"One could say it's a world in which one's distorted desires have materialized. I call such a place a "Palace.""
The Palaces (パレス, Paresu)? are locations in Persona 5. They reside in a dimension called the Metaverse.
- Persona 5 / Royal
A Palace is a manifestation of "distortion", strong negative and corrupt thoughts that warp the perceptions of people into a hazard for themselves and others (for example, seeing all other people as living ATMs). According to Morgana, most people's negative and corrupt thoughts are blended together into the Metaverse in a location called Mementos, which is a Palace for all of humanity. However, particularly corrupt individuals manifest personal Palaces that is solely inhabited by their Shadow Self.
Not all of them are formed by corrupt individuals however, as Futaba's Palace is fueled by Futaba Sakura's suicidal thoughts and suppressed memories of her mother and Maruki's Palace is created out of the suffering of Takuto Maruki's girlfriend Rumi and to subsequently end the suffering of humanity in general. This suggests that extreme negative emotions or psychological trauma can also cause a Palace to form. If the Palace is formed by said reasons, objects containing it will appear in their own Palaces as they represent subconscious knowledge, so it is possible for its owner to enter it and recollect or for other people to view them. The hosts of Palaces are often unaware of its existence, and if they were infiltrated by someone, they will not generate any adverse effects for its hosts in the real world until the Palace is destroyed or the host's Shadow Self is killed.
All Palaces draw in Shadows, which help to protect them and fend off intruders and cognitive existences projected by the host appear in the Palace, which are either passive, as in the case of Princess Ann in Kamoshida's Palace or pose a threat to intruders such as the robots in Okumura's Palace. The stronger the person's corruption, the stronger the Shadows will be in the Palace. While cognitive existences do not affect their counterparts in reality, the Shadows still represent the unconsciousness there, so the Phantom Thieves of Hearts establish code names for all of their members to avoid identity exposure during their infiltration. Also, Morgana states that directly entering from the main entrance of a Palace is a no-go option for a Phantom Thief, since that will alert any Shadows inside the Palace to take action.
To activate access to a Palace, it requires to input the Metaverse Navigator app with four pieces of crucial information by either voice or typing: full name of the host, location of the Palace in reality, title of the host and the form the Palace takes. The Metaverse Navigator will afterward permanently remember the palace (E.G: Pervert Castle as Kamoshida's Palace) and remove it only if it is ever destroyed. Palaces serve as the main battleground for the Phantom Thieves and the ones explored by them in game each represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Deep within a Palace is a Treasure, a physical representation of the Palace owner's wicked or negative thoughts and desires. Once the Phantom Thieves of Hearts successfully infiltrate a Palace, find the treasure, and establish an escape route, they send a calling card to the owner in the real world in order for the Treasure to take on a physical form. Once a Treasure has been taken and the Shadow Self of the owner has been defeated, the Palace immediately crumbles and permanently disappears, and the host's personality will undergo a massive change. The Treasures can be taken into the real world and can be pawned off. For the Phantom Thieves, the Treasures are used to fund their activities.
A Persona user cannot develop a Palace, as the Persona user has a good clear grasp of their desires. The sole exception to this is Takuto Maruki, who in spite of having a Persona, develops a Palace. Moreover, Maruki himself rules over the Palace and not his Shadow Self.
The Thieves will have a deadline to complete a Palace each time it is unlocked. If this deadline is not met, a game over scene will be triggered. Exploring a Palace takes out the entire daytime period and there will be a deadline for the initial infiltration, the exploration round, sending a calling card to the target and stealing the treasure. Clearing them before the deadline is of utmost importance in a day's time, and should be performed before all other activities if possible unless the player has excellent time management. Clearing most of them takes 3 days as one day after the exploration is required to send the calling card and the following day after doing so the Thieves will be forced inside the Palace. Therefore, exploring a Palace during the last 3 days prior to deadline (Or in Madarame or Niijima's case, 5 days and 4 days prior to deadline, respectively) will still result in a game over. In the cases of both the Depths of Mementos and the Qliphoth World, both dungeons are cleared in just one day (December 24th), due to plot reasons. While traversing through Mementos Depths, the deadline of the re-arrest after a few days is shown and when ascending the Qliphoth World, this will be replaced by the message “Day of Reckoning." After the protagonist sends the calling card to Maruki on February 2nd, and is locked in his palace, on February 3rd, until he clears it, the fixed message now reads “Day of Fates”.
If the host's desires are destroyed by the intruder, that person's mental state will deteriorate in the real world and almost enter the vegetative state. If the host is killed outright, the one in reality will die as well. This is key to the plan of Goro Akechi, who uses the Metaverse as a way to safely assassinate his targets. The Phantom Thieves prevent mental deterioration by not killing the host but persuading the Shadow Selves to return to their true selves and confess their crimes.
Near the end of the game, the Thieves learn that the Shadow Selves they have reformed (except for Kunikazu Okumura who has been killed due to Akechi’s actions) have in fact returned to the Prison of Regression that lies within the Depths of Mementos, where the majority of the Shadows lock themselves behind bars because of embracing the deadly sin of sloth-specifically, due to their fear of disrupting societal order in any way. Masayoshi Shido’s Shadow Self reveals that Palaces are formed by the Shadow Selves of chaotic elements who escaped from the Prison of Regression and are locked inside personalized Palaces as a result. (In other words, to form a personalized Palace, one needs a distorted and powerful desire for controlling and terrorizing others, to the point that the Prison of Regression can't contain them.) However, the Palace Rulers also help to keep all those still within Mementos locked away by their own hands, as these people terrorize others into remaining "safe" within the Prison of Regression. This is the true reason why the conductor of the Metaverse incidents sends the protagonist into Palaces to clean those people's distorted desires up as a part of his game, as changing their hearts does not actually reform them but keeps them silent.
The Public is also not the true ruler of Mementos despite initial assumption, as they were supposedly incapable of creating such a complex security system like Mementos. Instead, the true ruler and conductor is the Holy Grail/Yaldabaoth, an almighty being created from humanity's desire for eternal apathy. He manipulates the public into foolishness and indolence and make them resemble organic events, to the point that they all desire total control by the Grail, rendering it virtually invincible as it infinitely self-regenerates. He then merges Mementos with the real world, turning it into an apocalyptic wasteland in a grand attempt to display the public's foolishness, although he merely manipulates the general public to make sure they can't see the distortions, while the protagonist's maxed confidants obviously can. He then proceeds to make the public think that the Phantom Thieves do not exist, wiping them out from cognition entirely. Declaring that the protagonist had lost his game while taking Igor's form, he proceeds to order Caroline and Justine to execute the protagonist, although the two quickly rejects the order and the protagonist fuses them back into Lavenza instead. The two expose the Grail, reject his offer and he leaves, allowing the protagonist to rescue all of his teammates in the Quarantine Cells fused with the Velvet Room and make the descent to the Qliphoth World to confront Yaldabaoth.
With his defeat, Mementos dissolves for good without its master to sustain it. And since Mementos is the source of all other Palaces, the entire Metaverse is sealed off from reality, free of distortions.
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
After the collapse of Mementos, if the protagonist helped Takuto Maruki complete his paper beforehand, the party bar the protagonist and Akechi found themselves trapped in a world where their desires have come true through cognition manipulation, such as Morgana becoming human, Futaba's mother alive again, and Shiho back at Shujin Academy. While the rest of the Thieves appear to be satisfied, Akechi found that something is odd and requested the protagonist to investigate with him. Kasumi can sense the strange structure again and offers to join in as well. The protagonist, Akechi, and Kasumi investigate the matter by infiltrating the mysterious Palace. They eventually learn that its owner is Takuto Maruki, one of the protagonist's associates who has became insane, and what appears to be "Kasumi" is actually a fake that her sister Sumire Yoshizawa told him to create on top of her to cope with her survivor's guilt long before his descent into madness. After a round of futile convincing, Maruki confiscates Sumire and summons a Hastur to attack the protagonist and Akechi to no avail. He then gives them a week to reconsider and come back.
By convincing the rest of the team to face the painful truth of reality and saving Sumire from captivity, the ten Phantom Thieves reunite and investigate the new Palace, in which Lavenza reveals to them that Maruki is being driven insane by a persona said to be able to warp cognition. If he is not snapped out of his delusional beliefs, Mementos will return and will effectively become impossible to remove. It was also heavily implied that the events surrounding Maruki are unintended consequences for Yaldabaoth's plan. Once the treasure route is discovered and the protagonist sends Maruki a calling card, they confront him and Azathoth, followed by Adam Kadmon on the next day, eventually succeeding in defeating them, saving Maruki from being controlled and destroying the Palace. As a result, everything went back as it should have been before Maruki's manipulation.
List of PalacesEdit
|Kamoshida's Palace||April 11th||May 2nd (Board Meeting)||Castle of Lust|
|Madarame's Palace||May 16th||June 5th (End of Exhibition)||Museum of Vanity|
|Kaneshiro's Palace||June 19th||July 9th (Kaneshiro leaks the photos)||Bank of Gluttony|
|Futaba's Palace||July 25th||August 21st (Medjed’s Cleanse)||Pyramid of Wrath|
|Okumura's Palace||September 15th||October 11th (Haru moves in with her fiancé)||Spaceport of Greed|
|Niijima's Palace||October 29th||November 20th (Start of Investigation)||Casino of Envy/Jealousy|
|Shido's Palace||November 24th||December 18th (Election Day)||Cruiser of Pride|
|Mementos||May 7th/December 24th (Depths and Qliphoth World)||December 24th (Day of Reckoning)||Prison of Sloth/Regression/Acedia|
|Maruki's Palace*||October 3rd (First Glimpse); January 2nd (First Exploration); January 9th (Saving Sumire), Janurary 12 (Forced exploration)||January 9th (Snapping out teammates from the dream world), February 3rd (Day of Fates)||Center of Melancholy/Laboratory of Sorrow|
- The Palace is somewhat similar to the TV World of Persona 4, as each dungeon typically reflects the mentality of the one who created it. However while the TV world is made of hidden thoughts and secrets of people and do not always represent corruption, Palaces are exclusively made of corruption or negative desires.
- DLC Costumes in Persona 5 do not work outside Palaces.
- If the security level is high enough, that Palace's map will become a BGM visualizer.
- In Persona 5, after sending a calling card, the palace's security level will always rise to 99%. In Persona 5 Royal, this is changed to 100%.