Trailer Analysis: Persona 5

Okay, everyone, stop clicking replay on the newly-revealed Persona 5 trailer. Let's actually look at it in detail and… okay, maybe one more time. TEE-HEE!

Anywho, let's start from the beginning. A helicopter flies over the water in the opening shot in a city brightened by a vivid assortment of lights. This shows off the game's masquerade-ish, almost Harley Quinn-esque style, as if the entire city has become a playful carnival. The jazzy upbeat soundtrack adds a snazzy beat to the thievish adventure, as the protagonist in his Phantom guise leaps about the rafters, like some nefarious Tuxedo Mask. The ornate color palette reminds me of the Professor Layton series, particularly Miracle Mask, with its warm color scheme. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, the protagonist turns the iconic mask of the Persona series into a smaller, Mardi Gras-like mask for his eyes.

Many of the elements in this trailer emphasize the core theme of Persona 5, which is about the concept of freedom while being bound by society's rules. In the soft credits roll in the beginning, we see the lead developer's names written in graffiti, and that opening shot with the helicopter paints the city, which would normally be gray and boring, into a colorful collage. We see the protagonist trapped and enclosed in the crowded subway train, and while he's walking through the subway terminal at 1:12, we see three businessmen hunched over from being overworked. At 1:13, a teacher throws a piece of chalk at him, showing that he's bored as a student. Oh, the ennui!

Then of course is the prison theme, with the Velvet Room's Igor having two twin prison guards as attendants and him being surrounded by a jail cell. At 1:59, the protagonist is seemingly trapped in a cell as well, and then there's the official poster (pictured below) with him against the wall holding a placard like a criminal. He bluntly and brashly brushes against the law, perhaps letting the demon within him take over, as seen by the ending of the trailer where his demonic visage is covered in blue flames.

The entire party looks like a band of fun-loving catpurses (for the cat, Morgana, it's quite literal) like they're from Lupin the Third. The hangout scene at 1:18 reminds me of Catherine with the sultry style lines and the bar. The blonde guy, Ryuuji Sakamoto, runs down the railing at 2:25 like he's in Sunset Overdrive and the blond girl, Komaki Anzu(?), seems like some kind of rhythmic gymnast with the way she can pull her leg to her head at 1:28 and spin around like a top. Instead of social links, we see the word "Cooperation" in the menu, perhaps alluding to the idea they're all partners in crime.

In the short snippets showing the combat and the nifty menus, we see that the party can use both a weapon and a gun like in other non-Persona Shin Megami Tensei games like Strange Journey. Ryuuji holds a lead pipe, Komaki wields a whip, the protagonist uses what seems to be a knife (changeable), and the cat has a scimitar like some kind of pirate. The battle sequence reveals that the All-Out attack will make a return, but more intriguingly, you will be finding actual demons like Sandman and Pyro Jack, perhaps integrating mechanics from both the main SMT series and the Persona series. Does this mean you need to recruit them by speaking with them? One can only hope.

The level design seems to be vastly improved, avoiding the randomly generated levels in Persona 3 and expanding upon the individualized dungeons in Persona 4. There might be light platforming across chandeliers and a cover system, but it seems like it could just be button prompts or scripted sequences. We'll have to see if it's much better than that. As for shops, you'll be able to purchase healing items for Takemi Tae at the Medical Clinic and purchase equipment from the Military Shop Untouchable by Munehisa Iwai, a sort of revolutionary saboteur type.

In terms of the bosses, it would seem as though it would be based on the seven deadly sins. At 1:33, a handful of Latin words scroll across the cat like Luxuria, Ira, and Invidia (Lust, Anger, and Envy, respectively). This might mean that the party must fight against demons representing each deadly sin, instead of demons during the Midnight Hour, and that the crazy subway train conductor at 1:38 might be under the influence of Anger after running the train off the rails. Perhaps the demon representing Greed is the main baddie of the opulent dungeon featured in the trailer. 

Did you see anything in the trailer that I might have missed? I would love to know. Because hype!

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