"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 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. This suggests that extreme negative emotions or psychological trauma can also cause a Palace to form. If the Palace is formed by said reasons, its owner will also become ammensiac towards any of the events that caused it to form due to dissociative ammensia, but objects containing it will appear in their own Palaces as they represent subconscious knowledge, so it is possible for its owner to enter it to recollect 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 voice: full name of the host, location of the Palace in reality, title of the host and the form the Palace takes. 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.
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.
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. In cases like Yuuki Mishima's Shadow, a sound persuasion alone is enough to reform the host's mind without fighting or taking away the Treasure.
Near the end of the game, the Thieves learn that the Shadow Selves they have reformed (except for Kunikazu Okumura who has been killed) have in fact returned to the Prison of Regression that lies at the heart of Mementos, where the majority of the Shadows lock themselves behind bars because of embracing the deadly sin of sloth-specifically, fear of disrupting societal order in any way. They reveal that Mementos spawns Palaces to isolate people that Yaldabaoth feels are so distorted with their desires to the point that they might damage the public, but 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 he 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.
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.
List of Palaces
|Kamoshida's Palace||April 11th||May 2nd||Castle of Lust|
|Madarame's Palace||May 16th||June 5th||Museum of Vanity|
|Kaneshiro's Palace||June 19th||July 9th||Bank of Gluttony|
|Futaba's Palace||July 25th||August 21st||Pyramid of Wrath|
|Okumura's Palace||September 15th||October 11th||Spaceport of Greed|
|Niijima's Palace||October 29th||November 20th||Casino of Envy|
|Shido's Palace||November 24th||December 18th||Cruiser of Pride|
|Mementos||May 7th||December 24th||Prison of Sloth|
- 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.