Persona 5 has a high school setting, but different atmosphere
posted on 11.26.13 at 08:01 AM EDT by (@salromano)
First details from this week's Dengeki PlayStation.

This week’s Dengeki PlayStation has first details on the Sunday-announced Persona 5.

The chairs and chains shown in the announcement teaser are located at a senior high school, according to the magazine. These make up the theme of Persona 5.

It’s described as an RPG that contains a message like a cathartic yell to overcome trials and break free from your chains.

The game will continue to adapt the series’ juvenile high school setting, but the atmosphere will be completely different.

Atlus promises the game will offer a sense of realism, including life-sized characters and a story built from a new world and values.

Thanks, Re: Zaregoto.

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  • Elvick


  • Skerj

    I wonder if it’s going to adopt some of the mechanics of the first two (three), something tells me we won’t see negotiation make a return to Persona though.

    • Rokkun

      I hope they adapt SMT’s combat system though. SMT’s press turn system is just so wonderful. :P

  • articuzwolf

    new “HD” design of Personas would be cool

    The old design is good and classic but time to move on

    • Hexodious

      Persona 5 will be running on a new engine, similiar to Catherine’s engine, which will put the Persona series completely upside-down, think it as the jump from P2 to P3, that kind of change.

      • articuzwolf

        I’m talking about their Personas/Demons design (Satan, Cerberus, Orochi, etc) since as far as I could remember, Atlus was practically using the same demons/personas design for every SMT games (with some changes here and there).

        They made some changes in SMTIV, but I’d love to see them trying to create new designs for their massive library of demons/personas.
        And what else are more fitting for these changes than their first HD entries of SMT franchise in Persona 5?

    • Blackmaile

      Open city persona would be amazing
      Maybe they could do university instead of school

  • Crossbones (Prodigy-X)

    Sounds Sweet

  • ayb_91

    I expect nothing less from Atlus. <3

  • $61526767

    At first the ‘juvenile’ part caught me off guard. I’ll definitely see a very good dark story. I’d expect Atlus to show an amazing story to surpass P3 & P4.

  • $83030187

    I’m glad that the high school setting was confirmed.

    • Akemi Nakajima

      We’re the same.

  • Hatsuaki

    As long as the high school setting is still in and plays a role, I’m in!

  • Rokkun

    The atmosphere will be completely different from which Persona game specifically, I wonder. Will it have a totally different theme from all the other Persona games? No matter, I have faith in Atlus.

  • MrRobbyM

    All of the pre-orders.

  • Aiddon

    so it’s still set in high school, but the atmosphere is very different. Maybe it’s a private school this time around?

  • 罪罰

    muh serious purse owner
    #based Atlus

  • MasterSensei

    Is it going to be dark like Persona 3? I like the often comedic and light-hearted moments of Persona 4 (except when they focus on the killing)

    • MrFinalgamer

      nah, i think we’re going Persona 2 dark here (thank god!)

  • SOLOmio

    “new world”? that means no saving p3 character and back to someone as to be sacrificed in order to achieve the secret end??
    cares not still gonna play PERSONA 4 EVER!!!

  • shafiq95


  • captainhowdy

    I’m so tired of the high school setting, when I was in middle – high school I hated it. Hopefully the story is nice, I’m interested in how the graphics look.

    • bloodiOS

      The graphics would probably be in the same ballpark as Catherine.

      • Aldridge517

        That’s what I’m hoping.

        • Hexodious

          Well, it is confirmed by Atlus themselves that they will use a new engine for Persona 5, but if it’s similiar to Catherine is still a question.

          • EX+

            Oh yeah… I still expect a cel-shaded approach though.

  • bloodiOS

    I’m kinda getting a Danganronpa vibe for some reason…

  • Alkhan

    I was hoping for a college setting.

    At least maybe we can play as high school seniors I hope.

  • Awnye

    A Yanki school? Hell yes!!!

    • EX+

      I think this is going to have a much darker tone.
      High school can be pretty ruff. Very rough. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the students in the game committed or something. Sure it would be quite serious, but the whole red color scheme shows that it’s going to be more than high school slice of life anime setting. Expect a lot of blood out of this one.
      Also, could the chains on the school chairs suggest that the school system is very restricting and fucked up?

      • Awnye

        Well yeah, that’s why I assumed it was going to be a delinquent school. I’m probably wrong though. :p Just the thought of playing around a bunch of hardcore juvies would be awesome tho!

  • EX+

    I can already tell what this story’s gonna be like.
    The story’s is gonna deal with how kids in high school experience things in a dark tone. I wouldn’t be surprised if a someone in the school committed suicide or started drinking. Stuff like that.
    Who knows? Maybe one kid who had access to super natural powers had a mental breakdown and almost destroy the whole school. It’ll be very interesting to see how this story goes.
    Also, the reason I’m suggesting all these themes is because kids in Japan seem to get pressurised from a very early age. From my knowledge, they take even middle school seriously to the max, to the point that the main competition is ‘who can outclass the other students’. I’ve had many experiences like that and still am tbh.

  • LordKaiser

    Again….. Why not a University or College setting?

    • Invisbin

      Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

      • adhesive

        Just because it isn’t broken doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

        • Invisbin

          Look at it this way, A high school setting is fine because when m that’s when you’re finding yourself out in life usually. You can still be influenced by life and it’s events. The time for classes are consistent and from the little anime I watch, they almost always have the show in high school.

          Now I’d love a college setting, but seeing as how college would have day/night classes, maybe not have a full schedule, or perhaps just go for sports. It wouldn’t suit a persona game if the MC were able to battle shadows AND juggle a college life. The MC isn’t/shouldn’t be THAT omnipotent.

          • LordKaiser

            Many students when they arrive at college or a University don’t even know what to do with their lives just yet.

            The College/University setting with day/night can alter the game-play and the development of your persona and depends on people you can see during the day and the night.

            It will allow a huge variety of social links and a whole new variety of social links. Of course in that design you can’t have everything but at the same time it will increase the re-playability.

          • adhesive

            Actually, most people who go to college still don’t really know who they are. I’d argue that the adjustable classes option would make for an even better Persona game, as it would give you more responsibility and freedom, as well as making you feel more like the MC rather than just a guy controlling him.

            Also high school is way overused, and more often than not it isn’t particularly amazing. The only game that I know that offered an interesting twist on the high school setting was Hourai High, which came out on the SNES.

        • Gariya

          Improved? According to who?

    • articuzwolf

      Highschool setting has been part of Persona franchise since their first game, so I’m not surprised they keep this concept, in fact I was kinda expecting it.
      They might want to leave more mature character for other entries in SMT franchise.
      Besides, who doesn’t want to see another car-related highschool emblem in Persona 5? LOL

    • TetsuyaHikari

      I know, right? They’re wanting to use life-sized sprites now for the characters, but still want to keep them in a kid environment? Okay.

      • 罪罰

        high school is serious shito m8

        • EX+

          Tell me about it.

        • TetsuyaHikari

          Is this why Persona is so edgy?


    • Falco252

      Because it wouldn’t be canon to SMT If… which is “what if stuff that happened in SMT1&2 only happened in an high school”
      Also in Kaneko’s and Cozy Okeda’s interview from waaaaaay back about eternal punishement they explained it was something everyone would be able to refer to.

      • LordKaiser

        Nah it’s all about damn traditions and fear of breaking the mold by playing safe.

        • Gariya

          Or maybe it’s all about cultural difference or staying true to the series’ trademark, and people who’ve been whining for Persona having high school setting don’t know shit about how the Japanese view high school and college very differently than other parts of the world. As long as Atlus is making Persona series to cater to the Japanese fans first instead of doing the “we’re trying to appeal to western audience” bullshit like Capcom does, don’t expect it to stop being set in high school.

        • Falco252

          It would make sense if the interview was from a few years ago, but it was right after P2:EP’s (might even be before I don’t remember) PS1 release.

          around 5:50

        • Blackbelt_Jones

          Actually it’s set in high school because that is the place where you first start to question who you are and where you fit in and what type of person you want to be,also it is that rare time in life that mixes childhood fantasy with real world obligations. And it’s really the only time that kids are old enough to talk seriously with adults but still not be taken seriously by them.All this stuff plays into the overall theme of the persona series,in college all you do is study….and maybe smoke some pot. And if all that art and thematic stuff is to hard to understand then try this…HIGH SCHOOL IS SIMPLY A MORE MAGICAL TIME. :)

  • Audie Bakerson

    While “social commentary on how profoundly messed up the Japanese high school system is” would fit, something tells me that’s not how this will go.

  • Pyrofrost

    I’m really surprised at the amount of people so unhappy about the ‘high school’ setting.

  • Eclipse

    I’m glad they’re sticking with the high school setting, I personally love it.

    Looking back on the previous games in the Persona series, I’m sure that this one will continue the tradition of having an amazing atmosphere.

  • MrFinalgamer

    so we’re going back to an older, senior cast…good! hmm…a social commentary about the Japanese school system is quite interesting indeed…but my question is, if this is where the real life part comes in. were do the shadows take part in the game? this is still a dungeon crawler after all…

  • DrForbidden

    Awww… I was hoping they’d ‘graduate’ the game franchise to college or university students.

    Oh well. Still hyped to see what they bring to the table.

    • orangeluigi

      That would be interesting to see though, I think they’re (developers) afraid to. Think about it, in college everyone has different classes and different majors so the main characters aren’t going to be in the same classes in every scene. They’ll probably only be together in general education classes. In essence, it’s easier to do high school students then college students.

      • DrForbidden

        That’s an excellent point that didn’t occur to me. Thanks!

        • orangeluigi

          Your welcome :)

      • Nap1400

        I heard somewhere that character designer Shinegori Soejima DID look into using college as a potential setting. The problem you have to understand is Japanese college is really, really boring. It’s nothing but workloads in preparation for the workloads one gets in a job, and not interesting to develop a JRPG in. High school is by and large the more interesting setting, at least in Japan.

        • orangeluigi

          Wow I didn’t know that, but I think even a regular college in America can be rather boring for a persona video game. I guess that is why the devs stayed with high school as you stated.

  • Gariya

    Good. Now people can shut the fuck up about “COLLEGE SETTING, NO MORE HIGH SCHOOL PLS”.

    Unless Atlus says they’re going to make the Persona series to appeal to western/worldwide gamers, maybe you have a chance. But as long as they’re making the series for the Japanese taste/fanbase first and foremost, then tough shit. The people who’ve been dying for Persona to leave high school setting need to learn about cultural difference.

    • DrForbidden

      In Japan, high school kids are often viewed as bigger children rather than as young adults. Their primary duty is to do well in school to get into a good university. While social networking and extracurricular activities exist to round out their lives, most parents and teachers would rather their high school students just study hard and not cause undue trouble. Did you think stereotypes about straight-laced, high-achieving Asian teens with little experience about life outside of studies and school just pop into existence from nowhere?

      The primary reason why high schools are the setting is the same as why so many manga and anime have high schools as settings. It’s the primary target audience that they’re appealing to: teens and young adults who were in high school not too long ago. These settings often present fantasy versions of high schools that is not found in reality, but which most of the target audience is still able to identify with. It’s the same reason why High School Musical exists, independent of any ‘cultural differences’.

  • Kobracon

    Life sized characters huh? Nice. Maybe its about High school kids about to graduate or on their last year or something. Whatever it may be, can’t wait to see more!

  • PrinceHeir

    for me i would love to have Digital Devil Saga character designs these time around.