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"...we do not go astray because we do not know, but because we think we know."
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is an RPG for the Nintendo 3DS and a sequel to Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. It is a crossover game between Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5. The main theme and opening for the game is Road Less Taken.
The story begins after the P5 hero wakes up from a dream where a blue butterfly shows him a quote projected on a theater screen during a nap in class at Shujin Academy alongside Morgana. They gather the other Phantom Thieves of Hearts in Cafe Leblanc to explore Mementos. These members include Morgana, Ryuji Sakamoto, Ann Takamaki, Yusuke Kitagawa, Makoto Niijima, Futaba Sakura, Haru Okumura and Goro Akechi. They enter Mementos and drive the Mona-bus to explore it while beating Shadows in the process. However, all of a sudden, the Mona-bus goes out of control and accelerates to an incredible speed, dashing towards a movie screen initiating a countdown at the depths.
The Thieves quickly found themselves in a city where the Thieves still had their thief outfits and the Metaverse Navigator stopped working. Therefore, they ask the city's police for directions only to make them hostile and are instantly attacked by strange Shadows. After defeating some of them, it was also revealed that their guns do not work in this reality. To make matters worse, a large Shadow resembling an obese man in a superhero chicken costume appears and pursues them, forcing them to escape via a movie screen into a Cinema. When they reach the Cinema, Makoto and Haru were left missing. The party also notices strange locks being put on the Cinema gates, preventing their escape.
Though the Cinema seems deserted, the party quickly notices that a strange, black creature is in the projection room of the Cinema, which does not talk and does not interact with them, standing completely still. When his body is touched, it bounces. Morgana then notices something began to emerge from the theater's seats and tells the party to investigate. Despite the party believing that something dangerous will appear and having their guard up, two women with a clear lack of hostility emerge from them. The party drops their guard and the woman in white introduces herself as Nagi, the curator of the Cinema, who was protecting a depressed girl known as Hikari, who exhibited an inability to communicate or socialize properly, instead staying still in a downtrodden fashion. Nagi claims that the customers of the Cinema have suddenly vanished aside from Hikari and strange locks were put on it, preventing them from leaving the Cinema. As the Cinema's curator, she took the duty to protect her from any harm.
The party investigates the movie labyrinths throughout most of the game, which exclusively consisted of films that have a heavy moral around discarding individuality and becoming one with others. Throughout the game, the Phantom Thieves were joined in by Persona users from different timelines; The P3P heroine in Kamoshidaman, the Investigation Team in Junessic Land and the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad in A.I.G.I.S, all of who land in the movie world from routine trips in the collective unconsciousness, namely the Velvet Room, Midnight Channel and Tartarus. Velvet Room attendants from other timelines will also join Caroline and Justine in assisting the party. The goal is to derail their distorted moral codes by giving them happy endings while Hikari and Nagi watch. Upon returning, Doe will grant them a key to unlock one of the four locks on the theater's front gate.
Upon completing A.I.G.I.S, Doe supposedly kidnaps Hikari, causing panic in the Cinema, and both were confirmed to be inside the fourth movie. Its trailer displays a suspiciously cheery and whimsical fairy tale landscape, with a forlorn Hikari being surrounded by three copies of her past selves, which repeat the message of individuality being useless, if everyone says so it cannot be wrong, and authority is justice, complete with a message at the end stating that Hikari decided to discard her self to become "normal," with the movie's name obscured by black scribbles. The party enters the movie reality to save Hikari from Doe.
As the party explores the labyrinth, which appears as a cheerful, yet highly unsettling fairytale landscape, they encounter musical-like stages; each of them representing a personal trauma that Hikari experienced in the past, starting from her primary school to her eventual breakdown. As soon as they reach the first of them, they encounter the real Hikari who denies a copy of her tormentor with her cognitive past self joining in the rejection, in which the tormentor transforms into a Shadow that attacks the party. After defeating the Shadow of the musical, Hikari reveals that she was not kidnapped by Doe, but both entered this labyrinth with mutual consent so she could face her own self and recollect the memories of the events that ruined her life.
The party now accompanies her to travel it, as the truth of the movie world unravels; the movies are actually cognitive worlds created from Hikari's heart, with Kamoshidaman being created from her resentment of being falsely accused of poisoning and killing the class rabbit by her primary school teacher and class, Junessic Land created from her alienation by her secondary school friends because of their own selfish reasons, and A.I.G.I.S being created by the rejection of her desire to become a film director by her relatives. However, there was still one person who supported Hikari throughout her life; her father. He was the only one who provided unconditional support to his daughter and inspired her dream of becoming a movie director, so she decided to create a movie and send an invitation letter for her father to watch her creation.
However, all of this comes to a standstill after an incident related to her relatives; The combined traumas in the form of repeated emotional abuse has consumed Hikari with extreme depression, self-loathing and grief. Giving up the meaning of her existence, she locked herself in her room and never came out of it. Her father asked her to get out of her confines to take a notebook he bought for her as a gift, but she remains unresponsive due to her depression. He then asked her "Why do you have to be like that?" As all of her tormentors asked her such a question when they emotionally abused her, she began to believe that her father was joining in, based on the emotional premise that everyone hated her for being abnormal and her father hated her too for making everything he taught her to be loved by people do the exact opposite. Presumably also due to the belief that her father was talked in by her relatives, the perceived denial from her father caused her to be overwhelmed by a series of traumatic flashbacks that completely broke her down.
The party enters the depths of the labyrinth, which in sharp contrast from the cheerful-looking upper levels, appears as a monochrome and sinister flowerbed with the flowers having hollow eyes and tearing blood, symbolizing its owner's desire for self-destruction as an end to her pain, and the viewing of her life as torture. Doe appears in the center clearing. When the party was put on guard, Hikari claims that he is not an enemy and confessed for all of her self-destructive behavior in front of him, but also stating that she will never forget him. He expresses a desire to keep her forever in the Cinema to end all of her pain, which she denies and he becomes berserk, transforming into a morbid abomination surrounded by film with his eyes swirling through them. When the party destroys his head, his remains spill gunk that triple binds the party. Hikari steps in to aid them, using her support to remove binds from party members and they defeat the rampaging Doe.
Doe calms down after his defeat and the reality of Hikari's breakdown was made clear; When her father asked why she was like that, he actually did not have any ill-intent and is just asking her to get out of her room so she can obtain the notebook he bought for her as well as being worried about her welfare, with the finishing blow that resulted in her breakdown being nothing more than her misinterpretation to his words. Hikari steps in to hug Doe and he transforms into her father, revealing that Doe is nothing more than a cognitive copy made by her which is twisted by her distorted perception that her father is a terrifying figure, but also from her admiration for him and her suppressed desire to break free from her shell. She tearfully repents for her erroneous perception towards her father and Doe transforms into the key required to remove the last lock along with her invitation letter. Hikari then confesses to the party about the reality of her distorted self-destructive desires and thanks to them for changing her heart and giving it back, completing her rehabilitation from depression and allowing her to escape from her living death. The credits roll with Nagi watching alone, with the movie's true name revealed as "Hikari" and "To Be Continued" shown afterwards.
The party completes all of the movies and removes the last lock with Nagi's full approval and permission. Hikari expresses a will to escape the Cinema and Nagi, despite being upset, approves. However, as they open its gates, they found that they are inside a twisted landscape, with Nagi dropping her guise, transforming into a malicious-looking version of herself with red hair with beads in it. What seems to be Nagi reveals herself to be Enlil, a god created from humanity's desire to end all of their pain. She reveals that the Cinema is in fact a part of her domain in the collective unconsciousness and the party is in fact trapped in it all the time. She also claims that weak humans should accept her salvation plan, which comes in the form of drawing in depressed people into the Cinemas in her domain.
Enlil reveals that Hikari was only one of the souls trapped and those of many others suffer the same fate. The Cinema acting as the hub of the game is merely Hikari's Theater, and each of the other theaters contain a person who was suffering from the pain of living just like Hikari before them. She also reveals that technically she did not prevent them from escaping, but they expressed a lack of desire to be free from their self-imposed imprisonment and also a lack of enthusiasm to live, effectively playing themselves into her plan. Despite showing extreme arrogance, Enlil still lets them leave anyway, but Hikari convinced the party to stay in order to confront Enlil, so others can be freed from her domain and escape from their very own living deaths.
The party ventures through Enlil's domain, known as the Theater District, finally reaching its depths. When they were preparing to fight her, she displays a lack of desire to directly confront them, instead sending out a duo of Shadows to deter the party. Once they are done for, she applauds them for their courage to stand against her but displays that others do not and teleports them back to Hikari's Theater. It was revealed that the movies in the Cinema are initially not the in-game labyrinths, but are instead an Akashic Record of negative thoughts flowing from the projectors at the depths to the Cinemas, in which Enlil believes that having them watch such movies can relief their pain of living. However, this does nothing other than to feed into their negative impulses and make their collapsing mental health worse. In the projection room, they find the edited versions of Hikari's films and devise a plan to replace the negative film projections in Enlil's domain with them so they can reverse the negative movie's effects on the theatergoers. Every Persona user and Hikari now automatically recognize themselves as the Phantom Thieves and executes the plan to replace the four projectors, defeating the projections of Kamoshidaman, Yosukesaurus, Mother Computer and Doe in the process.
After the negative films were replaced, the party and Hikari confront Enlil and send a calling card to her. She reads the calling card and is severely angered as the Theater District begins to be purified by the edited versions of Hikari's movies. The purified movies display Kamoshidaman expressing a desire to protect the weak, the Herbivore Dinosaurs and Yosukesaurus began respecting each other's opinions, Ribbon teaching a group of robots with personality to love flowers, and the high school copy of Hikari made Doe vanish by expressing the will to escape the Cinema and for her father to watch her movie.
Enlil is enraged as her "salvation plan" crumbles and combats the party in human form. She exerts a terrifying power that wounds the entire party, but Hikari began to rally those trapped into escaping the Cinema, and the edited movies began to take effect. Enlil views Hikari's actions as a betrayal and is further enraged, causing her to reveal her true form, an angelic, eagle-like god. Enlil proclaims that the party's hope is completely pointless and states that they are foolish for opposing her. Despite the party's greatest efforts, they suddenly find themselves unable to fight as she removes all combat members on the field, leaving Hikari and the navigators helpless. The navigators told Hikari to leave, but she ignores the warnings and steps in to confront Enlil alone. Despite Enlil's claims that her hope is an illusion like a movie, she quickly stands completely still, leaving her open to a unison attack by the four protagonists.
Enlil is defeated in complete disbelief, but the party and all of the trapped people persuade her into surrendering and giving up her "salvation plan." She returns back to the form of the black-haired Nagi and vanishes into light, finally acknowledging the possibilities and strengths of humanity, but not before leaving a warning that she will return as long as people wish for her to. The Theater District is destroyed and all trapped souls return to their realities. However, the memories of the Persona users' adventure will be wiped out and nobody will remember anything that happened. Hearing this, Hikari breaks into tears as her first friends will no longer be able to recognize her anymore. She wants to give the P5 hero her notebook as a memento, but he returns it to her as it was her most precious memories, and without it, her movie will never be complete. Accepting truth and moving on, she exits the Cinema back to her reality. In order, SEES and the Investigation Team leave and return from their realities as well, with the heroine and the P3 hero expressing sadness as they part, still holding a feeling towards each other. The P5 cast returns to reality at last, with Goro Akechi stuttering for a while before moving on, indicating that he is still the traitor and he did not want to return to his old self.
As Hikari's soul returns to reality, she wakes up as if she had a dream and she was puzzled with the events as her memories were wiped, but her change of heart is still intact. She meets her father in the living room and he was revealed to be a kind man who is much unlike how she once perceived he was. He wonders why Hikari was so worked up in all of a sudden while she used to be extremely withdrawn, implying that the Hikari that the Persona users encounter in the game is not her real person but her soul. She expresses the desire to continue production of the movie she created before she fell into depression with full approval by her father. The two then had a chat with each other.
SEES return to reality as well and the P3 hero finds a movie DVD from an unknown source. Despite the fact that Junpei believes that it was porn, it was in fact a sci-fi movie. With Mitsuru's approval, the P3 hero's partners bought snacks and drinks for everyone to watch the movie.
The Investigation team returns to reality and is greeted by Nanako Dojima. In order to celebrate, the P4 hero and Nanako prepare dishes and a dinosaur movie airs on TV. It features a dinosaur with Yosuke's head, but as their memories are wiped out, the Investigation Team does not recognize the dinosaur.
The P3P heroine returns to reality as if she fell asleep in her studies. Her real comrades, the alternate version of SEES were worried about her disappearance. Regardless, they found a sci-fi movie DVD from an unknown source and bought snacks and drinks to watch it with the Mitsuru's permission. The heroine's uneasy nostalgic feeling lingers back to reality, but as her memories are wiped, she does not realize why.
The P5 cast returns to Cafe Leblanc with Akechi absent, but they had plenty of time until the heist deadline. Ann receives an invitation to a high school student movie festival which they attend. As they attend the festival, Hikari steps into the dais of the auditorium and announces her new movie, New Cinema Labyrinth. The P5 hero makes a curious look, and if he remembered anything, or if this made him remember anything from his journey was left ambiguous.
Unlike in the previous game, Persona Q, there will be no route selection based on the characters from which Persona game the player wishes to follow; Persona 5's cast will automatically be the focus. By focusing on P5, the relationship between characters and the story could be improved and have more of a focus instead of separating the story into two paths. Encounters between the characters are linked to Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. It is also confirmed that the game will not be dubbed in English just like Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, instead having English subtitles with Japanese voices. Additionally, horror elements are toned down in this game although they still exist, and labyrinths are made easier to navigate as compared to the previous game.
The Persona users of Persona 3 and Persona 4 are not in the story, nor available to use in battle, at the start of the game. Each of these groups will be present at the same time, crossing over in the same story later on in the game. The Persona 4 protagonist and characters will appear before the Persona 3 protagonists and characters. The female protagonist of Persona 3 Portable will join early on in the game and will be significantly involved in the story. Unlike in Persona Q, or any Persona game for that matter, a protagonist character will not be required in battle unless in the hardest difficulty. The original characters for Persona Q2 will have a different role from participating in battle, namely Hikari having a support role instead of an active battle role along with Nagi and Doe eventually becoming enemies of the party.
Unlike in Persona 4 Golden or Persona 5, if a player has never played the Q series or any game in the Persona series before, it is advised to choose the Safety or Easy difficulty, as Normal is proven to be too difficult by many players.
A mechanic originally in Persona Q is being brought back, which involves no protagonist having the power of the Wild Card because of the distortion of the new world; rather all party members will be able to be equipped with a second persona (Sub-Personas), which can be summoned in battle. While Sub-Personas retain their six skill slots, main Personas now also have six skill slots which are populated by skills they inherently learn. The skill gained by a main Persona's transformation will be a stronger version of their inherent unique skill, and there will never be a skill slot reserved for the Persona's evolution. Skills are no longer forcibly upgraded to their stronger (but more expensive) version, allowing for greater customizability of a main Persona's build.
An All-Out Attack is no longer dependent on the number of Boosted characters, and is instead triggered by knocking all enemies down through weakness exploitation or critical hits. It is thus possible to trigger multiple All-Out Attacks in quick succession if all party members repeatedly hit the enemies' weaknesses. Finishing the battle with an All-Out Attack not only gives an experience bonus but also raises the chance of finding rare materials from the slain enemies.
Because the game’s story is centered on the protagonists of Persona 5, the battle background music is P5 themed at the beginning. However, as members of Persona 3 and Persona 4 join the party, the variations in music will change.
Unlike in Persona 5 where Shadows appear like their Persona counterparts, they appear as Arcana Shadows in this game.
During battle, certain characters can initiate a Unison attack, which seems similar to a mechanic in Persona 4 Golden where certain characters can perform a follow up attack after an All-Out Attack.
The character groups that can perform these attacks are:
- Skull Bro-Bash: Skill by two tough, manly boys: Kanji / Ryuji
- Brand*New*Bam: Skill by two endlessly cheerful girls: Chie / Ann
- Kacho Fugetsu: Skill by two paragons of grace: Yukiko / Yusuke
- Lightning Duo: Skill by two wildcard team leaders: P5 hero / P4 hero
- Prince Pincer: Skill by Detective Princes: Akechi / Naoto
- Severed Fate: Skill by heiresses unbound: Haru / Yukiko
- Presidential Combo: Skill by student council presidents: Makoto / Mitsuru
- Strike of Bonds: Skill by a heroine and her classmates: P3P heroine / Yukari / Junpei / Fuuka
- Roar of Hunger: Skill by three hungry lads: Yusuke / Shinjiro / Akihiko
- Trainee Air Raid: Skill by thieves and their disciple: Ken / Morgana / Ryuji / Ann
- Charge of Trust: Skill by a heroine and her senpai: P3P heroine / Mitsuru / Akihiko / Shinjiro
- Animal Capriccio: Skill by (mostly) loveable enigmas: Morgana / Teddie / Koromaru
- Pair of Aces: Skill by wildcards with guts of steel: P4 hero / P3 hero
- Destined Strike: Skill by a heroine and her new bonds: P3P heroine / Aigis / Koromaru / Ken
- Double Trigger: Skill by two mature wildcards: P5 hero / P3 hero
- Beauty Quartet: Skill by four beauties(?): Haru / Aigis / Rise / Teddie
- Triple Support: Skill by three navigators: Futaba / Rise / Fuuka (note: this "attack" heals all allies Instead of doing damage)
- Martial Artistry: Skill by three martial artists: Makoto / Akihiko / Chie
- Partner Power: Skill by three partners(?) of the wildcards: Junpei / Yosuke / Ryuji
- Wildcard Order: Skill by four wildcards: P5 hero / P3P heroine / P4 hero / P3 hero1
1 Only used in Enlil Final Boss Battle and New Game Plus
- Inside Each Movie is a Mysterious Labyrinth!
Each dungeon is a movie (labyrinth) with a different theme, and each one is a unique creation. No dungeon is straightforward and child's play. Work with your team to clear each one!
- Hit the Enemy’s Weak Point to Gain the Upper Hand in Battle!
Switch out Personas! Utilize various tactics!
- Everyone is Here!
What is their reaction to meeting each other? Totally must-see dialog!
- Draw Maps While Going through the Dungeon!
By drawing maps, you can clear each dungeon smoothly! There is also an auto-map feature.
Deepen the Bonds with Your Comrades to Take on Strong Enemies!
Powerful Shadows called F.O.E wander around the dungeons.
Like the previous game, it is based on Etrian Odyssey.
The game has a theme that arches between P3, P4 and P5, namely death, truth and identity. The "identity" theme is connected between the Phantom Thieves of Hearts being criminals that rebel against the machinations of society and the game featuring characters that are considered outcasts due to being different from others, such as the P3P heroine who lacked any teammates to fight alongside her unlike the other Persona users, as well as the movie characters that are frequently persecuted and disrespected due to being different from their respective movie's other inhabitants. The "truth" theme is connected between the Persona 4 cast's desire to find the truth of the murders of Inaba and the fact that the final blow that made Hikari broke and fell into despair is because of a false belief that her father hated her, despite that clearly not being the case. The "death" theme is connected as the Persona 3 characters frequently put themselves into life and death situations and the fact that people who are being trapped in the Cinema are actually forfeiting their lives despite not actually being dead, having subjected themselves to a state of apathy that equals to the death of heart.
Much to the Persona 5 theme, it also discusses different modern society problems, namely complete authoritarian or majority rule and emotional abuse towards children, depression and the shut-in escapism that they result in.
- Hikari: A very shy girl who the persona users met in the theater. She seems to have issues communicating with people. She is voiced by Misato Fukuen.
- Nagi: The curator of the movie theater, trapped alongside Hikari inside the complex. Like everyone else, she is perplexed by the series of events taking place. She is voiced by Kikuko Inoue.
- Doe: A suspicious being lurking inside the projection room. He is the one who plays the movies that Hikari and Nagi watch. He doesn't speak, and he's jiggly to the touch. It never talks, even when spoken to. He is voiced by Kazuhiko Inoue.
- Hikari's Father: An old man who manifested as Doe in Hikari's cognition and is the only person who genuinely cared for her.
- Yosukesaurus: The "villain" of Junessic Land, he is not well liked by his fellow Herbivores for being different from them.
- Ribbon: The "villain" of A.I.G.I.S, she is put on execution bounty by the Overseer due to having a personality.
Persona 3 PortableEdit
- Kamoshidaman: The "superhero" of his titular movie, he rules over his city, "Kamocity" with an iron fist.
- Herbivore Dinosaurs: The weak majority of Junessic Land, their stubbonness and selfishness causes them to be easy prey for carnivorous dinosaurs.
- Overseer: The A.I. ruler of A.I.G.I.S out to destroy all with a personality.
- Mother Computer: The true master of A.I.G.I.S.
- Enlil: The almighty being who is the true ruler of the game's setting.
Early Purchase BonusEdit
There was an early purchase version of the game, which included the “Persona 3, 4, and 5 Battle BGM Set,” for free, which includes the following tracks:
- Persona 3: "Mass Destruction"
- Persona 3 Portable: "Wiping All Out"
- Persona Q: "Light the Fire Up in the Night *'Kagejikan'"
- Persona 4: "Reach Out To The Truth"
- Persona 4 Golden: "Time To Make History"
- Persona Q: "Light the Fire Up in the Night 'Mayonaka'"
- Persona 5: "Last Surprise"
- Persona 5: "Life Will Change"
- Persona 5: "Will Power"
These tracks can be purchased as DLC for people who didn't purchase the game early.
The download code with first-print copies of the game will also include a special Nintendo 3DS theme.
Japan Release Announcement Trailer (August 4, 2018)
First Trailer PV (August 5, 2018)
Japan 15 Second Trailer (August 10, 2018)
Second Trailer PV
Battle Music DLC Trailer
Junessic Land Trailer
English Story Trailer
English Phantom Thieves Trailer
English Launch Trailer
P5 hero's trailer
P4 hero's trailer
P3 hero's trailer
P3P heroine's trailer
Caroline and Justine's trailer
- This game does not have an English audio.
- As Goro Akechi appeared in this game as the traitor based on his stuttering in the epilogue of the game and his absence during the post-credits events, the events of this game might take place in the Niijima's Palace heist arc.
- This game contains the most amount of unique playable characters in any game in the Megaten franchise, having a grand total of 28. If Hikari is counted towards a playable character with a support role, the number goes to 29 instead.
- This is the first combat-based game in the Persona series after Persona 3 without any direct or implied Shadow Selves, although Cognitions with Shadow Self-like traits constantly appear throughout it.
- The quote at the start of the game is "We do not go astray because we do not know, but because we think we know" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This can refer to any of the following events in the game;
- The P3P heroine encountering what seems to be her SEES comrades in A.I.G.I.S and believing that they reunited with her, only to discover that they are identical-looking clones serving under the P3 hero and does not recognize her, which caused her to be struck with confusion, disappointment and alienation as this means that she has to fight as a lone wolf;
- Hikari breaking down due to a belief that her father hated her simply because of a question that he asked which is identical to the one that each of her tormentors asked, although unlike such people, he had no intent to demean his daughter;
- The people trapped in the Cinemas in Enlil's realm believing that they cannot get out due to their depression and apathy, despite Enlil lets them leave all the time;
- Enlil's delusional belief that her "salvation plan" that involves trapping "weak" people in Cinemas will relieve their pain of living, but in fact inversely increases their pain further. She also believes that humanity is weak and needs her protection, although that is simply not true.