Persona 5 Royal: Breakdown Of The New Features, From New Girl Kasumi To Human Morgana
By Michael Higham | @michaelphigham on
Breaking Down Everything New In Persona 5 Royal
A definitive, expanded version of the wonderfully stylish RPG, Persona 5, is on the way. Persona 5 Royal will feature a ton of new content and tweaks, similar to what developer Atlus had done in the past with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 FES. But it seems like it's doing a lot more than just adding content; it appears that major story elements are changing with the arrival of a new character who will make a significant impact on the Phantom Thieves' original journey. Just this week, a detailed trailer showed off a lot of what's new, and we're here to breakdown and analyze some of the most notable details. Note that there will be light spoilers for the original version of Persona 5.
The original game launched in September 2016 for Japan, and April 2017 worldwide and was met with wide critical acclaim. GameSpot's own Lucy James said in her Persona 5 review, "It's stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes--there's an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series. It's a refined, effortlessly stylish RPG that will be talked about for years to come." We also awarded it the #2 spot in our Best Games Of 2017 list.
Persona 5 Royal set to launch on October 31, 2019 in Japan and sometime in 2020 worldwide exclusively for the PlayStation 4. More information will be revealed on May 9, but in the meantime, we have you covered for everything we know about P5R so far.
New Opening And Music
Persona 5 Royal will have a new opening animation which we believe is what's shown early in the trailer. Of course, the new animation bursts with that unique, confident style of the Phantom Thieves, and it prominently features grappling hooks to hint at a new gameplay element.
While the previous intro featured the song "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There," a new theme song will accompany the fresh animation. The song doesn't have a title yet, but it's a certified banger; and the soundtrack's singer Lyn is still leading the charge on vocals. As for the soundtrack as a whole, series composer Shoji Meguro and Lyn are teaming up again to bring additional tunes including battle and ending themes.
The New Phantom Thief, Kasumi Yoshizawa
The most significant addition to P5R is the new character Kasumi Yoshizawa. She'll have a big impact on story since she joins the Phantom Thieves in some capacity and has dedicated cutscenes and social events; she's also prominently featured on the game's box art.
Based on translations of her dialogue featured in both the initial teaser and this new trailer, she speaks with Goro Akechi about her thoughts on the Phantom Thieves and whether or not she believes in their methods and vision for justice. It seems that she's conflicted.
What we know about her so far is that she's a first-year transfer student at Shujin Academy who arrives around the same time Joker does. She's a highly-skilled ballerina or rhythmic gymnast; you can see her shutting down the dance floor with her elegant moves at what looks to be a school social event.
When She Might Get Involved
An interesting thing to note is that Kasumi is only seen in the Metaverse with the Phantom Thieves when Haru is in the party--this could indicate that she joins the fight later in the game although she's involved throughout the story. To be a bit more speculative, dice blocks are seen in the background which could mean she makes an important appearance in the Casino Palace that's in the second half of the game.
Kasumi In Combat
There are a few seconds that show Kasumi in combat where she hits an enemy with a critical hit using her low-profile sword and Winchester-style gun to deal a ton of damage. Her outfit in the Metaverse seems to be inspired by her real-world talents, as she's seen sporting what looks like a leotard underneath a Joker-style coat. Kasumi also rocks knee-high boots and a Victorian-style mask.
If you look at her battle portrait, you'll see that she has relatively low SP compared to other party members. This may indicate that she's more of a melee- and gun-focused fighter. We haven't seen her persona yet, so we don't know what her moveset will look like.
New Confidant, Takuto Maruki The School Counselor
Not only does P5R include a new Phantom Thief to fight alongside the rest of the party, there will be a new Confidant by the name of Takuto Maruki. He's a school counselor said to show up at Shujin Academy shortly after Kamoshida gets the boot. Takuto may be there to help everyone recover from the trauma, indicated by his interaction with Ann who was at the center of those events. His Confidant route is said to provide perks to combat negotiations.
Joker's Grappling Hook
Joker now has a functional grappling hook in the game that'll be used in context-sensitive situations. It appears that it'll get you into new areas in Palaces as seen in the trailer clips of Joker swinging outside of Kamoshida's Palace and hooking onto UFOs in the Spaceport.
New Content In Palaces
Along with the grappling hook, Palaces will also have new content. There appears to be a new puzzle sequence in Kamoshida's Palace where interacting with a statue of the disgusting, scumbag PE teacher unlocks a door. Another screenshot shows a never-before-seen item in a Palace though we don't know what this implies.
Kichijoji, A New Place To Explore In Tokyo
When you're out and about wandering Tokyo, you'll have a new area to explore and hang out: Kichijoji. This won't be like the several single-frame locations to visit in the original game as you can see Joker running around. In the map, there's a t-shirt icon which may indicate that you can shop for clothes and rock different outfits, which was also an addition in P4G.
Kichijoji is based on the real-life location in Tokyo and it's said to be an area geared toward younger folk with plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities.
A New Hangout Spot For Everyone: Penguin Sniper
Speaking of places to chill, there's a new spot called Penguin Sniper which is billiards cafe/bar with pool tables and darts (specifically DartsLive, which is also a prominent chain in Japan). These don't look like minigames, but instead a new opportunity to build social standing with your squad. Previously, spending time with your crew always had to be 1-on-1, but it seems like everyone can gather at once. It's nice to see everyone together to foster a better sense of team bonding.
Futaba Gets Her Own All-Out Attack
While Futaba isn't a playable party member, she's vital to the success of the Phantom Thieves by providing much needed support in critical moments. However, she now has an all-out attack animation for a finishing move where she drops a bomb from her UFO-like nest. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn't show her battle-ending title card.
Haru and Morgana Have A Partner Attack
A new combat mechanic shown in the trailer appears to be partner attacks where two party members tag-team to take down enemies and deal significant damage. Conditions for initiating partner attacks aren't clear at the moment, but they are likely to work similarly to the partner attacks added to P4G.
Haru and Morgana have a hilarious, yet badass attack where Morgana turns into bus-form and speeds towards enemies while Haru launches a grenade at the same time. It's adorable!
Makoto and Ryuji Have A Partner Attack Too
You also get a see a partner attack between Makoto and Ryuji. Makoto throws punches lightning fast by channeling her best impression of the Hokuto Shinken fighting technique--a sweet homage to Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star--after Ryuji sets her up with a stunning hit with his bat.
You wouldn't think of these two being the best of friends, so it's great to see them interact more. Small additions like this can build a stronger sense of camaraderie among characters, just like they did in P4G.
Perhaps A New Palace?
There's a clip of an animated cutscene that wasn't part of the original game; the Phantom Thieves are in their Metaverse outfits and it seems the ground and their surroundings are crumbling to pieces, similar to how Palaces fall apart when you reach their conclusion. We can only speculate, but this could be a sneak peak into a new Palace.
New Year's Day Celebration
This screenshot may not seem like much, but we find this to be significant. The tail-end of Persona 5 went by fairly fast and could've done more to bring everyone together before the story wrapped up. Here, we have a special social scene during New Year's Day with the team (including Kasumi) gathered at a shrine to celebrate together. The girls are seen in Yukata, and Yusuke seems to be framing the perfect group picture. New Year's Day was also a great addition to P4G where the cast was brought together to enjoy the festivities and watch fireworks.
A Whole Other Semester
It's worth mentioning that Persona 5 Royal will include a third semester, which extends the story to the full school year. We're not sure what will be included in the new term or if it's a way to let extra story beats breathe. It could also be another indication of a change in Joker's fate at the turn of the year. It'll probably make the long journey of Persona 5 even longer as well.
Human Morgana?! What?!
HOLD UP. Is that human Morgana? This person, "Ikemen" as their name is translated, hasn't been seen before and every hint leads us to think that this is Morgana in human form: the blue eyes, a gold necklace like the cat's gold scarf, and a similar speech pattern as Morgana (like using the distinct Japanese pronoun "wagahai").
In the original game, one of the major narrative threads for Morgana was about whether or not he had a human form. He frequently insisted that he wasn't always a cat. This will be a captivating development, but please let's not have another Teddie situation on our hands!
Joker, Akechi, And Kasumi Social Event
By all accounts, Kasumi and Goro Akechi seem to be closely tied in the new narrative threads in P5R. And here, you see them and Joker together at a crepe restaurant. It's likely that Akechi chose this spot; the boy loves his pancakes (or crepes). A slightly bigger focus on Akechi in P5R's teasers may also indicate that he's fleshed out a bit more as a character.
The Fate Of Wakaba Isshiki, Futaba's Mom
This will probably be a spoiler for those who haven't played Persona 5, but this screenshot could mean any number of things. One of which is that the mysterious character sitting with Sojiro and Futaba is actually Wakaba Isshiki, Futaba's mom--at least the hair style is comparable to her's. It looks like thise scene takes place in the winter based on their outfits.
Wakaba was a leader in scientific research about the Metaverse, but got caught in the middle of a larger, dangerous conspiracy. Perhaps things are different this time around.
A Scene That Looks Like A Field Trip
In a new social scene, you see Makoto trying to direct what looks like a field trip with a bunch of Shujin students in their PE uniforms. It looks like they're at Inokashira Park, and in another screenshot, you see Kasumi and Joker interacting from an angle where you can see the lake.
Hanging Out With Caroline And Justine In The Real World
In this screenshot, it appears that there are extra social events with the warden twins Caroline and Justine that take place outside the Velvet Room. It could be similar to what P3 FES did with Elizabeth, adding opportunities to hang out with her and show her the real world.
Additional Help To Get You Through
From this screenshot, you can see new options for assistance (Coop Assist and Status Assist) to get you through the game. This is a huge RPG after all and it could be overwhelming for many players, so it's nice to have a little help
Different Enemy Types
In Persona 5, enemy shadows transform into personas that you have to fight against. And here, we catch a glimpse of a different version of the Bicorn persona--perhaps a more powerful or a rare "shiny" form?