"You are a slave. Want emancipation?"
Persona 5 is a fantasy based on reality which follows a group of troubled high school students: the protagonist and a collection of compatriots he meets along the way. These disturbed and troubled teenagers gradually realize that they are living in a toxic and dangerous world resembling a prison full of slavery, oppression and injustice, ruled by corrupted and twisted adults. They can't live with the system and can't live without it, and simply existing means they are at risk of being doomed and condemned to a life of slavery.
In order to seek freedom, liberation and justice, they live dual lives as rebellious Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Using a mysterious smartphone app, they undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people (specifically, corrupt adults in positions of power) in order to re-shape and transform them. The Phantom Thieves realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by confronting their inner selves and by literally ripping off their protective mask do the heroes awaken their inner power, using it to help those in need. Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception, end slavery and see through the masks modern society wears.
An enhanced version, titled Persona 5 Royal, was released on PlayStation 4 on October 31st, 2019 in Japan and worldwide on March 31, 2020. It includes many new features, including new characters, battle mechanics and a third semester added to the story. This might not necessarily entirely replace the original game (particularly for PlayStation 3 players), however, as Persona enthusiasts may still enjoy this game's slightly higher difficulty, as well as prefer the original enemy and boss behaviors.
Note: This plot summary only covers the content in the original Persona 5. Persona 5 Royal-exclusive plot content such as the third semester is not listed here.
At the start of the game, the protagonist is seen infiltrating a casino, with his teammates guiding him via voice. The police spot the protagonist, and they begin to close in and nearly capture him. Eventually, he reaches the other side of the casino and one of the guards reveals themselves to be a Shadow, which bursts into a Moloch to attack him. He defeats it and proceeds to nearly escape the casino. However, once outside, he is outnumbered, cornered and arrested by the police.
Detained, the protagonist is brought to the interrogation room in the police station where the officers drug him, beat him and manipulate him to signing his name on a falsified confession of the alleged crimes he's committed thus far. Afterward, Prosecutor Sae Niijima asks him about the events of the year. For most of the game, he is testifying the events for her in the interrogation room, and his testimony might overturn the seemingly hopeless situation, or cause his demise.
The story focuses on the 16-year-old protagonist after he is transferred to Shujin Academy in Tokyo, Japan, after he is put on probation after confronting a man harassing a woman, and subsequently being detained by the police because of the alleged injuries he's inflicted on that man. During his probation, he stays with his parents' friend Sojiro Sakura who owns a coffee shop called Café Leblanc, where he lets the protagonist live in an upstairs storage room. He heads to bed, and in his dreams he is summoned to the Velvet Room, where he is also on probation, set by Igor, the master of the Velvet Room. The two wardens that guard the place, Caroline and Justine, are also introduced. He proceeds to wake up to the next morning in reality shortly thereafter.
On his first day headed to Shujin, the protagonist meets his classmate Ann Takamaki, who gets a ride to the school, and problem student Ryuji Sakamoto, who helps him find his way to the school. However, after Ryuji complains about the physical education teacher Suguru Kamoshida, who was the man who gave Ann a ride, he and the protagonist accidentally activate a mysterious app on the protagonist's phone, sending them to a castle full of hideous monsters. Just as they are about to be executed by a Mr. Kamoshida lookalike, the protagonist awakens to his Persona Arsène. Arsene and the protagonist save himself and Ryuji from death at the hands of the Shadow minions. While trying to escape, they also encounter a talking, cat-like creature who calls himself Morgana, who they make a deal with, helping one another in the process. He teaches them about the nature of the Metaverse, ranging from Palaces, Personas (his own being Zorro) and Shadows; Soon thereafter, he joins the protagonist in the real world disguised as an ordinary housecat.
Over the next few days, while trying to adjust to life as a student, he and Ryuji revisit the Palace for clues to unveil Kamoshida for who he is. There, due to Ryuji's will to rebel against unjustness, since his name is already tainted because of his past within the school, he awakens to Captain Kidd. The two are later taught by Morgana that the Palaces are the representation of the distorted desires of the people around them, and discover the only way to get rid of a Palace is to steal its owner's hidden Treasure, changing their heart in the process. In addition, it's revealed that the Kamoshida found in the Castle is his Shadow self; the manifestation of his true personality if allowed to do whatever he pleases. Although the risk of causing a mental shutdown within the user and erasing their desire to live causes them to hesitate at first, this reaches a level of urgency when their attempts to reveal that Kamoshida has been physically and sexually abusing students in his role as volleyball coach backfire, as they and Yuuki Mishima (a member of the volleyball team who is being abused) end up confronting Kamoshida in his office, with him announcing they will all be expelled at the next board meeting for attempting to defy him.
They are soon joined by Ann, who is accidentally drawn into the Metaverse with them, and discovers the truth about Kamoshida's true personality after witnessing her friend Shiho Suzui attempt suicide due to Kamoshida's advances, gaining the Persona Carmen as well. She awakens to her Persona to enact revenge on Kamoshida, to ensure her friend Shiho isn't taken advantage of ever again. The group soon names themselves the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts" during their quest to steal the treasure from Kamoshida's Palace, leaving a calling card to prove their existence to the ruler, a necessity to causing his treasure to manifest a physical form, and ultimately preventing the protagonist, Ryuji and Mishima's expulsion from school when Kamoshida admits guilt in his abuse of the students.
The protagonist, Ryuji, and Ann also promise to help Morgana with his own quest: to investigate the depths of Mementos, the collective unconscious of society, in order to recover his lost memories and discover his origins. Meanwhile, Mishima promises the protagonist that he will make up for his mistakes in helping Kamoshida by opening a Phantom Thieves fansite, as he has surmised that the protagonist is responsible for the change of heart, allowing the public to air possible grievances linked to people's Shadow selves becoming distorted.
While investigating Mementos, the team discovers a Shadow self, who when defeated reveals his distortions were born from mistreatment by his former art mentor, Ichiryusai Madarame. They are soon entangled in this situation when Ann is approached by Madarame's current pupil, Yusuke Kitagawa, who wishes Ann to model for him. They discover that Madarame has been plagiarizing his students' work for his own personal gain, and try to get this information out of Yusuke to no avail, but they do discover Madarame's Palace, a massive art museum displaying all of his students as his previous "works of art." In their ploy to reach the treasure, Ann agrees to model for Yusuke while Morgana attempts to pick a lock on a door in the real world, ultimately revealing the truth about Madarame to Yusuke. Ann and Morgana panic when Madarame threatens to call the cops, and in desperation, traveling to the Palace and taking Yusuke along with them, where he confronts Shadow Madarame, revealing his own part in the death of Yusuke's mother, thus allowing Yusuke to no longer make excuses for the truth. He awakens to his own Persona Goemon, to ensure that no one else mistakes "beauty" and "vice." After stealing the treasure and defeating Madarame's Shadow, the real Madarame publicly apologizes for his plagiarism, and Yusuke joins the Phantom Thieves, seeking to develop his own art style in the wake of being abused for so many years. A few days later, teen celebrity Goro Akechi appears on TV, denouncing the Phantom Thieves as criminals who tamper with people's hearts.
During that time, the Shujin Academy student council president, Makoto Niijima, has been pressured by Principal Kobayakawa to seek out the identities of the Phantom Thieves to assist the police, unaware that the principal has ulterior motives. She successfully deduces that the protagonist, Ryuji, Ann and Yusuke are the Phantom Thieves in question, and blackmails them into uncovering a criminal ring that is shaking down students. The protagonist talks to various people, eventually meeting with journalist Ichiko Ohya, discovering the crime ring is lead by Junya Kaneshiro, but their inability to meet with Kaneshiro in person leads to Makoto confronting Kaneshiro herself, putting all of them in trouble when he blackmails them for millions of yen, proclaiming he will release pictures framing them of doing illegal acts. However, this brash action on Makoto's part allows them to discover the nature of Kaneshiro's Palace being a bank covering Shibuya. Shortly thereafter, Makoto's disgust at the nature of Kaneshiro's actions, and her own perceived ineptitude at solving the problem awakens her Persona Johanna, vowing to be the subservient honor student no longer. With Makoto's help as a strategist for the Phantom Thieves, they successfully steal Kaneshiro's treasure, freeing them from his blackmail and leading to his arrest.
Over summer vacation, the Phantom Thieves are taunted by the hacker collective Medjed when they are suddenly approached by another mysterious hacker named "Alibaba" who wants them to steal a heart: their own. Alibaba's actions lead them to discover that Alibaba is none other than Futaba Sakura, Sojiro's adoptive daughter who has become a shut-in after the trauma of witnessing her own mother's death and being blamed for it by men in black suits who read her a fake suicide note, it exclaiming it was her daughter's fault she killed herself. In her Palace, which represents a "tomb" she feels trapped in, they discover that Futaba wants her treasure stolen in order to free herself of her suicidal thoughts and her guilt towards her mother's death. When Futaba discovers she too can enter her own Palace, she is confronted by her own Shadow while the Phantom Thieves face off against her cognitive view of her mother Wakaba Isshiki, who has become a monstrous beast in her mind. When Futaba finally accepts that she is not at fault for her mother's death and that she was murdered, and did not commit suicide, her Shadow transforms into the Persona Necronomicon, allowing her to help the Phantom Thieves turn the tide in battle against the monster, and successfully changing her heart and freeing her of her guilt. The Phantom Thieves also discover that Wakaba was researching cognitive psience, which has some connection to the world of the Metaverse, which includes Mementos, Palaces, and Personas.
As summer vacation winds down and Futaba spends her first day outside, the Phantom Thieves bask in the glory of their newfound fame, spanning from going to the beach and going on a school trip abroad to Hawaii. They make additional use of their status by implementing a poll on the PhanSite, asking users to vote on the group's next target. However, due to the influence of their fame, they started to simply enjoy the attention, thinking about the next biggest target instead of saving people in need. This includes a depressed Morgana, who, after being unable to find any viable information about who he is for months, began to worry about his identity, role and worth in the group to a harming degree.
However, upon their return from their trip from Hawaii, the group is brought back to their senses when they discover Principal Kobayakawa mysteriously died en route to the police, which forced several third-year students to act as chaperones so other teachers can stay behind and respond to police inquiries. During their meeting on the winner of the new poll, Kunikazu Okumura, they suddenly begin to question if they should target him solely based on the general public's say. However, their aforementioned thirst for popularity sparked a misunderstanding and an argument between Morgana and the rest of the group, with Morgana's identity crisis ultimately leading to him leaving the group in order to prove himself, asserting he'll catch the supposed culprit behind the mental shutdowns all by himself.
Worried about him, the Phantom Thieves investigate Okumura's Palace, which resembles a space station. On they way, they discover that Okumura views his employees as replaceable robots. Although this spurs them to infiltrate his palace, they discover Morgana has taken a new Phantom Thief under his wing, who is able to get through the Palace's biometric scanners, and the next day they discover she is none other than Okumura's own daughter, Haru Okumura, who claims to also want to change her father's heart to end his mistreatment of his employees. However, upon trying to get them to join their side and work together, Haru refuses as they don't know what they want, and will instead tackle the issue on her own with Morgana.
However, Haru's claims on why she wants to steal her father's heart are only a superficial reason, as she's only spurred by his selfish attempts to use her for his own means by arranging a marriage with Sugimura, the son of an influential politician. Because she didn't admit these motives to herself, her Persona is very weak and unstable, thus meaning she isn't a optimal fighter against Shadows. Eventually, Morgana's ill-feelings towards the others are mended through their shared desire to help Haru after her confrontation from her abusive fiancé. Additionally, Haru encourages Morgana to overcome his fears of who he is, allowing himself to rejoin the Phantom Thieves. Haru joins the team as well, later awakening her Persona Milady's full power when confronting the cognitive version of Sugimura in her father's palace.
Together, the Phantom Thieves manage to steal Okumura's treasure and give him a change of heart, but after they leave, a mysterious figure kills Okumura's Shadow. While the Phantom Thieves celebrate Haru's success at Tokyo Destinyland, they watch in horror as Mr. Okumura suddenly collapses on live television after suffering a mental shutdown, since the Shadow self in the Palace was killed. The general public gradually believes the Phantom Thieves to be responsible for his murder, rendering them infamous and detested. During the ensuing investigation, Haru overhears that Principal Kobayakawa also received a calling card, leading her to question if the Phantom Thieves were behind his death as well, which they all know is not the truth, as he was never targeted, nor sent a calling card by the Phantom Thieves. The turn of events has also boosted Akechi's popularity, leading Makoto to request he visit them for the cultural festival. He hesitates, but eventually accepts her offer.
During a speech on stage at the festival, Akechi reveals he has surmised the identities of the Phantom Thieves, but before he announces this he receives a call, and asks the gang to speak to him in private. He reveals to them all that he has identified them as the Phantom Thieves, and even has evidence of them entering the Metaverse. He says he has also deduced that they cannot be responsible for the murders and mental shutdowns, because he too has entered the Metaverse and encountered the true culprit, only surviving because he obtained his Persona Robin Hood to defend himself. He convinces them to infiltrate the palace of public prosecutor Sae Niijima, Makoto's sister, because he has discovered that she has had her sense of justice twisted to the point that she needs a change of heart, and will falsely convict someone of being the Phantom Thieves without their intervention.
Inside Niijima's Palace, which has turned the district courthouse into a rigged casino, they discover the source of her twisted desire to obtain a guilty verdict no matter the cost, and successfully defeat her Shadow self. They convince her to change her ways, when suddenly the Palace is infiltrated by dozens of police officers from the real world. The protagonist agrees to go off on his own to distract the cops, allowing his friends to go free, when he is captured and told one of his teammates has sold him out.
In police custody, the protagonist is drugged, beaten and forced to sign a false confession. Shortly afterward, Sae comes into the room to interrogate him, which has been seen in a series of flash-forwards since the protagonist began his probation in Tokyo. This brings the game back to where it started and concludes it. Depending on how the protagonist responds to Sae's questioning, he either reveals the names of his friends and accomplices, leading to a "bad ending" where he is assassinated by the traitor, or the drugs begin to wear off and he remembers the truth, convincing Sae to take his cellphone and show it to Akechi on the way out of the interrogation cell. She questions the move heavily, but ultimately agrees to aid the protagonist since her time is up to interrogate him any further.
After Sae leaves, and passes Akechi in the hallway, Akechi speaks to the protagonist himself, taking the guard's gun and murdering the guard and the protagonist. The next day, the news announces that the leader of the Phantom Thieves has apparently committed suicide in custody; however, on the Phantom Thieves' side, everything has actually gone according to plan.
They all meet at Leblanc days later, where it is revealed that the protagonist is alive and well. The Phantom Thieves never stole Sae's treasure, allowing them to use her Palace to deceive Akechi. As everything outside of a Palace looks as it does in reality, the Phantom Thieves intentionally allowed the protagonist to be captured; as Sae interrogated him in the police station, a cognitive duplicate was created within the Metaverse. When Sae showed Akechi the protagonist's phone, Futaba remotely activated the MetaNav and transported them into her Palace; Akechi then proceeded to kill the cognitive duplicate of the protagonist, assuming that he had killed the real one, while Sae rescued the protagonist and brought him to Leblanc.
The Phantom Thieves explain that they knew Akechi was conspiring against them from the start, after Morgana recalled Akechi had heard him speak months earlier at the TV station, when people who haven't entered the Metaverse can only hear him meow in the real world. With Sojiro and Sae's help, the Phantom Thieves realize that they have been manipulated by Masayoshi Shido from the start, as he has been conspiring to use the Phantom Thieves to bolster his popularity among people to become prime minister, and he has been using Wakaba Isshiki's research on cognitive psience to manipulate the Metaverse to his own ends as well.
All of the other Palaces they had infiltrated had some sort of direct connection to Shido's plans: Principal Kobayakawa knowingly let Kamoshida abuse students and tried to use Makoto to silence the controversy surrounding the school, Madarame's plagiarized art helped fund Shido as did Kaneshiro's blackmail schemes, the Medjed impersonator was one of Shido's cronies who intended to admit defeat on the day of the cleanse in order to bolster the Phantom Thieves' popularity (Futaba's hacking into them was an unexpected event, but was ignored as it worked in their favor,) and Okumura was a party to the conspiracy, using it to further himself until he became a liability, leading to the hacking of the Phantom Aficionado Website to push Okumura to the top of their rankings so that the Conspiracy could frame them for his murder.
A confrontation with Shido later leads the protagonist to remember that Shido was the one who led to his false arrest earlier in the year, all as part of his attempts to keep his record spotless and win the election to Prime Minister of Japan with no opposition. After figuring out his cognition of the National Diet, the Phantom Thieves infiltrate his Palace to find a cruise ship sailing through a sinking Japan, where they confront Cognitive beings who Shido has managed to turn into powerful Shadows to protect him.
Once they defeat all five men, they are confronted by Akechi who has realized that the protagonist never died. He fights the Phantom Thieves, revealing his innate power to drive people's hearts mad, and admitting that he is the one behind all of the mental shutdown incidents before. This is all part of his plan to get Shido into power and then hold power over him when he reveals to the new Prime Minister that he is his bastard son, all in revenge for driving his mother to suicide. When he is finally defeated by the Phantom Thieves, he drives his own heart mad and summons his true Persona, Loki, to battle them once more.
After they successfully defeat him again, Shido's cognitive version of Akechi appears to kill the real Akechi for failing him, as Shido has already surmised that he is his son, and hence cannot have any loose ends that might threaten his power. Akechi, however, has realized the error in his ways and makes amends with the Phantom Thieves, locking him up in a room with the cognitive version of himself while saving the others. The Phantom Thieves then make it to the site of the treasure, and return to the real world to film a video broadcast to all of Japan that their leader is still alive and they will make Shido pay for his misdeeds.
They successfully defeat Shadow Shido, but this makes the real Shido realize that something is amiss, so he attempts to kill the Phantom Thieves by taking a poison that will temporarily kill him upon ingestion, destroying his Palace and everyone inside. The Phantom Thieves barely make it out alive, and Shido's aides discover that they successfully changed his heart, and later he admits all his wrongdoings live on television after his party's victory in the Diet, making his aides panic. However, the public seems to think that Shido was simply ill, and believe the Phantom Thieves neither had anything to do with it, nor existed in the first place.
This leads the Phantom Thieves to investigate Mementos on Christmas Eve in order to enact a change of heart on everyone by stealing the public unconscious's treasure. Delving into the depths of Mementos, they discover that the people of Tokyo have suddenly decided to allow themselves to be imprisoned by the impositions of society at large, that it is easier to allow themselves to give into a greater force controlling them, than make their own decisions on their lives. They soon encounter the public's treasure, a giant Holy Grail. However, they soon find out it is the true ruler of the prison, which speaks to them and demands that they submit to its power. They are unsuccessful in defeating the Holy Grail, as it is protected by the masses' support. They are ejected from Mementos, only to find that the real world and the Metaverse are beginning to fuse together, with the masses being ultimately ignorant to the state of affairs. As the Thieves have left the public's cognition, they become erased, as they do not have any place in the fused world now.
The protagonist awakens in the Velvet Room once more, where Igor berates him for failing, and orders Caroline and Justine to execute him. With the inmate left nearly dead, the two girls realize that something is amiss. They understand once more their duty is not to kill, but to rehabilitate, commanding the protagonist to fuse them together just as they had fused Personas for him over the past year. This transforms the two of them into their original form: Lavenza. She then reveals that "Igor" is an impostor who has rigged all of the past year's events against the protagonist, in a game to decide the fate of humanity with both the protagonist and Goro Akechi as the "players." The terms of the game were supposed to be that if Akechi won, the world would be destroyed and rebuilt, and if the protagonist won, the world would stay as is. However, the false "Igor" rigged the game, now refusing to allow the protagonist to win. The false "Igor" then presents the protagonist with a choice: either allow him to control humanity and become his assistant, restoring the world to normal but not allowing the people to think for themselves, or refuse to assist him altogether. The false "Igor" says the Phantom Thieves will gain fame and praise in exchange as well, should he accept this deal.
Should he accept, the bad ending will start playing, but not before Lavenza express her shock and disappointment to him for accepting the false god's deal. Should he refuse, "Igor" leaves to become one with the Holy Grail once more, and Lavenza reveals the true Igor has been trapped here all this time and that the protagonist's friends are alive elsewhere in the "jail" of the Velvet Room. After freeing his imprisoned friends via convincing them to not give up, they regain their rebellious spirit and all convene in the Velvet Room. Lavenza and the real Igor explain the situation to the Phantom Thieves, urging the protagonist to not let the world end in ruin. Morgana has finally remembered that the real Igor created him using the hopes of humanity's freedom, to find the true Trickster and aid him on his journey to stop the evil entity behind the Holy Grail. They all agree to help, and they are led out of the Velvet Room by Morgana. When they exit the Velvet Room and end up back in Shibuya, Morgana glows a bright light, bringing the Phantom Thieves back to people's minds, albeit vaguely.
The Phantom Thieves go on their true final mission to fight the mastermind, the Holy Grail and the false Igor. Doing so, they travel to the depths of Mementos, defeating the Shadows of the 4 archangels; Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael on the way, and make it to the Holy Grail once more and battle it. However, it soon transforms into its true form, the God of Control, Yaldabaoth, who punishes the Phantom Thieves with the various Seven Deadly Sins. After a valiant effort, they nearly defeat him, but are then knocked down by his Rays of Control. However, Morgana helps the general public remember the Phantom Thieves, and subsequently, the protagonist's allies and Confidants rally them into rebelling with them. Hearing the cheers of the entirety of Tokyo on their side and freed from Yaldabaoth's control, the Phantom Thieves stand their ground once again and the protagonist awakens his ultimate Persona Satanael. Satanael conjures a bullet made from the Seven Deadly Sins and shoots it towards the now powerless God of Control to deal the final blow. Reverted to its former state as a lifeless grail, Morgana takes it back home. This causes the collapse of the Metaverse entirely, and Morgana, subsequently tied to the other world, bids his friends a fond farewell, with the rest of the Phantom Thieves saddened by this fate.
With everyone saved, and the real world back to normal, the gang decides to hold a party to celebrate their success on Christmas Day. However, the protagonist is approached by Sae, who tells him that in order to prosecute Shido, he must turn himself in to the police to provide testimony so that none of his friends face arrest, due to the fact that Akechi, the perpetrator behind the mental shutdowns, has been reported missing. The other Phantom Thieves learn about this terrible news the next day, and, although unable to use the Metaverse anymore, under Ann's suggestion, they spend the next month trying to free him via ordinary means, as do all of his other Confidants. By spring, Shido has successfully been tried and the actions of the protagonist's friends led to the woman he saved the previous year recanting her testimony against him, overturning his original conviction and clearing his record.
Now a free man, the protagonist returns back to Café Leblanc reunited with everyone. Morgana returns as well, now simply a talking housecat, having survived the collapse of the Metaverse as the rest of the Phantom Thieves kept him in their cognition. He decides to spend the rest of his life with the protagonist to "keep him in line" and to see if there is truly a way for him to become a human. After saying his goodbyes during his last day in Tokyo, the protagonist heads back to his hometown with his friends at his side.
Persona 5 has a number of bad endings which may occur. The main bad endings are based on incorrect decisions made by the player. In both of these endings, the music for the Mementos Depths, "Freedom and Security" plays in the credits, which is concluded with a red "END." Triggering these bad endings will unlock New Game Plus since the game is considered cleared, but the protagonist will not get any bonuses past the in-game date of the bad ending.
- Sell out your friends: During the interrogation with Sae, the protagonist makes the deal with her to reveal his accomplices. Akechi arrives and convinces Sae to leave. Akechi kills a police guard, shoots the protagonist in the head, and makes the scene resemble a suicide. The protagonist finds himself in the Velvet Room, where the residents berate him for his failure to complete his rehabilitation. Igor tells him that ruin will come momentarily and confines the protagonist to his cell for the rest of his life. Should the player choose the incorrect decisions that would lead to the protagonist selling out his accomplices, a prompt will appear asking if they are sure that they are making the right choices in order to prevent them from triggering this ending by mistake, since the player might otherwise trust Sae with the information.
- Make a deal with the False God: The protagonist strikes a deal with Yaldabaoth, and the world is changed back into its normal, non-hellish form, although the people in it are "distorted masses." The Phantom Thieves are praised and gain fame. However, the people are trapped by their lack of free will, abandoning their ability to think for themselves. The protagonist smiles maliciously at the end, indicating he too has became a puppet of the false god. Just like the bad ending trigger above, if the protagonist agrees to strike a deal with Yaldabaoth, the protagonist will have to confirm this option once choosing it.
The player can also get unique scenes, followed by a Game Over, if Palaces are not completed in time. If the player misses a deadline, they are given the option to go back a week before or return to the main menu to load a save file.
In the special game over scenes, the police come to the café and arrest the protagonist. The reason for the protagonist's arrest and Sojiro's reaction depends on the Palace. The scene then fast-forwards to Sae's interrogation, revealing that the previous scene was a misremembered memory from the protagonist. Sae determines the protagonist is too drugged to remember the events properly and leaves to give him time to remember what really happened. Akechi, as a mysterious figure, enters the interrogation room after she leaves and assassinates the protagonist.
- Fail to complete Kamoshida's Palace by May 2: Kamoshida files charges against the protagonist and manipulates the school board into having him, Ryuji and Mishima expelled. Sojiro is disappointed in the protagonist, scolding him for not heeding his warnings and behaving.
- Fail to complete Madarame's Palace by June 5: Madarame files charges against the protagonist, after reporting the Phantom Thieves for trespassing into his house. Sojiro's reaction is the same here as with Kamoshida.
- Fail to complete Kaneshiro's Palace by July 9: Makoto is found heavily drugged and brutalized in an illegal services shop, deliriously muttering the protagonist's name and making the police think that the protagonist is connected to her situation. Sojiro is very shocked at this news, incredulously asking the protagonist what he did.
- Fail to complete Futaba's Palace by August 21: The protagonist is charged of coercion and blackmail and is also suspected of being a Phantom Thief due to Futaba leaking his information. Sojiro attempts to defend the protagonist, thinking they have the wrong person, but is arrested himself for harboring and assisting a criminal.
- Fail to complete Okumura's Palace by October 11 and Niijima's Palace by November 20: The police receive an anonymous tip that claims the protagonist is the leader of the Phantom Thieves. Sojiro expresses disappointment regarding this turn of events, scolding the protagonist for his recklessness
- Fail to reach Okumura within 10 minutes or defeat him within 30 minutes: If the party takes over 10 minutes to reach Okumura during the final infiltration of his Palace or over 30 minutes to defeat him, he will escape it via spaceship and the Phantom Thieves are killed in an explosion.
- Fail to complete Shido's Palace by December 18: Akechi leads the police to Café Leblanc's attic, with Sojiro in custody, to have the protagonist arrested for faking his death and shooting an officer. This scene takes place regardless of whether Akechi has been fought in Shido's Palace and it has a fuzzy white border around the outside, despite taking place outside the protagonist's memories.
The main theme of Persona 5 is freedom, anger and breaking free from slavery, to corrupted adults from the school, prestige class, gang, corporation, government and politics. Persona 5 discusses the hardships of modern-day 21st century society and features characters that are restrained by the rules set by this society, especially in Japan where the game is set. This freedom is meant to liberate those who "are bored and discontent with their lives." Persona 5 was made to be an emotional experience that stirs up its audience and finally lets them go with a strong sense of catharsis.
Persona 5 contains some Judeo-Christian symbolism. The bosses are loosely themed after the Seven Deadly Sins, many enemies are based on Abrahamic figures, the song "Rivers in the Desert" is likely an Isaiah reference, etc. The party is also forced to defeat the four Christian archangels Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael before the final boss.
In particular, the Gnostic version of Judeo-Christianity is symbolized in Persona 5, as Sloth is considered the capital sin in there, the false ruler god of Gnosticism Demiurge, known as "Yaldabaoth" in this game acts as its final boss, and the protagonist's ultimate Persona, Satanael is responsible for teaching humanity to rebel against the Demiurge in Gnostic lore.
A major theme is that the protagonist and the Phantom Thieves are working to defeat the Seven Deadly Sins that humanity is attached to, such as lust, greed, pride, etc; the protagonist is called the savior of humanity, and defeating these vices is essential to overcoming the enslaved mindset and condition of humanity.
- Main article: List of Persona 5 Characters
- Protagonist: The player character is a falsely accused delinquent moonlighting as a gentleman thief. He wears a bird mask and uses knives and handguns in combat. His Persona is Arsène, after the literary gentleman thief of the same name.
- Morgana: An amnesiac, shapeshifting cat-like creature that meets the protagonist. Wanting to discover his origins and restore his true form, he joins the protagonist in his heists, teaches him and his allies the mechanics of the Metaverse, and the ropes of being a Phantom Thief. He has some sort of connection to the Metaverse and Mementos. He wears a fabric mask around his head, and wields curved swords and slingshots in battle. His Persona is Zorro, after the literary outlaw.
- Ryuji Sakamoto: A boy who attends the protagonist's school and joins him in his heists. Bold and hot-tempered; he is seen as a delinquent at his school due to an incident with his former track team. He wears a skull mask and wields bludgeons and shotguns as weapons. His Persona is Captain Kidd, after the notorious privateer-turned-pirate.
- Ann Takamaki: A quarter-American girl in the protagonist's homeroom. An outcast for her foreign looks and upbringing, she joins with the protagonist in his heists to inspire hope in people in troubled situations. She wears a panther mask and uses whips and sub-machine guns. Her Persona is Carmen, after the heroine of the novella of the same name.
- Yusuke Kitagawa: An eccentric art student from a neighboring school and the disciple of a legendary Japanese artist. He wears a fox mask and uses katanas and assault rifles. His Persona is Goemon, after the legendary Japanese bandit.
- Makoto Niijima: The intelligent student council president, a girl with a strong sense of justice and a hidden violent side. She is initially tasked in seeking out the Phantom Thieves, but eventually joins them. She wears an iron mask and uses knuckles and revolvers. Her Persona is Johanna, after the legendary Medieval female pope.
- Futaba Sakura: A shut-in bespectacled girl with orange hair who is a highly capable hacker and the team's dungeon Navigator. She wears VR goggles and participates in battle through her Persona Necronomicon, named after a mystical book from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.
- Haru Okumura: A third-year student and daughter of a major food manufacturer, she is refined but has seen little of life. She wears a domino mask and fights using axes and grenade launchers. Her Persona is Milady, after the antagonist Milady DeWinter from The Three Musketeers.
- Goro Akechi: A third-year student and a renowned detective investigating the Phantom Thieves case in collaboration with Makoto's elder sister. He wears a red long-beaked mask and fights using laser sabers and ray guns. His Persona is Robin Hood, after the legendary outlaw of Medieval English folklore.
- Igor: The man who operates the Velvet Room.
- Caroline and Justine: Two young assistants to Igor in the Velvet Room. They both wear a blue prison guard outfit and an eyepatch over one of their eyes. Caroline has hair buns and Justine has a long braid.
- Sojiro Sakura: Owner of a coffee shop Café Leblanc who looks after the protagonist during his probation in Tokyo.
- Tae Takemi: The owner of Takemi Medical Clinic in Yongen-Jaya. She believes in her own theory of pharmaceutics and sells barely legal prescriptions to her patients secretly.
- Munehisa Iwai: The owner of the airsoft shop, Untouchable in Shibuya.
- Yuuki Mishima: A second year high school student at Shujin Academy. He creates and maintains the Phantom Aficionado Website, which hosts anonymous polls, discussions and requests about the Phantom Thieves.
- Sadayo Kawakami: A Japanese language and homeroom teacher of class 2-D at Shujin Academy. Due to the protagonist's tainted reputation from his criminal record, Kawakami does not hold him in high regard initially.
- Ichiko Ohya: A paparazza who writes on gossip. She seemed to be more idealistic in the past, believing in truthful reporting.
- Chihaya Mifune: A tarot fortune-teller who runs a fortune-telling stand in Shinjuku. She is rumored to be a real fortune-teller, but seems to recommend suspicious stones. Says that the fate of others is absolute.
- Hifumi Togo: A young lady who holds the championship title in the Female Shogi League. She seems to be passionate for shogi.
- Shinya Oda: An elementary school boy who visits the Gigolo arcade in Akihabara. He is known as the gaming genius called "The King."
- Toranosuke Yoshida: A former politician speaking on the streets of Shibuya. He lost his job after a series of scandals, over which he's nicknamed as "No-Good Tora." Despite this, his speech skills are authentic and is serious about changing the country.
- Sae Niijima: A public prosecutor responsible for the Phantom Thieves of Hearts' case. She is Makoto's older sister.
- Masayoshi Shido: A powerful politician who aims to become the next Prime Minister of Japan. The protagonist has a feeling that he has met him somewhere before moving to Tokyo.
The story takes place over the course of a year, and the protagonist must balance high school life and reforming society.
The protagonist lives in the attic of Café Leblanc and can explore various locations in the Greater Tokyo Area using the subway system. He can take taking part-time jobs, play video games, go out with friends, go to restaurants, study, go to the movies, play baseball, spend time at a bathhouse, fish, exercise in his own room or go to the gym, make equipment for use in battle, messages, watch DVDs or go to the clinic. A certain amount of these activities can increase the protagonist's stat performance such as his Max HP and SP. There are also a variety of minigames.
Using the P. A. D., the SNS system allows the protagonist to chat with other people using phone text messages, helping them learn more about their personalities and background.
During the prologue, the difficulty can be selected from "Safety," "Easy," "Normal" and "Hard." With the exception for Safety difficulty, the rest can be changed at any time. An additional "Merciless" difficulty above Hard is available as free DLC. Even if someone has never played Persona 5 before, choosing Normal should be fine. The difficulty statistics/features are:
|Difficulty||Damage received||Damage dealt||EXP||Money|
-  In Safety, if the protagonist is killed, the option to revive the entire party with full HP and SP will be available;
- However, the difficulty cannot be changed until the beginning of a new playthrough.
-  In Merciless, weakness, Critical and Technical damage from any source is tripled.
The Palace of every arc of the main storyline has a certain deadline to complete. Failure to complete the Palace before the deadline will result in a "false ending" Game Over scene where the protagonist misremembers why he was arrested, and is assassinated by a mysterious figure, when Sae leaves him alone to remember the truth. It is impossible to explore past dungeons once they're cleared, so it is recommended to do so in advance as much as possible.
Unlike dungeons in previous entries in the series, a majority of Palaces include fixed design, and are not randomly generated. They feature unique elements of platforming (jumping up and down ledges), puzzles, stealth, and traps.
A randomly-generated dungeon called Mementos is where the party can traverse by driving a vehicle transformed from Morgana where they can collect treasures, obtain Personas that are present in the previously collapsed Palaces and complete requests to steal the hearts of minor targets submitted to the Phantom Aficionado Website (Phan-site for short). Mementos is affected by the weather, and it is a good idea to explore it during days with bad weather for advantages in battle.
Battle can be initiated when the protagonist is in stealth mode and ambushes the enemy, which gives the party a preemptive turn. If the protagonist fails in stealth, the security level will increase. A spotlight will then follow him, which causes the enemies to pursue him persistently. After victory in a battle, the spotlight will stop chasing the protagonist. If the protagonist successfully performs another ambush attack, the security level will drop slightly. When the security level reaches 100%, the party is forced to leave the dungeon for the day. The next time the party enters the same dungeon again, the security level will drop by a portion. Mementos does not have a security level.
After the party successfully makes it to the end of a Palace, they can go back to the real world and send a calling card to their target. Doing so takes the entire daytime period away and during that night the protagonist cannot go outside Café Leblanc, although he can still craft tools if that ability is unlocked. During the next day, the party will be automatically thrown into the Palace and cannot get out until the boss at the end is defeated. Afterwards, the Palace will collapse and advance the story further.
The party engages in strategic turn-based combat with Shadows and bosses using both melee and ranged weapons, instead of only one type of weapon. The party will use their Personas in battle to combat Shadows. The general aim is to find the enemy's weakness and exploit it in order to knock them down.
If the protagonist dies in battle, the game will end. However, if it was a boss battle, it is possible to restart the battle before the boss. Death in a random battle will start the game back at the most recent Safe Room. Protecting the protagonist is an important priority.
When a party member has knocked down an enemy, a new ability called "Baton Pass" appears, where the party member can pass their "1 More" turn to another combatant to boost up their attack and healing power during that turn, which goes higher if the streak is kept going. The maximum is three passes, as the "baton" cannot be passed to the same party member twice.
- Negotiation: The game brings back the old way of interacting with enemies: Negotiation for obtaining Persona, money and item, a feature returning from absence since Persona 2, in vein with the Shin Megami Tensei games.
- All-Out Attack: The party members all attack at once for combined, massive damage. If all enemies are defeated in that All-Out Attack, the game will play a finishing touch sequence featuring the party member who has knocked down the last enemy.
Unlike traditional RPGs, where the player has to go through layers of menus in order to give a command in battle, Persona 5 features an improved UI which offers shortcuts to major commands like melee attack, gun attack, Persona skills, items, guard and tactical order. Instead of navigating a wheel in Persona 3 or a vertical list in Persona 4, choices are now a button press away, allowing for fast-paced action. The party can also gain access to the ability to switch party members during battle, although these are Confidant abilities only attainable from Hifumi Togo and/or Futaba Sakura.
The Thieves Guild allows online players to share and receive information about what kind of activities they take. A graph shows the percentage of all online players venturing the Palace, improving social performance or participating in Confidant events. It is also particularly useful to rely on this during test answers and Confidant questions, as certain choices provide more benefits.
Persona 5 was released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan for 8,800 yen on September 15, 2016.
A 13,800 yen 20th Anniversary Edition includes the following additional content:
- Persona 5 art book
- Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album (five CDs)
- Disc 1: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
- Disc 2: Persona 2: Innocent Sin / Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- Disc 3: Persona 3 (FES)
- Disc 4: Persona 4 (The Golden)
- Disc 5: Persona 5
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #1: “Orpheus Picaro” and “Izanagi Picaro”
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #2: Persona 3 “Gekkoukan High School Uniform” costumes and Persona 3 battle BGM set
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #3: Persona 4 “Yasogami High School Uniform” costumes and Persona 4 battle BGM set
- Special Custom Theme
- Special Persona 5 Art treasure box
Persona 5 (standard version) is bundled with PlayStation 4 Slim (1 TB) in a limited package as Sony announces the Slim models of PS4 in September 2016. The package was sold for 39,980 yen on the day of the game's initial release, which is 5,000 yen more than buying the console alone but saves 3,800 yen than buying the standard version of the game and the console separately.
In North America and Europe
Persona 5 launched for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in both North America and Europe on April 4th, 2017. Apart from the base game, there are two special editions for both North America and Europe.
Take Your Heart Premium Edition
Exclusive to the PlayStation 4 version of the game, the "Take Your Heart" edition, also known as the premium version with the most content, will include:
- "Sounds of Rebellion" soundtrack CD: A selection of music from Persona 5 by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi. The music is exactly the same as the Persona 5 disc that came with the Japanese release, except the 20th track seems to be absent.
- 4” Morgana plush: Morgana the Phantom Thieves’ cat is not just the mascot of the Phantom Thieves, but also a member – and also not just a cat! The premium edition includes an exclusive 4” plush of Morgana.
- "Persona 5 Art Book The Aesthetics": This 64-page hardcover art book is full of concept sketches, character art and more by character designer Shigenori Soejima.
- SteelBook: As strong as a vault, the game disc for the PS4 will come specially packaged in a SteelBook collectible case featuring this art.
- School bag: Designed after the traditional school bags in Japan, the exclusive replica bag comes complete with the Shujin Academy crest.
SteelBook Launch Edition
Exclusive to the PlayStation 4 version of the game, Atlus released Persona 5 in a special SteelBook Launch Edition. All pre-orders and a very limited number of launch copies came in an official, collectible SteelBook case, adorned with Persona 5 art identical to the one in the “Take Your Heart” Premium Edition.
The SteelBook edition (both "Take Your Heart Premium Edition" and standalone) comes with a unique feature that reflects a central theme in the game's plot, although it is unknown if this is intentional or not. It is needed to take a picture of the case with the flash on. Shadows are the manifestation of mostly negative human emotions and serve as the primary enemies in some of the installments. Strong-willed shadows usually attract their lesser kind, which make them into more powerful creatures. Similarly, most of the cast have their own inner shadows, which represent their "true selves" which they often hide from society.
There is a variety of DLC such as Personas, costumes, battle music, etc. The English-language releases include some free DLC, such as Japanese voice acting, Merciless difficulty, costumes, etc.
- DLC Content (Costumes/Other)
- DLC Content (Personas)
- Videos (DLC Costumes)
Persona 5 was developed by P-Studio, an internal development studio within Atlus dedicated to handling the Persona series. Notable staff members, such as Katsura Hashino, Shigenori Soejima and Shoji Meguro returned.
Development began in a preparatory phase in 2008, following the release of Persona 4. Only after the release of Catherine in 2011, which was used as a "test" for the next Persona game, did full development begin. Albeit they used a third-party engine for Catherine, by its release they have developed their own internal engine, which they would use for Persona 5. When deciding on what devices and consoles to publish the game, it was discussed internally to move the series to mobile gaming devices like the PlayStation Vita or smartphones. Eventually, Hashino and his team chose the PlayStation 3 as they felt that fans would love to see another game for home consoles.
The game was first mentioned to be in development in August 2011 in an interview with Katsura Hashino, the producer of the Persona series. Hashino confirmed that the basic preparations for the development were finished and announced the return of Shigenori Soejima and Shoji Meguro as character designer and music composer, respectively. Both Soejima and Meguro previously worked together with Hashino on Persona 3, Persona 4 and Catherine. Hashino originally had the concept of "backpacking and flying all over the world" as a frame for the theme of self-discovery, but after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred, the change of the mood of people around him made him decide to change his direction. Instead, he wanted to "connect the adventurous spirit in people's hearts" with something like an "inner revolution." Eventually, this led to the "picaresque juvenile" theme and took inspiration of the classic phantom thief genre.
Persona 5 would be Hashino's last game in the series as the leader of P-Studio, as he would afterwards form a separate internal team called Studio Zero.
One major change in Persona 5 from previous games is that the dungeon layout is locked, instead of being randomly-generated. Hashino explained he wanted to fill the game's dungeons with thrilling sequences that would suit the Phantom Thieves theme, and with challenges that would require the protagonist to consult his teammates to overcome. In addition to that, he also thought that people who played the previous game would also appreciate a drastic change to the dungeon system such as this one, and that it would be appealing to even more players. Before that, there were also plans to incorporate real-time elements in the turn-based system of the game, but that idea was scrapped in the end.
Persona 5 was officially revealed on November 24, 2013 following a 72-hour countdown that eventually resulted in a series of announcements that included Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. A Persona 5 website domain was previously registered on June 25th, 2013 by Index Corporation, the former parent company of Atlus. An American release was confirmed on February 25, 2014 with an originally estimated release in 2015.
A PlayStation 4 version of the game was announced on September 1, 2014 during Sony's Tokyo Game Show conference, alongside another teaser trailer that gave a first look on the game's setting and its protagonist. Later next year, during the Night of the Phantom concert, on February 5, the first trailer for the game was revealed. On June 25, a bonus Blu-Ray containing a variety of Persona 5 related content was released as a preorder bonus for the Japanese version of Persona 4: Dancing All Night on, which also included the second trailer for the game.
On September 17, 2015, a third trailer for Persona 5 was shown as part of the company's Tokyo Game Show 2015 broadcast which revealed that the release date would be postponed to Summer 2016. According to Katsura Hashino, this decision was made so that game could become the biggest out of all the games he has directed so far.
Later, an event titled "Take Tokyo Tower" was hosted on May 5th in Japan, particularly via a live Nico Nico stream. That's where the fourth trailer for Persona 5 was released, and the final Japanese release date, September 15, 2016, was revealed. Additionally, as the premise behind the event was that the Phantom Thieves are going to take Tokyo Tower, during the stream, the protagonist scaled the tower from the side, and the tower was lit up in red once he made it to the top.
Initially, the oversea versions were scheduled for February 14, 2017. In the beginning of the official live stream of the English version demo on November 16, 2016, Atlus announced that because they wanted to set a new height of localization standard, the release date was pushed back to April 4, 2017. Atlus USA explained that extra time was required for revision of the script as well as recording some voices again. The fact that Atlus Japan only handed over the complete script for Atlus USA to begin localization also contributed to the delay. In compensation for the delay, the game had been reprogrammed to support dual audio option and the Japanese voice set is available as free downloadable content permanently.
- Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight: Rhythm game.
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth: The cast of Persona 5 crosses paths with the casts of Persona 4 and Persona 3.
- Persona 5 Royal: An enhanced edition of the base game with new story content and characters.
- Persona 5 Strikers: A direct sequel to Persona 5 with real-time gameplay and a country-spanning story.
- Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore includes a Joker outfit.
- Catherine: Full Body includes Joker as a playable character feat. the Phantom Thieves, and background plushies of Morgana.
- Soul Hackers 2 includes Joker, Skull, Panther and Crow outfits, "Keeper of Lust" as battle BGM and a "Phantom Thief Mask" accessory.
- Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers: A 30-minute anime released on September 3rd, 2016.
- Persona 5 The Animation: Anime covering the entire game, as well as several special episodes. It aired in Japan throughout 2018.
- Persona 5 manga: A manga adaptation of Persona 5 that is currently ongoing.
- Persona 5 Dengeki Comic Anthology: A manga anthology.
- Persona 5 Comic à La Carte: A manga anthology.
- Persona 5 Comic Anthology (DNA Media Comics): A manga anthology.
- Tartarus Theater Wild: A manga based on Tartarus Theater, which includes the cast of Persona 5.
- Persona 5 the Animation Dengeki Comic Anthology: A manga anthology based on Persona 5 The Animation.
- Persona 5: Mementos Mission: A manga side-story that was published from 2018 to 2020.
- Persona 5 The Night Breakers: A 41-minute drama CD.
- Persona 5 The Stage: A stage play adaptation of Persona 5.
Other Game Collaborations
- Dragon's Dogma Online (multiplayer action game by Capcom) includes character skins of Joker and Panther.
- Lord of Vermilion Re:3 includes Joker, Panther, Yusuke, Caroline and Justine as added characters to the game.
- Phantasy Star Online 2 (multiplayer action game by Sega) includes attires and character animations of the protagonist/Joker, Ann, Makoto and Futaba, Morgana suit, pet Arsène and posters of Persona 5.
- LORD of VERMILION Re:3 (card game on arcade machine by Square-Enix) includes cards of Joker, Panther, Fox, Caroline and Justine.
- Chain Chronicle (mobile/handheld RPG by Sega) collaboration festival from January 19, to January 31, 2017.
- Granblue Fantasy (mobile/web browser RPG by Cygames) collaboration event from June 18, to June 29, 2018.
- Puzzle and Dragons includes the protagonist as a playable character. A collaboration on Persona 5, 4 and 3.
- Sonic Forces (platformer game by Sega) includes Joker's outfit for the original character.
- BanG Dream! Girls Band Party includes skins of Joker, Morgana, Panther, Queen, Oracle and Noir.
- Kyoutou Kotoba RPG includes all playable characters from Persona 5, as well as Shadow Kamoshida, Kaneshiro and Sae. Caroline and Justine also appear as enemies.
- (a Nintendo platform fighter) includes a Persona 5 DLC pack, released on April 17, 2019. It includes Joker as a playable character, as well as a Mementos-themed stage and five music tracks from Persona 5, two music tracks from Persona 3, three music tracks from Persona 4, and one track from Revelations: Persona. The lead developer, Masahiro Sakurai, has also noted that he was personally inspired by Persona 5 for the menu design of the game.
- Wonderland Wars includes Joker as a playable character.
- Identity V featured two collaborations, with the first including skins for the protagonist, Ryuji, Ann and Yusuke (with Morgana as a pet), and the second adding in Makoto, Futaba, Haru and Akechi.
- Another Eden includes Joker and Morgana as playable characters.
- Box Art
- Persona 20th Anniversary Edition
- Dengeki PlayStation
- Character Trailers
- Gameplay Trailers
In Other Languages
|Japanese||ペルソナ5 (Perusona 5)|
|Korean||페르소나 5 (Pereusona 5)|
|Traditional Chinese||女神異聞錄5 (Nǚshén yìwén lù 5)|
- The game usually takes between 80 to 120 hours to complete on a first playthrough, with 100 being a rough average. However, a few have managed to clock in over 150-180 hours; such players may be playing on harder difficulty, may be slow readers, may prefer walking around the city instead of using fast travel, or may be playing the PlayStation 3 version which has slower loading times that can add up.
- Unlike previous Persona titles, which were set in fictional locations, Persona 5 takes place in Tokyo, primarily in the Shibuya ward. A lot of the locales in Persona 5 are heavily based on real-life Tokyo.
- Because of this, Atlus had to ask Persona fans to stop bothering and inconveniencing the locals and trespassing.
- Unlike previous entries in the Persona series, the game takes place in "20XX," leaving the exact year ambiguous. However, in-game references suggest the exact year is 2016; for example, a TV report regarding Rise Kujikawa stating that she "gained a lot of sex appeal since she hit 20," who was 15 during the events of Persona 4, which takes place during 2011. Additionally, examination of the exact dates (via comparing days of the week and leap years) shows that they line up exactly with the 2016 calendar.
- The art assets in the game, such as UI and portraits, had to be redrawn and redone when the game was also being developed for PlayStation 4, as it meant a jump from 720p to 1080p. The PlayStation 3 version has a max resolution of 720p.
- The box art of Persona 5 has a similar style to Persona 4's, in that the main cast is featured surrounding the protagonist, who stands at the front of the group, with the game's setting and the protagonist's Persona in the background.
- Persona 5 includes Nuclear and Psy elemental skills, along with the Kouha and Eiha lines of Light and Dark skills, which have not been seen in the franchise since the Persona 2 duology, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner and the original Megami Ibunroku Persona, respectively.
- The Arcana written on the tarot cards are based on the Tarot of Marseilles deck, using French names of the cards. The Death tarot card is unnamed accordingly because Death (La Mort) is also known as "The Card with No Name."
- The credits of Persona 5, while showing the party, does not display the party's Personas, unlike Persona 3 and 4. However, it does show the protagonist awakening to his Persona, whereas the rest of the casts' awakenings are not shown.
- Persona 5 is the first Persona game to use circular chronology in its storytelling.
- Persona 5 is the first-ever entry in the entire Megami Tensei series to support dual audio.
- Persona 5 is the first Persona game whose physical release options are supported on more than two PlayStation consoles, those being the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 (via backwards compatibility support for PS4 titles).
- While the Persona 2 duology is supported on a grand total of five PlayStation systems, PSVita's backwards compatibility for Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment is only available via online download. Additonally, Eternal Punishment is only available on the PS3 and PSP systems via online download.
- Official North American website
- Official Japanese website
- Official Traditional Chinese website
- Official PlayStation Japan software website
- Official PlayStation Korean software website