"I am Philemon, a dweller in the rift between consciousness and unconsciousness of all souls... I am you. You are me... I shall always watch over you from within. Farewell..."
—Philemon, Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Philemon is a recurring, important figure in the Persona series.

History[edit | edit source]

Philemon comes from the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, specifically that of a "wise spirit guide." He likely has origins in the play Faust by Johann Goethe, a work that would impact Jung for a majority of his psychological career and that he would find a driving force to his work.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Design[edit | edit source]

Philemon is shown as a deity wearing a mask. In Megami Ibunroku Persona, his mask has the image of a violet butterfly wing in the right side of his face and the eyeholes do not show his pupils. He also wears a suit consisting of a black shirt and tie, a white blazer and white pants with black dress shoes. He also has long, black hair tied up in a ponytail. This design was inspired by the Chinese Philosopher Zhuang Zhou, who wrote "The Butterfly Dream" (a recurring element in the series) in the Zhuangzi.

In Persona 2, his design is changed to wearing a black turtleneck shirt and black pants fastened by a belt. The butterfly wing on his mask is more three dimensional and has been moved to the left side of his face and has been recolored orange. The bottom right side of his mask exposes his face and his pupils are visible through the mask's eyeholes. His hair is also recolored to a dark brown shade and his ponytail is shorter than in the previous title. In Persona 3, Persona 4Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, and (debatably) Persona 5 he appears as a blue butterfly. In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, he takes the form of both golden and blue butterflies.

Personality[edit | edit source]

What little is shown of his personality is displayed in the first three Persona games. In most incarnations, Philemon serves as a neutral observer and he watches as things unfold. He has a benevolent view of humanity, frequently pulling the protagonists of Megami Ibunroku Persona to give advice. At the same time, due to his nature as an otherworldly being of the Collective Unconscious, he does not have exactly the same world view and values as humans, as shown by his willingness to wager their existence on their strength of heart.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Philemon lives within the realm of the consciousness and unconsciousness of all souls and he awakens within people the ability to use Personas. He cannot directly interfere, however, the party is aided by the Velvet Room, which is filled with his servants. Philemon is conducting an experiment with Nyarlathotep to see if humans can become enlightened beings, rising above their nature, or if they will completely and utterly destroy themselves. The war between the two is revealed to be essentially a bet between the two meant to probe humanity's heart to wonder what lies inside: whether Nyarlathotep's ultimate triumph, or Philemon's.

Megami Ibunroku Persona[edit | edit source]

Philemon as depicted in Persona (PSP)

Philemon first appears to the protagonist and his friends after they fall unconscious from playing the "Persona" game. After learning the protagonist's name, Philemon comments that not many can remember their names in his realm, introduces himself properly, then grants the group the power of Personas. Throughout the game, they are drawn into Philemon's domain multiple times, where he gives them hints and advice. At the end, he draws them into his realm one last time and praises them, saying that they are no longer wearing "false smiles" having discovered themselves. After bidding them farewell, he removes his masks and dissipates into a swarm of golden butterflies.

Persona 2[edit | edit source]

Innocent Sin[edit | edit source]

If the player decides to strike Philemon rather than thank him for actions at the end of the game, Tatsuya Suou's punch knocks away Philemon's mask; revealing none other than Tatsuya's own face beneath it. In response to the attack, he merely stated: "I am Philemon, a dweller in the rift between consciousness and unconsciousness of all souls... I am you. You are me... I shall always watch over you from within. Farewell..." This is another reference to Jungian psychology (specifically, Jung's Red Book) and the role of guardian Philemon follows in it, besides implying his appearance is as mutable as Nyarlathotep's. By extension, the comparison also implies Philemon's overarching role in the series is to be the protagonists' guardian, unable to openly interfere to protect them, but always overseeing their development and guiding them to a better path.

Eternal Punishment[edit | edit source]

Philemon reappears in the same role in Eternal Punishment. However, he initially appears to be extremely weak and unstable, flickering in and out of existence. He later can be fought as an ultimate boss in his EX Dungeon, where he is the only boss who will withstand and counter the ultimate Fusion Spell, Armageddon, and instead, send a stronger, absolutely unsurvivable version called Armageddon R as payback. Tatsuya's Scenario in the PSP version reveals that Nodens is his avatar. Philemon aids the party as they travel through Monad Mandala, taking Tatsuya's friends to safety so they will not recall their memories. After Nyarlathotep's defeat, with multiple victories to Philemon, Nyarlathotep was banished to parts unknown, leaving Philemon to serve as a guide to others, though their game is far from over.

Persona 3[edit | edit source]

Philemon appeared in Persona 3 in his butterfly guise. It is implied the Wild Card ability wielders have both unconsciously met Philemon, as both had an encounter with a glowing blue butterfly, which is implied to be Philemon; Igor no longer makes mention of being a servant of his though he maintains the same demeanor and abilities. The name "PHIL" which welcomes the main character in the Innocent Sin online game may also be a reference to Philemon.

Persona 3 FES[edit | edit source]

Aigis holding a butterfly (Philemon).

Philemon appears to Aigis during the events of "The Answer" in his butterfly form, flying into her hand when she is alone in her room and granting her the Wild Card ability and access to the Velvet Room.

Persona 4[edit | edit source]

The save points throughout the game are blue butterflies flying in small circles.

Persona 4: Golden[edit | edit source]

At the start of the intro to the game a blue butterfly lands on top of a TV and takes the form of antennae.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth[edit | edit source]

At the beginning of the game, a blue butterfly is seen trapped in a spider web. Once the party reaches the 8th Floor of the Clock Tower and enters the room in grid A1, Zen notices a butterfly trapped in one of The Capturer's webs, which triggers a request to free it. After completing this request, the next time the party goes to the Clock Tower's entrance, they see the butterfly flying up, higher and higher in the sky until it disappears. After finishing the game, the same blue butterfly seen in the beginning is seen struggling briefly in the web before it frees itself and flies away.

Additionally, two blue butterflies are seen circling around the save gears that are found before the boss of each labyrinth.

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth[edit | edit source]

Philemon appears in both his blue and yellow butterfly forms, and is seen delivering a quote to the P5 hero during his nap in Shujin Academy, as well as sending him a motivational message when he escapes the Cinema back to reality in his golden butterfly form. If the party gets a Game Over in the Theater District, he will play a message that has a similar premise to the Game Over message of Eternal Punishment.

DemiKids Light & Dark[edit | edit source]

Philemon is a S-Rank BattleNet Opponent said to have power over demons. He is quick to spot an opponent's weaknesses. Karfu is given after 1 defeat, Loki after 7, and a Scorpio after 14. His profile changes to say that he may soon give his power over demons to someone else.

Stats[edit | edit source]

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment[edit | edit source]

Now, give me your all!
Arcana Type Level HP Normal Drop Rare Drop
- None 100 30,000 - -
Traits None
True form symbolizing stagnant unconsciousness. Opposite of Nyar.
Atk Def Matk Mdef
Strength 99
Vitality 99
Technique 99
Agility 70
Luck 99
397 397 278 296
Sw Sh Sk Th Ak Fi Wt Wi Er Ic Ln Nc Ho Dk Al Nr Mn
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Nu Nu
List of Skills
Skill Effect
Armageddon R Annihilates all enemies. Only used if the player attempts to use Armageddon.
Eternal White Inflicts huge Holy damage to all enemies. User recovers HP equal to damage inflicted.
Guard Punish Inflicts huge Almighty damage to all enemies. Defending targets take twice the damage.
Photon Cannon Inflicts large Attack damage to all enemies.
Spectra Force Inflicts huge damage of a random element to all enemies. *
Transient Ripple Nullifies enemy buffs, shields, and regeneration.


Battle Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "I'm impressed you made it here. You are the strongest I've ever seen. Now, give me your all, my friends. (Battle start)
  • "Now, give me your all!" (Attempt to contact)
  • "Believe in yourselves." (If the player attempts to escape)
  • "I know you didn't." (Using physical attack)
  • "Dodge this." (Using physical attack)
  • "I'm not going easy on you." (Using Photon Cannon)
  • "Don't let your guard down!" (Using Guard Punish)
  • "Well then." (Using Guard Punish)
  • "This might hurt." (Using Eternal White)
  • "You're doing well!" (Using Transient Ripple)
  • "How's this!" (Using Spectra Force)
  • "Pull out, my friend." (Using Armageddon R)
  • "Ugh! Good!" (When taking damage)
  • "Unfortunately, you were this close. Try again." (When player's party is annihilated)
  • "Ahh. Nice!" (When defeated)

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Megami Ibunroku Persona
 
Philemon.PNG
Philemon as he appears in the Megami Ibunroku Persona manga
Persona 2
 
PhilemonPortrait.png
Philemon's portrait from Persona 2: Innocent Sin
 
PhilemonUnmasked.png
Philemon's unmasked portrait from Persona 2: Innocent Sin, revealing Tatsuya Suou's face
 
Philemon P2.png
Philemon as he appears in Persona 2: Tsumi To Batsu
Other
 
P5-Philemon-Funko-Pen.jpg
Philemon Funko Pen

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • It was stated by Atlus in an interview in the DoubleJump guide that Philemon in his butterfly form is a sign that he is still watching over the protagonist of Persona 3 and Yu Narukami from Persona 4.
  • Philemon's depiction as a yellow butterfly may have both roots in Zhuangzhi's Butterfly Dream and common Japanese folklore. In Japanese culture, butterflies, especially yellow ones, are believed to represent a person's soul. This belief is best reflected in the folk tale Dream of Akinosuke, where the titular Akinosuke's soul leaves his body and goes on an adventure while he sleeps in the form of a yellow butterfly.


Megami Ibunroku Persona - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - Manga - Shadow Maze
Characters
Playable Protagonist - Maki Sonomura - Masao Inaba - Kei Nanjo - Yukino Mayuzumi - Hidehiko Uesugi - Eriko Kirishima - Yuka Ayase - Reiji Kido
Non-Playable Philemon - Igor - Takahisa Kandori - Saeko Takami - Takashi Hanya - Principal Ooishi - Tadashi Satomi - Tamaki Uchida - Kenta Yokouchi - Tsutomu Kurouri - Chisato Kasai - Yosuke Naito - Yamaoka - Setsuko Sonomura - Takeda - Mai - Aki - Pandora - Kumi Hirose - Michiko Matsudaira - Yuriko Yamamoto - Tomomi Fujimori - Night Queen - Trish - Natsumi Yoshino - Yuko Himeno - Katsue Kaneda - Doctor Nicholai - Kazuya Toudou - Nishida - Mariko Yabe - Maria
Locations
General Mikage-cho - St. Hermelin High School - Mikage Hospital - Sennen Mannen-Do - Judgement 1999
SEBEC Route Police Station - SEBEC - Subway - Black Market - Lost Forest - Mana Castle - Haunted Mansion - Deva Yuga - Alaya Cavern - Avidya World - Mikage Ruins
Snow Queen Quest Ice Castle - Hypnos Tower - Nemesis Tower - Thanatos Tower - Devil's Peak
Music
Albums Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album (Complete Recording Edition) - Original Soundtrack (PSP) - Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album
Songs "Dream of Butterfly" - "Voice" - "Satomi Tadashi Drugstore Song" - "School Days" - "Let the Butterflies Spread Until the Dawn" - "A Lone Prayer" - "Bloody Destiny" - "Deva Yuga (Arranged Version)"
Archives
Terminology Persona (Initial / Ultimate) - Persona User - Velvet Room - Agastya Tree - Moon Phase System - Sea of Souls - Type/Subtype - Affinity - Rank - Totem - Unknown Power - Mystic Change - Personality - DEVA System - Nanjo Group - Demon Mirror - Snow Queen Mask - Code Breaker - Fusion (Fusion Theory) - Ideal Self - Growth Rate
Lists Arcana - Personas - Demons - Bosses - Skills - Items - Status Changes
Major Characters
Playable Tatsuya Suou - Maya Amano - Lisa Silverman - Eikichi Mishina - Yukino Mayuzumi - Jun Kurosu
Non-Playable Philemon - Nyarlathotep - Joker
Minor Characters
Plot Relevant Maya Okamura - Akinari Kashihara - Shunsuke Fujii - Katsuya Suou - Ulala Serizawa - Daisuke Todoroki (Kyouji Kuzunoha) - Head Monk - Maki Sonomura - Kei Nanjo - Eriko Kirishima - Hidehiko Uesugi - Reiji Kido - Tamaki Uchida - Tadashi Satomi - Trish - Noriko Katayama
Masked Circle Tatsuya Sudou - Ginji Sasaki - Anna Yoshizaka - Junko Kurosu - Shadow Tatsuya - Shadow Maya - Shadow Lisa - Shadow Eikichi - Shadow Yukino - Ixquic - Hiroki Sugimoto - Takashi Hanya - Yasuo Inoe - Youichi Makimura
Last Battalion Fuhrer - Order of the Holy Lance
Velvet Room Igor - Nameless - Belladonna - Demon Painter
Rumormongers Kenta Yokouchi - Baofu - Chika Ueda - Sumaru Genie
Shop Time Count - Garcon Soejima - Kankichi Mishina
Climax Theater Motoko Mitsugi - Naozumi Kariyazaki - Musubu Torikiri - Akari Torikiri - Rose Futaba - Minato - Umiko Shiyama - Persephone - Tamaizu Nirasawa - Haruo Weyland - Kushiel
Locations
Sumaru City Seven Sisters High School - Club Zodiac - Kasugayama High School - Air Raid Shelter - Mu Continent - Giga Macho - Aoba Park - Smile Hirasaka - GOLD - Aerospace Museum - Mt. Iwato - Mt. Katatsumuri - Caracol - Aquarius Temple - Taurus Temple - Scorpio Temple - Leo Temple - Silver River - Xibalba - Abandoned Factory - Climax Theater
Music
Albums Original Soundtracks - The Errors of Their Youth - Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album
Songs "Kimi no Tonari" - "Joker" - "Satomi Tadashi Drugstore Song" - "Unbreakable Tie"
Archives
Terminology Persona (Initial / Prime / Ultimate / Reverse) - Persona User - Cards (Tarot / Material / Skill / Incense) - Mystic Change - Affinity - Mutation - Ideal Energy - In Lak'ech - Oracle of Maia - Spear of Destiny - Muses - Phoenix Ranger Featherman R - Shadow Self - Ambrosia - "Infectious Groove" - Crystal Skull - Ideal Self - Growth Rate - Rumor
Lists Arcana - Personas - Demons - Bosses - Skills (Fusion Spells) - Items - Rumors - Restaurants
Other Media
Productions Lost Memories - Innocent Sin Novel - Persona: Tsumi To Batsu
Major Characters
Playable Maya Amano - Tatsuya Suou - Katsuya Suou - Ulala Serizawa - Baofu - Kei Nanjo - Eriko Kirishima
Non-Playable Philemon - Nyarlathotep - Anna Yoshizaka - JOKER/Tatsuya Sudou - Tatsuzou Sudou - Takahisa Kandori - Chizuru Ishigami - Metal Trio
Minor Characters
Plot Relevant Maya Okamura - X series robots - Yukino Mayuzumi - Eikichi Mishina - Lisa Silverman - Jun Kashihara - Reiji Kido - Daisuke Todoroki (Kyouji Kuzunoha) - Tamaki Uchida - Takashi Hanya - Youichi Makimura - Ginji Sasaki - Suou's father - Trish - Noriko Katayama - General Sugawara
Velvet Room Igor - Nameless - Belladonna - Demon Painter
Rumormongers Kenta Yokouchi - Chika Ueda
Shop Time Count - Garcon Soejima
Shadow Selves Shadow Maya - Shadow Katsuya - Shadow Baofu - Shadow Ulala
Tatsuya's Scenario Lieutenant General Zula - Shiori Miyashiro - Chandraputra - Kouji Nakamura
Locations
Sumaru City Kasugayama High School - The Seedy CD - Mu Continent - Seven Sisters High School - Mt. Mifune - Sanitarium - Sky Museum - GOLD - Club Zodiac - Aoba Park - Padparcha - Sewers - Laboratory - Sumaru TV - Smile Mall - Factory - Nichirinmaru - Undersea Ruins - Mt. Iwato - Subway Tunnel - Ameno Torifune - Sumaru Castle - Monado Mandala - Bomb Shelter - Extra Dungeon
Music
Albums Original Soundtrack (PSX / PSP) - Punitive Dance - Persona 20th Anniversary All Time Best Album
Songs "Change Your Way" - "Satomi Tadashi Drugstore Song"
Archives
Terminology Persona (Initial / Prime / Ultimate / Reverse) - Persona User - Cards (Tarot / Material / Skill / Incense) - Mystic Change - Affinity - Mutation - Unknown Power - JOKER Infection (Artificial Persona) - Kegare - Other Side - Nanjo Group - Trapezohedron - Muses - New World Order - Tien Tao Lien - Shadow Self - Tatsuya's Scenario - DEVA System - Growth Rate - Rumor
Lists Arcana - Personas - Demons - Bosses - Skills (Fusion Spells) - Items - Rumors - Restaurants
Other Media
Productions Infinity Mask - Eternal Punishment Novel - Persona: Tsumi To Batsu
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