After last month’s Persona 5 Royal info dump, Atlus promised even more new details May 9 (Japan time), and those details have arrived in a new Famitsu interview with Persona 5 Royal producer Wada Kazuhisa and director Itou Daiki.
The interview, translated by the folks at FrontlineJapan, covered a wide range of topics, spanning from new characters Yoshizawa Kasumi and counselor Maruki Takuto to gameplay improvements designed to help people experience as much as possible during their stay in Shibuya – and beyond.
«Beyond» here refers to the third semester period (January through March), which was not covered in the original Persona 5 game. Wada mentioned the daily life segments in the third semester have about as much content as those in Persona 4 Golden, while events unconnected to daily life should exceed those in P4G.
Whether that means more than one new dungeon is added or the plot expands in some way, the interviewees naturally didn’t say. However, Wada and Itou did say players can explore a new town during the third semester: Kichijoji.
Kichijoji is a multicultural, multigenerational area of Tokyo the development team wanted to include as a representation of modern Japan.
Kasumi was confirmed as a new Confidant, like Takuto was last month, though no word yet about which Arcana she represents. Itou discussed some of the challenges that came along with creating Kasumi’s character as well.
The team wanted Kasumi to seem like a natural addition, so they ensured the main plot changed as little as possible because of her. Instead, she’s meant to help expand important plot points and elaborate certain elements of other characters.
The care in design extended to her Phantom Thieves outfit as well, combining her background as a gymnast with a classic heroine look. She’s also meant to come across as a female alternative to Joker – though that doesn’t mean she’s the main character.
Another important point Itou and Wada wanted to convey is that Kasumi’s initially antagonistic-seeming stance in the game’s first teaser doesn’t necessarily predict her behavior throughout the game.
Takuto is a rare thing for Persona 5 – a sympathetic and kind adult. However, that’s actually meant to be the point. Wada mentioned they wanted to balance the «children versus adults» theme a bit by adding another kind adult.
As another example of how new characters are meant to shed new light on existing characters, Takuto helps counsel Ryuji and Anne early in the game, exploring some of their issues and feelings in more depth.
There are even more new Confidants as well, but Itou and Wada said more information about them won’t come until later.
Persona 5 Royal will introduce a number of quality of life benefits as well, from easier ways to gain experience points to the new recommendations system. Players will now receive recommendations for places to go or actions to take based on their parameters and Confidant levels.
The system isn’t designed to make achieving the notoriously difficult perfect playthrough possible; it’s just a way to help players get the most out of their time with the game and explore things they might not have known about otherwise.
The team is adding new portraits for conversations and new costumes for the third semester to help make the experience feel fresh, and the previously teased darts minigame will be fully fleshed out as a complement to the batting center.
Persona 5 Royal will launch in Japan this fall as a PlayStation 4 exclusive with a 2020 launch window for the West.