What's New In Persona 5 Royal? - Wild Partner Attacks, Ann's New Scenes, And More
Getting The Royal Treatment
Since the reveal of Persona 5 Royal--the reimagining of the original Persona 5--developer Atlus has been consistently teasing more and more information on what makes this updated version different. And based on what we know already, the game includes some significant changes that not only mix up gameplay, but recontextualize the entire story. The new character and party member Kasumi Yoshizawa plays a huge role in the narrative, an extra semester means late-game events will change, and new social scenes will add more quality time with the cast.
That's just scratching the surface on what P5R is doing to make this a fresh experience. If you need to get up to speed on all the details that came out of the initial reveal, check out our extensive breakdown of the changes coming to Persona 5 Royal (you can also watch the video version above).
Here, we're going to explain some of the finer details that have been shown off since the initial reveal. Much of this information has come from a cheeky video series called "Morgana's Report" where Morgana himself explains new features under the guise of "stealing" the data from Atlus. There have also been updates to the official P5R site and features in the Japanese publication Famitsu, all of which have been in Japanese. Thanks to translators (such as MysticDistance and Lettuce Sauce) and the Persona community (namely Persona Central), we've been able to parse some of these details.
Persona 5 Royal will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive that is set to launch on October 31, 2019 in Japan and sometime in 2020 worldwide.
Ann And Morgana Have A Wildly Ridiculous Partner Attack
Partner attacks are one of the many new elements in P5R and they've embraced absurdity on a new level; think the silliest heat moves from Yakuza with a hint of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure). Ann's new character trailer revealed one between her and Morgana. They find themselves in a flower field as Ann is flattered by Morgana's offering of roses. By the end of the trailer you see how it all brutally ends--Ann rains down on enemies with her submachine guns while Morgana tosses a bomb to finish them off.
This has gotten to the levels of ridiculousness you see in heat moves from the Yakuza games with a hint of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and it's wonderful. Previously, we got quick looks at other partner attacks, like one where Morgana goes into bus form to ram into the enemy while Haru launches a grenade as she stands on the roof. Ryuji and Makoto also have one where Makoto goes full Hokuto Shinken with a thousand punches as a nod to Fist of the North Star's Kenshiro. It seems that P5R is leaning into its wacky side, especially considering the partner attack with Ryuji and Yusuke (see below).
Ryuji And Yusuke Have An Equally Ridiculous Partner Attack
The character trailer for our favorite brash boy Ryuji Sakamoto came out and it is a wild ride, mainly because of the ridiculous (and hilarious) partner attack with him and Yusuke. The two find themselves in a restaurant and Yusuke artfully prepares Ryuji a tasty beef bowl only to be interrupted by Orobas (the enemy in this case). Frustrated by the disruption, the pair start blasting away at the enemy. Ryuji then tosses a grenade and Yusuke aims a precision shot to have it blow up in the enemy's face.
A Third Persona Evolution For The Phantom Thieves
As you complete Confidant routes with fellow party members, their base persona would evolve into a second, more powerful form; for example Makoto's Johanna would change to Anat once you achieved Rank 10 Confidant. Also revealed in Ryuji's character trailer, it was confirmed that the Phantom Thieves will have a third-tier evolution of their persona--you can see his two personas Captain Kidd and Seiten Taisei fuse to create William Kidd.
As to what you'll need to do to unlock them, we're not sure. However, this was a feature introduced in Persona 4 Golden, and if that's any indication, then you'll probably have to follow up with the corresponding party members after earning a Rank 10 social link level in the late-game. Given that P5R will have a third semester, it seems like there will be room to do so.
Shiho Makes A Comeback
New social events are one of the major draws of P5R, and here you get a glimpse of how Ann's best friend Shiho Suzui gets brought back into the mix. In the original game, she didn't really get any screen time following the tragic events at Shujin Academy. However, you get to see her, Ann, and Joker hanging out in the underground mall in fresh new outfits on January 4, which would be fairly late in the game.
New Battle Theme "Take Over" For Preemptive Fights
We all know that the original "Last Surprise" battle theme was an absolute banger, but P5R will switch things up a bit. If you initiate a fight through a preemptive ambush, a new battle theme called "Take Over" will play instead. Much of Persona 5's dungeon crawling called for a stealthy approach through Palaces and Mementos, so expect to hear this song often.
It's sort of the reverse of what Persona 4 Golden did, where preemptive attacks on shadows played the original theme "Reach Out To The Truth" while normal encounters played the alternate song "Time To Make History" (both of which have also been certified as bangers).
"Colors Flying High" As The Main Theme
We got a taste of the new opening theme song in the full reveal trailer for P5R, but it now has a name. It's called "Colors Flying High" and alongside a new introductory animation, it replaces the original "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" opener. Singer Lyn Inaizumi (known as "Lyn") is back as the lead vocalist, and this new track and is just the start when it comes to new music--P5R is slated to feature 20 new songs.
Kasumi's Persona Awakening Scene (And Possibly A New Palace)
During the character trailer for Kasumi, we saw her persona awakening scene--this is when characters embrace their will to rebel and discover their ability to summon personas to fight in the Metaverse. A spotlight shines on her in what looks like a performance hall or opera house, which would fit her background as a rhythmic gymnast. It's an entirely new environment which could also be a new Palace. It's also worth noting that Joker and Morgana are the only other Phantom Thieves present during this scene and subsequent battle.
Cinderella As A Persona
Speaking of her opera houses and performance arts, the same trailer revealed that Kasumi summons her persona, Cendrillon, after ripping off her mask and changing into her Metaverse outfit. Cendrillon is the French name for Cinderella, but also a four-part fairytale ballet opera.
Kasumi Specializes In Physical Attacks And Bless Elementals
While we know quite a bit about Kasumi's background and overall role, we've only caught glimpses of how she functions in battle. As we suspected based on her relatively low SP meter in combat footage, she focuses on physical attacks using a rapier-style sword. But when it comes to spellcasting, she specializes in the Bless elemental (which also coincides with her Arcana).
"Beauty Is Devotion"
Persona 5 is in a class of its own when it comes to style, and Kasumi's all-out attack battle-finishing animation and artwork takes P5R to another level. After the party tears up the enemy, Kasumi will dance around with her gymnast's ribbon wand and the screen then cuts to her portrait with the quote "Beauty Is Devotion" if she initiated the all-out attack. This was revealed in her character trailer.
Kasumi's Arcana Is "The Faith"
Given the importance of Kasumi throughout P5R, she'll also have her own Confidant (aka Social Link) route where you can spend time with her and get to know her. Each of your Confidants are designated a certain Arcana based on Tarot cards, and Kasumi's is The Faith (or La Foi as it's presented).
Kasumi Just Wants To Have Fun
She'll be integral to the story of P5R, but she's also there to have fun. Kasumi is shown to have an upbeat, light-hearted attitude in the real world whether she's satiating her endless appetite, hitting up the batting cages, or playing jokes on Joker himself. She even makes an effort to save a kid's balloon during an early-game cutscene while talking to Joker on a trip to Inokashira Park.
Joker's Grappling Hook Can Be Used For Ambushes
Along with the reward of character development, Confidant progression also leads to new abilities or buffs throughout the game. One such feature that's said to come out of Kasumi's Confidant path is Joker's ability to use his new grappling hook to ambush enemies in the Metaverse. This should help close the gap and sneak up on shadows much faster for preemptive attacks.
School Counselor Takuto Maruki's Intro Scene
The school counselor named Takuto Maruki was shown in the reveal trailer as a new Confidant; he arrives at Shujin Academy following the arrest of the scumbag gym teacher Kamoshida. We know Takuto is brought in to help Joker, Ann, and Ryuji recover, but we get a feel for who he is in his introductory cutscene. He's a bit of a dork but with a pleasant demeanor. Seems like a nice enough guy, though he wears open-toe sandals to school so I'm not sure if we can really trust him.
Gun Customization Goes Deeper
Every character has their own toy model firearm that transforms into an actual weapon upon entering the Metaverse, and it comes in handy for shadows weak against gun attacks. And new to P5R, you'll be able to upgrade firearms to improve accuracy or inflict status effects. Also, each party member's ammo will replenish following each battle, making them even more useful.
Collectibles In Palaces, Called Stones (Or Ishi) Lead To Rewards
In an early screenshot, we got a quick look at a new item you'll find in Palaces. They've been revealed to be Stones (or Ishi) which look like skulls, and if you collect all of them within the Palace, you'll be rewarded with rare, powerful accessories.
New Kyouma Enemy Type
In the batch of screenshots after the initial reveal, we gota peek at a new enemy type--these were said to be powerful versions of existing shadows; we now know them as Kyouma enemies. They'll counterattack when they're hit, making them even more dangerous, but you'll get rare items if you defeat them.
Baton Pass Visuals And Buffs
The baton pass mechanic is getting a bit of a rework. Subsequent baton passes will be indicated by a colored flame around the active party member--the first pass glows red, and the second glows yellow. Each baton pass will be accompanied by a damage buff as well, further incentivizing this tactic.
Goro Akechi's Character Will Be Fleshed Out
As part of the second episode of Morgana's Report, there was a question of Akechi's involvement in the story, to which it was confirmed that he'll have new scenes. We already knew that he was going to have a role in the new story beats with Kasumi given his involvement in the very first teaser trailer, but this further hints that his character will be more developed.
You'll Have The Option To Rewatch Scenes
Persona 5 has such a dense story and P5R is packing even more, which makes the teased "gallery function" all the more necessary. Not much was detailed but it seems that this would be a way to look back upon past scenes and refresh yourself on key story beats since it can be hard to keep track of all the events that unfold.
What The English Dub Trailer Tells Us
For E3 2019, Atlus put out an English-dubbed version of the initial reveal trailer. While the original was translated by others, the dub gives us a clearer sense of what the characters are getting at. As for Kasumi, she's heard saying, "I'm responsible for crushing that dream" just as a static screen pops up in Shibuya during Winter as Joker is walking around. We're not exactly sure what this means, but if we consider the ambiguity of her allegiance and the hint that this is a late-game event, it could be that she finds herself in a huge moral quandary after a pivotal point in the story.
She also says, "Senpai, are you still planning to continue as the Phantom Thieves?" which continues to play into her hesitance to fully embrace the crew's vision of justice and changing people's minds. Dialogue from other characters may not reveal anything entirely new, but it reinforces who they are, especially Akechi's antagonism in the opening lines of the trailer.
New Casual Outfits
And to cap things off, everyone gets new outfits! We saw a bit of this in the first P5R details, but alongside a new screenshot of Haru hanging out in Akihabara in her new get-up, we got confirmation that the whole squad gets new threads in the real world for the winter.