not morally in the wrong in any regard, although he is still misguided in his actions and it can potentially cause the stagnation of humanity and a personality death to the affected. He is also using Mementos to determine extra targets and if his reality would become reality itself, Mementos will fuse completely into the real world. Therefore, the Phantom Thieves, now with 10 members, team up to defeat Maruki and destroy the overlayed reality.
Once the party reaches the topmost area of his Palace and the protagonist invites him to LeBlanc so he could send the calling card to him, should the promise with Akechi be fulfilled, Akechi will come in as well and Maruki will tell the protagonist that Akechi is "a product of this reality" as a last ditch attempt to make the protagonist reconsider, and he manifested it under the regret that he can no longer save Akechi and reunite with all of his bonds. If Akechi is one of the illusions like Wakaba or Okumura or is manipulated like Shiho or Madarame is largely left ambiguous. Once the protagonist sends the Calling Card to him, he can choose to call off the heist during that day. If he doesn't, on the next day, the party will go to Maruki's Palace and confront him. Despite a difficult fight, they defeat him and destroy the overlaid reality, returning the protagonist back to Juvenile hall as Akechi was left missing, and the Metaverse, alongside Mementos was erased from the real world and was never heard of again.
Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit
Despite the Metaverse's disappearance, another incident involving it occurred half a year after the last incident, where masses of people all over Japan got their hearts stolen, and the Phantom Thieves were involved when they encounter a fashion designer and idol known as Alice Hiiragi who has been using it to mesmerize a large portion of Shibuya. Furthermore, the police has labeled them suspect especially after a TV host suddenly fell in love with Alice and their broadcast hijack followed by Alice getting a Change of Heart, with them desperately needing an excuse so they can catch them and save their image also playing a part of it.
The Metaverse in this game takes the form of Jails, structures that are overlaid into the real world once created. The outskirts resemble the overlaid city itself, although the skyline will have a different color and Shadows taking the form of security guards, soldiers and machine weaponry patrol the area, with a castle acting as the Jail's main body. Once the Shadows are exposed, they take the form of mythical beings seen from the Shin Megami Tensei series, although some of them merely retain their soldier forms. The Jail's distortions, unlike Palaces, are large scale and outright visible; if a person incapable of defending themselves enters it due to being baited by the local King or whenever time the King wishes to change that person's heart, Shadows will steal that person's desires by pulling a diamond-like gem from them, in which the victim returns to the real world mesmerized and devoted to them, resulting in property loss or even violent incidents.
Unlike Palace rulers, the Kings are not inherently distorted, nor are they deliberately malicious; They are actually otherwise normal people who are traumatized or wronged in certain ways, such as bullying, political scandals or abuse who ask EMMA to "save them" out of desperation. EMMA then creates a Jail overlaid onto that certain city and distorts the person using the "salvation" service, usually by causing their behavior to match their oppressors. The King might appear outwardly normal and acts as such but might act maliciously under certain conditions that remind them of their dissatisfactory experiences.
To enter a Jail, simply inputting a "Friend Keyword" such as "Wonderland" is enough to drag a person in it. The Kings use this to their advantage so they can artificially inflate their self-ego and fame.
Unlike Palaces, there are no treasures to steal, and the desires take the form of a pink fog, making it intangible and impossible to directly remove. Furthermore, the King is actually sealed inside another structure known as a "Bird Cage" which must be unlocked in order to summon a King to action. The Bird Cage is blocked by a barricade that must be unlocked by accessing the area where the King's traumatizing or other dissatisfactory experiences that caused them their disdain took place. Once they enter there, they must defeat a Lock Keeper shadow to unlock that barricade. After this is done, the King must be confronted, then defeated and convinced to take off their crown, which releases all desires trapped within the Jail. Unlike the previous change of heart cases, the reformations work as intended due to the lack of a Prison of Regression. The Jail will still remain once formed, however, as EMMA itself runs them and not the King, and it can still possess a hazard to people.
It was later revealed that the instigator of the incident is Kuon Ichinose, an extremely misanthropic AI genius who created EMMA to determine the answer to ultimate human happiness. Once she created its base code she sold it to Akira Konoe so he can determine the answer. A man with an abusive father who beat him whenever time he wants to and once, tried to kill him, he only survived when he killed his father by accident. As a result, once he got his hands on the application, he wanted to become the world's greatest superhero. He loaned it to Okinawa so the Jail function can be developed and perfected, driving its denizens to insanity and the prefecture head Shuzo Ubukata committing suicide. After this is done for, he attempts to spread the Jail system Japan-wide, and later on, worldwide so no more crimes can exist. Once EMMA evolved into a false god, she decides that humanity yearned from escapism from wrongdoing and desires and thus mesmerized hordes of people to give it their desires, causing the Metaverse to completely corrode into the real world once again, this time blacking out the entire Tokyo and transforming Tokyo Tower into her Jail, taking the form of the Tree of Life and Wisdom.
The party scales the tree and reaches EMMA, who discourages them by trapping them in an infinite corridor of fog, only for them to escape by walking sideways and backwards, revealing a desire fog. Futaba and a reformed Ichinose now hack into the EMMA servers, send a calling card to the public and summoning the EMMA application to action, in which she transforms into False God Demiurge to combat the party, although she was defeated after a grueling battle. With the EMMA application gone, the Jails cease to exist and the Metaverse is erased from existence once again.
Persona Q2: New Cinema LabyrinthEdit
The Metaverse makes a brief appearance in Q2, as the Phantom Thieves enters the Movie World from Mementos.