"Everyone is capable of changing themselves - your imagination is the only limit."
Takuto Maruki is a major non-playable character in Persona 5 Royal. He is a counselor hired by Shujin Academy to salvage their PR.
- 1 Appearances
- 2 Design
- 3 Personality
- 4 Profile
- 5 Music
- 6 Boss
- 7 Quotes
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Etymology
- 10 In Other Languages
- 11 Trivia
- 12 References
- Persona 5 Royal: Major Character; Councillor Confidant, Final Boss (true ending only)
Maruki is a tall, bespectacled man with brown, short unkempt hair and a small stubble underneath his chin. He wears a blue dress shirt tucked into his upturned khaki slacks with a checkered dark blue tie. He wears a white lab coat over the top. On his feet he wears open-toed sandals without socks. In his suit's chest pocket, he has a yellow pen and a staff ID that's further tied around his neck with a red strap.
Outside his work uniform, he wears a white ribbed sweater over a dark blue dress shirt, a light brown jacket with dark brown fabric at the cuffs and collar, dark jeans and tan shoes with laces. When he was younger, his chin was clean-shaven, his hair was shorter and neater, and he wore a white polo shirt with blue trimming and jeans with a black wrist watch.
While maintaining his Palace, Maruki has his hair slicked back and loses his stubble. Every item of his clothing is white, with a formal suit, round-necked shirt without a tie, gloves and shoes. Like in his everyday outfit, he has a pen in his jacket pocket.
In the Metaverse, he wears a golden skin-tight priest garb with a tall shield-shaped mask, a white cape and holds a staff. His glasses become his mask when he assumes this attire, and thus he doesn't have them under it.
Maruki is a voluntary counselor who cares about the students in the school and sympathizes with Suguru Kamoshida's victims. As a counselor, he is quite friendly to those who reach out to him and is extremely patient, allowing them to control the flow of their conversation. He is alert and quick to pick up on minor comments made by his patients that helps open them up. He is also highly clumsy, quirky and is prone to messing up in comedic situations, unlike most of the other teachers who have no-nonsense, regular personalities. According to Shibusawa, he also has a tendency to charge into things rather impulsively. He is quite popular with the Thieves and even Yusuke from Kosei High School comes to Shujin Academy to take his counseling, making him a popular figure among students and one of the Thieves' greatest sponsors. He also appears to be a skilled cook.
However, Maruki was secretly bestowed the power to warp cognition thanks to his Persona, who reached out to him because of his extreme grief over his ex-fiancée's post-traumatic stress episodes. Once he began working as a counselor, he subconsciously used this ability to temper or neuter crippling mental illnesses by granting things that they wanted that would cancel out their depression, although the extent of that power only applied to the cognition of the person themselves, instead of radically changing any qualities that person has, resulting in cognitive dissonance. According to him, this also only happened once during his counseling job, implying that this would only happen if Maruki interacts with a person who reminds him of his ex-fiancée.
Maruki was one of the original researchers of cognitive psience, and he reaches out to the protagonist for help completing the paper he has been working on since before the events of the game. If the protagonist does help him finish this essay and complete his Confidant, a combination of the loss of his ex-fiancée's memories, having his research stolen and funding stymied by Masayoshi Shido, and the Day of Reckoning will finally allow him to fully awaken to his Persona, as a result of the Metaverse merging with reality. He conducts his final solution against all suffering after Yaldabaoth's fall by granting humanity's wishes accordingly with no strings attached and takes his place as the world's savior, as frequent interaction with emotionally suffering people in the past made him conclude that pure happiness will remove all pain from the world.
In reality, deep down, Maruki is a torn and sorrowful man who was unable to process his own grief, but still desires to stop others from experiencing similar pain. This leads to him assessing that all grief must eventually be removed, ignorant that his actions prevent people from moving forward. Despite his intentions not being fueled by malice as he genuinely wants to make people happy, this causes an ethical dilemma that is brought up as he still retains his desires to let others decide if they want to accept his world or not. With the protagonist spearheading the resistance against his reality, Maruki ultimately leaves fate for him to decide and above all else seeks his approval. He even fears that the protagonist may never accept it, but despite this, he still allows the protagonist to decide on his own by letting him experience the happy realities of his friends and continuously tries to persuade him and the Phantom Thieves, without overtly trying to force them, to join him even during the very apex of their battle.
His personality is genuine, and he used to only utilize his powers subconsciously, prior to fully awakening to his Persona. This holds true even for making Sumire Yoshizawa think that she's her twin sister Kasumi. His "Salvation Plan" also used to be validating his cognitive psience research and saving lives with it by preventing depression and other mental illnesses, before realizing thanks to his conversations with the protagonist that these ideas could be applied on a much larger scale. In fact, he at first believes that there is no ability to prevent humanity in general from suffering during his conversation with Ann, although a specific Confidant meeting with him has the protagonist allude that he could use Mementos to do so, which he actually does during the third semester. It is also put forward by Lavenza that Yaldabaoth's defeat might have engineered his ascension, as he fills the gap in society that Yaldabaoth left as the "savior" of humanity's desires.
While he acknowledges that hardships are a natural part of life and that some people do come out stronger from them, it is only after his defeat that he realizes that he needs to do the same. It is in the final clash with the protagonist alone that Maruki's inner frustrations come out and showcases all of the pain he endured. The one on one fight in his crumbling Palace finally gave him a real opportunity to vent out this grief with someone who could truly understand him. It is in that moment that Maruki finds solace and can finally move forward with his life.
Persona 5 Royal
"My "cognitive psience" is the study of people's hearts, and how they guide people's views of the world. Everyone comprehends the world in a different way, depending on their cognition...So basically, if one could tap into a person's "cognitive world"...One would even be able to alter how that person alters reality—in every way."
On one February 3rd, years prior to the events of Persona 5, the parents of Maruki's fiancée, Rumi, were murdered during a home invasion, and Rumi herself was injured in the process, leading to her falling into a catatonic depression. Maruki tried to comfort her, only to unwittingly invoke her trigger phrase by mentioning her family and driving her into a breakdown. In extreme grief, he unconsciously contacted a mysterious entity, and made a deal with it so as to allow him to harness its ability to manipulate cognition, dubbed Actualization. First applying this, he inadvertently purged Rumi of her traumatic memories, but as a consequence, also wiped away her memories she shared with him. As to not remind Rumi of her grief, Maruki cut ties with her. While he was already researching cognitive psience by then, this further motivated his research so he could help humanity as a whole.
Initially, his research was met with positive reception, but suddenly, his research was swiftly rejected by his university and funding was revoked under the pretense that there was lack of evidence to support it, although unbeknownst to him then, his research was seized by Masayoshi Shido. Maruki's lifelong dream of opening a cognitive psience research center in place of a stadium in Odaiba was crushed, and he left university as a result. This further motivates him to investigate deeper so he can validate that his own brand of work was true. While at first uncertain, he continues to use his actualization powers to assist people and make a better world.
He became a counselor, eventually having an appointment with a girl named Sumire Yoshizawa, who lost her twin sister Kasumi, and wished to live as her. Sumire triggered him into subconsciously using his cognitive warping abilities and he made her think that she's Kasumi, giving him more inspiration around his research note. According to him, this was the second time such a massive change occurred thanks to his actualization.
Maruki first appears briefly in the background emerging from the Shujin Academy gates, after Ann, Ryuji, Morgana and the protagonist arrive from the Metaverse into the real world. During the first-term exams, he officially makes his presence known and enrolls as the student counselor at Shujin Academy, and one of the protagonist's Confidants. Maruki is hired by Principal Kobayakawa in order to improve the students' mental health (and the school's reputation) after the exposure of Suguru Kamoshida's crimes. When he is presented in the auditorium, he makes a clumsy speech before being pushed aside by Kobayakawa to end the assembly. Afterwards, he tries to convince the protagonist, Ryuji and Ann to talk to him, as he was ordered by the school to specifically reach out to victims of Kamoshida. While Ryuji doubts if he's actually trustworthy, he earns the trio's trust quickly when the protagonist realizes that he might be useful for the Phantom Thieves' activities, and offers snacks as a bonus. Since then, he regularly meets up with members of the Phantom Thieves and eventually encounters all of them, save for Akechi.
During his sessions, he regularly offers snacks and drinks to his guests as a way of making them comfortable. He can also lead students who go to meet him into speaking out their desires and inner thoughts very well, allowing him to better understand them.
Maruki leaves Shujin on November 18th, during which he gives a brief address to the students, telling them to avoid pain and negativity and live strong. He then personally bids the protagonist farewell if he has reached Rank 9 of his Confidant in prior, automatically maxing it out at Rank 10. During the last meeting with him after his final speech in the Shujin auditorium, he will confirm that he witnessed the protagonist, Ann and Ryuji exiting Kamoshida's Palace.
Taking Back Reality
On the 24th of December, should the protagonist complete Maruki's Confidant, he will display his final paper to his professor for the sole reason of spiting him. As expected, his professor chides him for trying to stop the powerful Masayoshi Shido alone and tries to kick him out of his office. However, at the same time, Yaldabaoth's control plan begins to appear, and Maruki notices the red sky, but his professor stays completely unaware. Yaldabaoth's merging of Mementos with reality awakens his Persona into a physical form, known as Azathoth, and grants it the conduit to manifest before Maruki and fully awaken, stirring him into action. Unlike most other awakenings, it does not follow the usual awakening procedures at all and takes the form of Azathoth conversing with Maruki, being invisible to the professor behind him. Having awakened his Persona via abnormal means, Maruki laughs triumphantly and leaves the office after passive-aggressively assuring the professor that he will do so.
Maruki then warps the very cognition of reality by taking control of Mementos. This makes him the main mastermind of the third semester events, where he attempts to end all of humanity's pain by granting them eternal happiness. When approached by the protagonist, Akechi, and Kasumi, he warns the three not to proceed further, or they will see the pain of reality.
Once personally confronted, at Kasumi's insistence, he plays back a video depicting how Sumire's sister, the real Kasumi, died. Sumire remembers who she really is and her identity as Kasumi melts away, causing her to relapse into depression. Though Maruki tries to persuade the protagonist and Akechi, his pleas are to no avail, and he orders Hastur to attack the intruders while he seizes Sumire, who wishes to be re-established as Kasumi. After the confrontation with Hastur, Maruki requests that they see how the rest of the Phantom Thieves' lives are in the reality he created, in hopes of changing their minds. He tells them to come back on January 9th with their decision. Furthermore, in order to hold his end of the deal with the protagonist and Akechi, he causes Sumire's parents to believe that she is at a training camp.
When the protagonist meets his friends in the altered reality, none of them initially remember how they met him, as their fulfilled desires mean they had no pain or trauma to bond over. Maruki's powers give him the ability to rewrite history up to and including the point of a person's death, effectively "reviving" them. As such, Futaba's mother Wakaba Isshiki is alive, as are Haru's and Makoto's fathers. None of Shujin's students, including Shiho Suzui, were abused by Kamoshida; Madarame is a perfect mentor to Yusuke; Ryuji's leg is not broken; and Morgana is a human.
Since these tragedies did not happen in this new reality, the protagonist's ties with his friends became superficial bonds, and their Personas are presumably all temporarily removed from existence due to their awakening being tied to their trauma.
Bar these, there are also varying degrees of tampering towards certain members of the public, including people winning lottery jackpots, the family in Yongen-Jaya's dead pet dog being revived and someone retiring from his company for no apparent reason. Sadayo Kawakami can be found grumbling in the Kichijoji bars about how all her friends are having "one fairy tale wedding after another."
When the protagonist and Akechi come back to meet Maruki on January 9th, he offers them a deal to allow the protagonist to accept his reality. Should the protagonist refuse, Sumire will stir, in full denial of accepting herself as Kasumi's killer, fighting him alone in desperation. Afterward, Maruki restrains her with his cognition control device, which separates Cendrillon from Sumire and makes it go berserk, causing it to attack the protagonist and Akechi. To Maruki's complete shock, the rest of the Phantom Thieves arrive, having freed themselves from Maruki's influence, allowing the protagonist and Akechi to strike back against the frantic Persona. Suggesting that further fighting is pointless, Maruki returns Sumire and tells them to meet him on February 3rd, when he will hear their final decision and be prepared to fight for what he believes in.
Should the protagonist accept any of his offers to accept his reality, it will trigger a new early ending where Maruki's reality becomes the true reality, as the Phantom Thieves happily celebrate Setsubun, with Sumire's name reverting back into "Kasumi Yoshizawa." After the celebration ends, the protagonist is invited to stay at Café Leblanc with Sojiro Sakura until he graduates from Shujin. Makoto and Haru graduate on the 15th of March, where Maruki takes the group's picture for them. As Maruki leaves, the protagonist will appear to sense something as Kasumi walks by him, before returning to his friends. The credits display the Thieves' desires being fulfilled and all of them content, and ends with a snapshot of them having a pleasant hangout at Leblanc. Akechi and the protagonist are the only ones looking towards the camera.
It was revealed by Lavenza that as he meets the Thieves during counseling sessions, he realizes what they truly want, and their collective desires gave him the power to create his reality; they all subconsciously wished for him to change the old one. The protagonist also told him about the Collective Unconscious in a Confidant event, allowing Maruki to fill in the place of Yaldabaoth after his fall and revive Mementos for his own use. If he is not stopped before the 3rd of February, Maruki will bring forth his "salvation" unto humanity during that day, and this new Mementos will completely fuse into the real world and become impossible to remove, and humanity will presumably live in bliss for eternity, with the original reality being treated as if it had never existed.
The deadline for the infiltration of his Palace is 21 days and 20 nights; if the party fails to meet this deadline, the fusion of the two worlds becomes permanent, and Maruki meets with the protagonist in a dream. Because of the protagonist's indecision supposedly making him suffer, Maruki allows him the freedom not to choose, putting him to sleep for as many "days or years" he may have. When the protagonist wakes up, his phone's battery is long dead, and his room is riddled with cobwebs. He has no more will or motivation to get out of bed, and just goes back to sleep. Lavenza tries to reach him but can't, as she has no more power after Maruki takes control over reality.
Maruki's sin is Sorrow (Tristitia), as stated on his Will Seeds. While he himself has elements of melancholy such as losing Rumi to catatonic depression and his newfound powers, it could also allude to him creating a world of ignorant happiness that stagnates all of humanity's potential for development, amounting to nothing short of nihilism.
After locating his Treasure, the Phantom Thieves decide to let the protagonist send a calling card to Maruki on his own. The date is locked at February 3rd regardless of prior completion. Once the date comes, he will personally pay a visit to the protagonist, in which he reaffirms that he doesn't plan to change his stance, and reveals that Rumi is living happily in the reality he is in. In a final effort to convince the protagonist, Maruki indirectly confirms that Akechi is alive because he created a reality where the protagonist and Akechi could start over, meaning that Akechi's fate in the true reality remains unknown after the confrontation in Shido's Palace. If the protagonist has the Justice confidant maxed out and promised to remember Akechi, he will enter Leblanc, having apparently been eavesdropping. Maruki then tells the protagonist that he will wait for them at the Palace if they still decide to fight. Once he leaves, the protagonist will have a chance to leave Maruki alone on his own accord; accepting it will result in a double confirmation by Akechi. Should he confirm the decision, the heist will be cancelled, resulting in the same acceptance ending as if Maruki's offer was accepted on January 9th.
If Akechi's promise was not fulfilled, Morgana will stand by the protagonist in place of Akechi, and Maruki himself will be confirming the deal instead of leaving the decision to the protagonist. Should he agree to Maruki and has confirmed to do so after being asked by Morgana, Maruki will be elated by the protagonist's decision and leave in excitement. The same bad ending as above occurs afterwards.
He then invites the party to battle him on top of the Garden of Eden, in which he manifests his Persona Azathoth to attack the party as well as making him nearly invulnerable. His Persona manifests behind him consistently and can be destroyed in order to end the fight, along with Maruki himself. To further compound this, he has three tentacles that constantly buff him or render Azathoth nearly invulnerable. Once Azathoth is defeated, the party escapes the collapsing Palace with his Treasure, a torch. Maruki then reappears, taking the torch and transforms Azathoth into its evolved form, Adam Kadmon, to fight the party again.
He initially fights the party on foot with Adam Kadmon behind him, but once it is defeated, he fuses himself into Adam Kadmon, rendering himself seemingly invincible until Futaba locates his weakness. All of the protagonist's party members help fend off Adam Kadmon's final attack while the protagonist targets its head and destroys it, shattering Maruki's mask. His Palace then collapses, and he regains consciousness to confront the Phantom Thieves one last time. After tethering the escaping party with one of his tendrils and confronting the protagonist, they engage in a final fist-fight so as to help Maruki come to terms with the end of his salvation plan, which ends with Maruki faltering and collapsing onto the cracking bridge they were fighting on. Before he can fall, the protagonist reaches out and grabs his hand. As Maruki dangles above his death, he realizes that he doesn't have any strength left and confesses that he was always afraid he and the protagonist would have opposing views. Both Maruki and the protagonist leave the Metaverse via Morgana's helicopter form afterwards.
Due to the destruction of Maruki's Palace, the Metaverse disappears and all is returned to normal. The protagonist is now in Juvenile Hall after testifying against Shido, with all of his maxed confidants (including ones that he maxed in the third semester) supporting his release. Akechi vanishes as he is presumed to have indeed died.
Maruki's Treasure is a golden torch, representing the guiding wisdom granted to him by cognitive psience which he wished to apply to save humanity. In the real world, it reveals itself to be a newsletter about the murder of Rumi's parents. It was picked up by Sumire outside his Palace and handed to Futaba, and the protagonist keeps it as a memento.
Maruki's confession is not displayed on screen, but if the protagonist talks to Shibusawa in Kichijoji before leaving Tokyo, he will tell him that Maruki went to him and apologized, sorry for what he has done. Shibusawa also wants to tell Joker about "something" but withdraws this information, but nevertheless he's grateful that Maruki was back in character again, and tells the protagonist that Maruki might return in the future.
At the end of the game, Maruki is shown to have become a taxi driver, and drives the protagonist to the train station while the others distract the agents following the protagonist. Maruki declares that he has decided to face his life head-on like the protagonist and his friends, offering a final gesture of friendship before bidding him farewell.
- Main article: Confidant/Takuto Maruki
"It's hard to believe that an ordinary high school student could accomplish such grandiose heists. One would need a heart of steel, unaffected by outside influences and prepared to act without hesitating. There has to be someone who helped strengthen your mental state. Sound like somebody you know?"
Maruki's Confidant is enacted after his speech in the Shujin auditorium. He can be met after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He will not be available past rank 5 prior to the 19th of September. Additionally, the final rank is automatic on November 18th should the protagonist advance his Confidant to Rank 9 prior to that date. His Confidant mainly unlocks bonuses in combat and increases the protagonist's max SP every time he consults with him. Maxing this confidant unlocks Vohu Manah and is required to unlock the third semester events. All of his abilities activate once unlocked, even when he becomes hostile.
"Ideal and the Real" plays in all of his counseling sessions, including the one with Sumire outside of Shujin Academy.
A remixed version of this theme, "Ideal and the Real -end version-" can be heard during the credits of the third semester alternate ending which happens if the protagonist decides to accept his version of reality.
"No matter what happens to me in the end, I will fix this torturous world! That...is my own rebellion!"
Before battle, be prepared with any accessories or passives that can prevent Fear and/or Dizzy because these will be the greatest threats in this fight. Unlike Yaldabaoth, he mainly attacks with Nuke, Bless and Physical attacks with Almighty attacks as finishers, so Sumire and Makoto should be in the team at all costs as they prevent him from dealing serious damage to the party. Haru's Life Wall helps a lot for protecting the party against his spammable moves, in addition to greatly reducing the odds of party members being affected by Fear or Dizzy, although she is weak to Nuke and shouldn't be on the field at phase 1. For the same reasons, having Akechi stay in the active party during stage 2 can be dangerous because his weakness to Bless grants Maruki One Mores to decimate the entire party with a flurry of status conditions and powerful attacks. However, Akechi does have Evade Bless, and if the conditions were met for him to awaken Hereward, Rebellion Blade can do massive damage to Azathoth or Maruki as a finisher when all tentacles have been knocked down. It can also be a very effective tool to get rid of a troublesome tentacle immediately, as Rebellion Blade deals bonus damage against enemies that have been knocked down.
Remember to do shopping and sell all excess items on the day of February 2nd, as free movement is disabled during that night. If the protagonist also has Sumire's Confidant maxed and wants to purchase supplies before confronting Maruki, consider rejecting her SNS invitation and meeting her personally in Kichijoji instead after doing the errands, because triggering a third awakening uses up the entire day slot.
Unlike the Holy Grail or Shido, the party will also be confronting his strongest form right at the start with the second form being a bonus which is very difficult, if not impossible to lose, so go all out right there. If one is lacking in levels or missing vital Personas, grind in his Palace before landing on top of the staircase leading to the topmost area of Eden, as this is a point of no return and once the party enters there, they will not be able to back off from the boss encounter. (Despite the room leading to him allowing free movement, the way down is locked by an invisible barricade.)
The boss consists of five objects; Maruki himself, Azathoth and three tentacles. Maruki does not attack himself and Azathoth does most of the work. Therefore, debuffs should be used on Azathoth unless one wishes to hit Maruki harder. If any damaging skills from the boss are repelled, Azathoth will also be the only one taking damage because it is the only object on the opposing party that is actually dealing damage. If either Azathoth or Maruki's health drops to a quarter or below for the first time, the boss goes into its second phase. Defeating either Azathoth or Maruki again finishes the boss fight.
In front of Maruki and Azathoth are three tentacles, each with different resistances and properties. In the first phase all weaknesses and resistances are fixed. Maruki himself will regenerate any fallen tentacle instantly after all other on-field objects consisting of the boss had made their moves.
The following are the Tentacle's unique properties:
- The frontmost one blocks any single-target move directed to Maruki if it is not destroyed. (Azathoth may still be targeted.)
- The second one heals Maruki by 800 HP per turn. Destroying this is mandatory for reliably damaging Maruki, as he heals himself every turn with this if it's present.
- The third one will cast buffs on either Azathoth or debuffs on the party. It is also recommended to destroy this if possible, although not as mandatory as the others. If any buffs occur, remove it with Dekaja or Debilitate. (Or vice versa with Dekunda or Thermopylae on a Persona with Dying Will for debuffs.)
Azathoth has a passive named Shield Tendril that causes any attack directed against it to deal no more than one damage. This includes Almighty attacks. If sufficient buffs are on the party, and sufficient debuffs are used on it, attacks will do slightly more than one damage. If at least one Tentacle is destroyed, Azathoth will begin to receive decent amounts of damage, although the damage dealt is still reduced slightly. When all three tentacles are destroyed, Azathoth will receive full damage. Repelled attacks still deal normal amounts of damage against Azathoth even if all three tentacles exist.
All of the tentacles have weaknesses and can be downed for One Mores, although they can block or repel some elements, so crowd control might be dangerous to use bar Almighty skills such as Morning Star and Megidolaon. Fortunately, the party member's ultimate Personas block the respective types they use, making them highly desirable for mass removal. Baton Pass is strongly recommended to be used in order to allow high damage output on any targets that have to be removed or damaged, and multiple One Mores might have to be used to remove the Tentacles before a Baton Pass. Ideally, the 3rd or fourth Baton Pass should be used by the protagonist to deal extreme damage against Azathoth or Maruki. While it is recommended to remove all of the tentacles to allow full damage to be dealt, occasionally only one Tentacle can be removed in order to save resources and continue the flow of offense, because the downgraded Shield Tendril passive does not mitigate much damage.
Because Azathoth cannot heal itself and is significantly less durable than Maruki himself, it is strongly recommended to ignore Maruki and aim solely for Azathoth. Furthermore, it is especially vulnerable to chip damage from Repel Phys, Bless or Nuclear, since it mostly attacks with these elements.
His first phase primarily attacks with Memory Blow and a Nuclear attack, and Azathoth only moves once per turn. The affinities of the Tentacles are fixed, and the one on the front is weak to Physical; a powerful Physical attack from the protagonist directed at the Tentacle of Protection, followed by a move such as Hassou Tobi, can deal reasonable damage to Azathoth on its own.
Once the party drops either Azathoth or Maruki's HP to a quarter, he will enter his second phase and use more tentacles to make Azathoth bigger. Maruki's HP does not change, but Azathoth's HP will double, although Maruki himself can still be difficult to take down due to his incredibly high endurance, in addition to the Tentacle of Healing granting him copious healing if not removed. He can also limit various movements in a semi-random order starting from prohibiting magic for a turn, although he will do this rather sparsely, leaving huge windows where the party is allowed free movement. On harder difficulties, however, he will always do this twice in a row for the first time, and more frequently afterwards. Baton Pass or Physicals will be prohibited the second time he does this, and healing will always be prohibited during the third time (this includes all skills or items that recover HP, SP or status ailments, but not damage absorption). He prohibits guarding on the fourth, and items/support skills on the fifth. If there are any movement bans that are highly detrimental to your strategy, consider stopping damage output for a turn to heal and/or buff.
Azathoth's tentacles now switch affinities every turn, so be prepared to scan them. If an affinity has been changed from weak to a question mark on a tentacle, it indicates that the tentacle's affinity has changed and it now probably blocks or repels that affinity, so if the party's current situation disallows sufficient damage against a key target, switch tactics or use a regular attack on a less important tentacle weak to it so it can be downed for a Baton Pass.
Azathoth will attack twice per turn and spam Evil Smile frequently; if he gets any One Mores, he will follow up with Evil Smile. He will only attack with Eternal Radiance, a Bless attack with an added Dizzy effect, and/or Raining Seeds. If he proceeds to follow up with any attacking move after Eternal Radiance makes a party member Dizzy, it will result in Technical damage on anyone inflicted with it. These status conditions can make damaging him very difficult and every turn wasted on healing ailments is wasted damage output, and on higher difficulties a technical attack from him is often nearly lethal. Sumire should be able to block Fear completely if the protagonist can, since that would allow the party to still do sufficient damage in case Fear affects the others. Bringing Maria is recommended, for it can use Salvation to recover from debilitating conditions or use Holy Benevolence to instantly revive all fallen members to top condition.
Ironically, many abilities from Maruki's own Confidant are incredibly useful here, such as Detox DX allowing the protagonist to instantly recover from Azathoth's many ailments more often than not, and the ultimate Persona of the Councillor arcana, Vohu Manah, drains Bless, mitigating one of Azathoth's most powerful attacks, and also learns Salvation.
Once his HP drops low enough, a message might appear on the top of the screen dictating that a party member is being specifically targeted. Either have that member guard or switch them out, because he will target that member with Piercing Strike, a multi-hit Almighty attack that will most likely instantly kill them. If his HP drops to a critically low level, he might use Tyrant's Stance, followed by an item use ban. Guard this as well if possible, since he will follow up with Tyrant Chaos, a massively powerful Almighty move. Unlike Yaldabaoth's Rays of Control, it is possible for a protagonist with high enough stats to tank this attack unguarded. However, this is ill-advised on harder difficulties.
If the party takes more than 40 turns to defeat him, Azathoth will cast a Megidolaon dealing around 1300 damage, which will most likely wipe out all party members.
Defeating Maruki will instantly end the fight. If the party defeats Azathoth, Maruki will be completely incapacitated with 1 HP left, allowing a single attack to end the fight.
If Azathoth or Maruki are defeated, an event will play before the second phase against him and Adam Kadmon commences. Adam Kadmon is untargetable and Maruki is the sole target at ~3000 HP. Any HP or SP depleted in the previous fight will be fully restored, and Maruki will start by taking heavily reduced damage against all attacks. This phase is much easier than the previous as he merely has two attacks. He will use Origin Light, a severe-tier Almighty attack at first, but when his HP goes down by a quarter, he will use Revitalize Soul to deal a fixed 300 damage to each party member and recover 1200 HP. This is usually a full recover because of his HP pool. After this, he will switch to attacking using Grand Palm, an attack that does way over the amount a party member can usually endure. However, all party members will always endure the first hit of this attack. After using Revitalize Soul once Maruki will begin to take normal damage. At a very low HP threshold, Maruki also has a chance to squander a turn at random.
The final phase will involve the party confronting Adam Kadmon directly, having completely fused with Maruki. While the party functions as usual, all three of Adam Kadmon's targets will take only two damage. He will use his first turn on Attack Position, leaving him vulnerable to attacks (although his HP is abnormally high and virtually impossible to deplete). On the next turn he uses Full Force, an attack that does over 1000 damage when unguarded. However, the party will always endure this at 1 HP. Once he repeats the process twice, the battle ends.
- "My Persona guides me!" (Start of battle during both phases)
When battling with Azathoth
- "I have to do this..." (Introductory)
- *chuckle* (When using Regenerate)
- "Not bad..." (Randomly when being attacked)
- "Ugh!" (Randomly when being attacked)
- "Not..yet!" (When downed himself; not possible under normal circumstances)
- "I'm...not...done...yet!" (Randomly at the start of someone's turn, low HP)
- "If I can't make you see..." (Randomly at the start of someone's turn)
- "I won't lose!" (Randomly at the start of someone's turn)
- "Not bad...but we've only just begun!" (Transforming into Phase 2)
- "So, let's move on!"
- "I can't deny you're all strong—But that's exactly what's making you suffer. It's time to end all of this. I'm going to save all of you!" (Randomly before charging up Tyrant Chaos or Preparing for Piercing Strike)
- "A reality where none shall suffer...To realize it...I will use all of our power!" (Randomly before charging up Tyrant Chaos or Preparing for Piercing Strike)
- The following occur before he bans a certain movement for a turn during his second phase. All of these dialogue require that character to be within the on-screen party.
- "Sakamoto-kun! Your dream of running...Running would make life so much easier for your mother! I can make that dream your reality!" (Addressing Ryuji)
- "Morgana-kun! I know how you truly feel..And there's no need to fear your differences anymore! Don't worry...You don't have to explain anything to me. All I have to help you is merely imagine it!" (Addressing Morgana)
- "Takamaki-san! Didn't you always want to protect your friend? Don't abandon such a pure dream when it's right in front of you!" (Addressing Ann)
- "Kitagawa-kun! I know you don't really want your approval to be earned through force! You want a world guided by beauty...and I can give you such a world!" (Addressing Yusuke)
- "Niijima-san! Everyone has the right to wish for a happy family! You don't need to keep holding back your desires!" (Addressing Makoto Niijima)
- "Okumura-san! Stop tormenting yourself over your father's sins! I swear, I'll give you a world where you'll have every chance to succeed on your own right!" (Addressing Haru Okumura)
- "Akechi-kun! Don't throw away your life! If you're with [protagonist's name]-kun and his friends, you could begin to atone what you've done!" (Addressing Akechi)
- "Yoshizawa-san! That pain you're suffering... It must be impossible to move on! I want to save you from that awful life!" (Addressing Sumire)
- "Futaba-san! Wishing for the happiness that was robbed for you isn't selfish or asking too much! I just want to give you a world where you can forget your worries and have an ideal family!" (Addressing Futaba, not possible under normal circumstances)
- If addressing Joker when nobody else is in the party or randomly after Tyrant Stance:
- "I understand the difficulty of accepting such a huge change, but that's nothing more than your fears controlling you! Please! Won't you please believe me?"
- "Suffering and pain bring nothing to people except their ruin! Why would you force yourself into that? Just... let me save you all, just this once!"
- "Do you remember how every one of your dreams was granted in my reality? Not a single person is in pain here...Why would you deny them that opportunity?"
- "I won't fail...I CAN'T fail!" (When either Azathoth or himself drops to a critically low health)
- "Azathoth!?" (After Azathoth is defeated)
- "Ngh..." (After he is defeated)
When battling with Adam Kadmon
- "I refuse to let it end like this...Adam Kadmon, guide us all to our ideal reality!" (Introductory)
- "Adam Kadmon... lend me your strength..." (Using Revitalize Soul)
- "I still...can't do it!? And my reality is right before my eyes..." (After being defeated)
During the fist fight event
- "I gave up everything! Everything!!! So, why!?" (Introductory)
- "Why... Why Rumi!?" (After first turn)
- "A reality where...no one suffers..." (After second turn)
Will Seed chambers:
- "Why...why can't we come to an agreement?"
- "What can I do to make you understand?"
- "This harsh world is going to be fixed..."
- "Everyone will finally be happy."
- "What's wrong with an alternate reality, if everyone gets what they desire from it?"
- "Just a bit more, and everything will be okay..."
- "I will never let a tragedy like that happen, ever again."
- "I will lead them all."
- "I'm so close...just a little further..."
- "No matter what I have to deal with, I will reach my goal."
Persona 5 Royal
"Takuto" (拓人) could mean "developing man" and his last name, "Maruki," could mean "circular or pure joy", both which heavily contrast his actions and involvement during the third semester despite his positive intentions.
The "Maru" in "Maruki" might also be represented by a "0," which can act as a double entendre, meaning that he is a torn and grieving man who was the only person in his own ideal reality who wasn't happy himself, as well foreshadowing his Personas being both Azathoth, the Blind Idiot God of the void, and Adam Kadmon, the personification of Ein Sof Ohr, represented by the number 0.
In Other Languages
|Japanese||丸喜 拓人 (Maruki Takuto)|
|Korean||마루키 타쿠토 (Maruki Takuto)|
|Traditional Chinese||丸喜 拓人 (Wánxǐ Tuòrén)|
- According to an interview from Persona 5 Royal Official Complete Guide, Maruki is designed to be sympathetic unlike the other heist targets, so the development team took care and made sure that he didn't act in a heinous way or made mocking expressions just like most of the other targets.
- This interview also details how the two new endings of Royal (the ones designed around Maruki's machinations) were designed so that neither one should be the definitive "true" ending. The development team called the two endings the "stay ending" and "return ending," referring to whether the player chooses to remain in Maruki's reality or to go back to the original reality. The conclusion to the story was meant to be "there is no single path to justice."
- Changing the PS4's main menu theme to Maruki's theme will also change its music to "Ideal and the Real."
- The protagonist cannot confront Maruki in his Adam Kadmon phase without any other party members. If the protagonist alone defeats him in his Azathoth Phase, during the fight in Adam Kadmon's phase, Ryuji, Morgana and Ann will automatically fill in.
- Maruki has trouble preparing dishes with apples, unlike Sumire.
- Maruki is one of the very few final bosses in the entire Megami Tensei franchise that are completely human.
- Maruki is so far the first human character to be completely controlled by a Persona, being Adam Kadmon when he fuses with it in desperation. When accounting for non-human characters, Elizabeth is the first, having been overtaken by Zeus in Persona Q.
- If Maruki manipulates the cognition of an individual to make them believe they are another person, such as in Sumire's case, their perception of others will change to make them believe they are being referred to by the name of the person whom they are impersonating. This implies that, without complete control of Mementos, Maruki's abilities can only manipulate his targets' memories and perceptions of themselves and others.
- If the protagonist chooses to accept Maruki's reality, it is assumed that others besides the person themselves will view them as the other individual, as seen when Sumire's name returns to be Kasumi in the text boxes.
- In the game files, the dialogue over the school intercom where the protagonist wakes up in a dream following a butterfly out of the school has a full dub. It is unknown why this audio wasn't added in the final game, but it is most likely because the voice would have been a dead giveaway that the conductor behind the strange events to follow is Maruki himself.
- Maruki is one of the very few people who crossed Shido's path without being assassinated or threatened with legislative action by him.
- Maruki's Persona behaves in a drastically different way from other Personas. Not only can it use its powers from within the real world, it is extremely unstable when used to do so, as seen in its ability to cause memory loss and cognitive dissonance as drawbacks to its powers. It also displays an initiative and sentience somewhat separate from Maruki's, such as when Azathoth pushes him to continue his plan when he begins to have doubts, though this could be interpreted as Maruki's inner voice guiding him instead. Additionally, when Maruki summons his Personas, they must remain tangible and vulnerable to attack, rather than appearing only momentarily when attacking, a trait shared thus far only with Asterius (excluding navigation Personas).
- The "Actualization" ability of Maruki's Persona can be used in the real world. The previous time where a Persona's abilities can be used out of the collective unconscious is Medea's "Spring of Life" from Persona 3.
- Maruki's actualization power might have taken its name from self-actualization, the highest tier of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, representing the full realization of one's potential.
- Technically, during the third semester, Maruki could remove the Phantom Thieves of Hearts from existence entirely by using his actualization. He does not do this due to his genuine altruism and his bond with the protagonist, as well as his desire to keep things fair.
- When Tokyo is affected by Maruki's reality, the black and white colors on the calendar's display invert.
- Not all people within Maruki's reality are affected right away. For example, Yohei Kiritani can clearly see something is strange about the people around him, and wonders what's going on. As well, many of the protagonist's Confidants also seem to notice the abnormalities.
- Maruki is the only Palace ruler who personally maintains his Palace in place of his Shadow Self.
- A box of apple juice can often be seen on Maruki's desk during his tenure as part-time counselor of Shujin.
- In terms of the story of Persona 5 alone, Maruki is the only major adult target for the Thieves' heists to genuinely become a better person as intended, rather than being reduced to a weeping husk. This happens because Yaldabaoth was no longer in charge of Mementos, and the previous apathetic reactions were a result of him meddling with the cognition of the Palace Rulers that the Thieves changed the Hearts of.
- Maruki's motives are extremely similar to Nyx's.
- Both seek to end all matters with a swift blow that ends all of humanity's pain, with Nyx wiping out all life on Earth and Maruki drowning humanity in eternal happiness and taking away all of their growth using Mementos as a control device. If the protagonist accepts either of their deals, humanity will remain ignorant as their plans come to fruition.
- While Nyx is related to death, Maruki is related to overabundant and stagnating life.
- Unlike other major enemies in-game, Maruki has a Cut-in before attacking, like a party member. This also applies to other enemy Persona users, like the members of Strega and Tohru Adachi in previous games, along with Goro Akechi in his boss fight earlier in the game.
- Despite Morgana having stated that Persona users cannot develop Palaces due to having a clear grasp on their desires, Maruki manifests a Palace of his own. This is because Maruki awakened his Persona on December 24th, after the Palace was created (which was at least as early as October in-game, and probably much earlier), and it also explains why Maruki personally oversees his Palace in place of his Shadow Self, as his Shadow has become his Persona.
- When Maruki is cooking soup during the cleanup, he tries to pour salt on his arm and slide it into the pot, which is similar to the popular "Salt Bae" meme. However, due to the wind, the salt flies in the air.
- The paper that Maruki spends his Confidant storyline writing is titled "Interpreting reality through cognitive psience and the alteration of reality via external influence." It's implied that he started writing this paper to prove himself right to his university after his research was stymied by Shido, who he knew was behind the embargo.
- The concept art design of the clothes Maruki wears while managing his Palace appears in the final game, during two flashbacks early in the third semester. Once shortly after the January 2nd visit to his palace during a phone call with Akechi, in which Maruki is carrying Sumire in front of the stage, and again during the thieves discussion with Lavenza in the nurse’s office on January 11th, in which he is addressing the thieves shortly after their fight with Cendrillon. The latter flashback also shows a different floor to what was finalized, and Sumire’s hair still tied in a ponytail. Maruki's bowtie from this design can also be seen when viewing three of his Metaverse attire cut-ins in full, although when seen in game it is obscured by the tearing effect.
- Although his real age has never been shown or mentioned, an in-game conversation states Maruki is middle-aged.