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Following the excellent Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal in 2017 and 2020 respectively, we had been ecstatic to dive again into the world of the Phantom Thieves in an all new journey. Persona 5 Strikers gave us pause when it was first introduced because it deviated away from the turn-based fight and social simulation components which have confirmed so integral to the collection, however the finished product delivered a worthy follow-up journey starring our favourite solid of Metaverse-infiltrating coronary heart stealers.
Now that we’re greater than a month following the sport’s acclaimed launch, we caught up with Atlus producer Daisuke Kanada and Koei Tecmo director Kazutoshi Sekiguchi to find out about how the collaboration got here to be, how the staff remained genuine to the Persona 5 characters and tales, and what the themes of trauma all through the story say about the best way individuals intend to reside their lives.
Warning: The following article comprises minor spoilers for Persona 5 Strikers.
How did this undertaking come to exist? Did Omega Force strategy Atlus or was it the opposite means round?
Daisuke Kanada: Omega Force reached out to us first. As you are conscious, Omega Force has already completed numerous other collab titles, and I’d all the time felt they had been all very top quality. As such, receiving the provide was an enormous honor, and honestly additionally an enormous shock.
Kazutoshi Sekiguchi: We have many followers of the Persona collection in our studio, even together with our CEO, Kou Shibusawa, so we approached Atlus with real enthusiasm. At first, we initially pitched the thought of doing a Musou-type sport that includes a solid of previous characters from the collection, which we often do for collab titles, however after many discussions about what Persona followers would possibly take pleasure in probably the most, we finally determined to create a sequel to P5.
How did the Persona 5 Strikers staff work to instill the sense of authenticity to the characters and world gamers had already spent a lot time in with Persona 5?
DK: From the earliest levels of growth, we made it some extent to do all the things we may in order that our followers would really feel that this sport is a real sequel to Persona 5. We spent lots of time discovering methods to pursue that, and targeted on options we felt would align with that objective. Everyone at Omega Force additionally kindly invested a lot of their time into studying all the things about Persona 5, which undoubtedly helped us create a sport that we really feel suits naturally into the P5 universe.
In regards to the authenticity of characters, though it is necessary to jot down precisely to their personalities and quirks, it was equally necessary for us to not ensure they do not revert to how they was once. I really feel that always with sequels, characters are depicted regressing again to outdated selves and outdated flaws purely to serve the plot, after they’re purported to have grown as individuals. For a title that is a direct continuation of the story of P5, that form of private regression can be a disservice to the story we need to inform, and in addition would possibly immediate followers of those characters to boost an eyebrow. As such, for P5S, we actually put lots of thought into what these characters would really feel and suppose now that they’ve grown as people, and mirrored these components into the story. Because of that, maybe you might argue that the Phantom Thieves are offered as missing any main flaws, however I believe the 2 new characters undoubtedly assist with sustaining a compelling narrative.
KS: For us, the primary factor we actually targeted on was guaranteeing we did not lose the integral qualities of the present world and characters that had been already so interesting. Aside from the sound, visuals, U.I., and narrative, we actually pushed ourselves to create one thing that felt actually “Persona” – together with even particulars just like the digicam angle, ambiance, motion motions, and Persona’s distinct sport mechanics. The reality that every one the workers concerned had been real followers undoubtedly helped.
Why did the staff need to broaden the journey to incorporate cities apart from Tokyo?
DK: This was determined fairly early on. I imagine it was proper after we had been brainstorming what sort of story construction we needed to pursue with Sekiguchi-san’s staff, really.
KS: Because this sport was being made after P5, we needed to incorporate a daring new function that might make followers genuinely enthusiastic about enjoying this sport. In that course of, we got here up with the thought of getting them go on a summer time roadtrip.
DK: I believe P5 depicted vital development for every character, but additionally typically leaned in direction of a dramatic and tense temper. As such, we needed to depict how these characters, having grown and discovered a lot, at the moment are having enjoyable collectively and spending their time as buddies.
KS: Actually, that is one thing we hadn’t shared with Kanada-san, however [Kenichi] Ogasawara-san (Omega Force’s producer) initially prompt we restrict the enlargement to inside the Kanto area, as encompassing all of Japan could be too massive. But, after speaking extensively with Atlus we noticed the potential to convey lots of cool concepts to life, which was why we settled on a full-on cross-country roadtrip. In fact, it was undoubtedly lots of work creating every main metropolis, however the growth workers managed to include all the weather of every metropolis that made them really feel actual, recognizable, and genuine, so we had been very comfortable to listen to individuals reward the accuracy of the cities.
The gameplay and move additionally feels surprisingly much like Persona 5 (till you get into battles). Why did the staff resolve to make use of framework and construction much like what was established in Persona 5 as an alternative of the continuous motion fashion of gameplay we’ve seen in different Koei Tecmo titles just like the Hyrule Warriors video games?
KS: I believe your first sentence is a testomony to how a lot we pushed ourselves to create a real “Persona” sport. But early in growth, we did have a prolonged dialogue about what path to take this title – whether or not we needed to pursue a P5 Action RPG route, or a P5 Musou-action route. At first, we had been leaning extra in direction of the latter, however after additional dialogue we began to see that what P5 customers would most need to play – and due to this fact what we should always make – was an “Action RPG” sport.
In addition, some voiced their opinions that until we went with an Action RPG route, we would not be capable of totally make the most of the distinctive mechanics that outline Persona, similar to attacking enemy weaknesses.
Once that path was established and we began to experiment with all the assorted components, we began to see a brand new means of approaching issues that was totally different from the present Musou motion video games. As a outcome, I do genuinely suppose we opened up a brand new frontier for the way Omega Force creates motion video games.
What did the collaboration and communication seem like between Omega Force and P-Studio as the 2 studios labored collectively on this undertaking?
DK: The Atlus facet was largely concerned with establishing the story and narrative, whereas Omega Force largely targeted on creating the general sport system, in addition to contributing to the story. The music manufacturing was a joint effort. That being mentioned, throughout growth, I’d say it actually felt like we had been working as one massive staff, collaborating throughout two corporations.
KS: At first, there was a little bit of a careless “play it by ear” kind of really feel to how we had been approaching issues, however as growth progressed, we had been having extra frequent conferences and the collaboration course of began to really feel rather more streamlined. It actually felt like we had been one massive staff.
There had been additionally undoubtedly many moments the place I appreciated Kanada-san’s flexibility and willingness to take initiative. Some examples that come to thoughts can be when the core growth workers from each corporations went out on a tenting automotive journey collectively, or after we primarily camped out within the assembly room whereas attempting to finalize the story, or any of our discussions that might begin off with “Could I ask you about this today?” [laughs]
The proven fact that each corporations had a deep respect for each other undoubtedly helped with establishing that constructive working relationship, and I believe that in flip contributed vastly to creating this sport that a lot better.
The one factor the Monarchs all have in frequent (apart from possessing Jails) is that they underwent some type of trauma. Many of the Monarchs even have direct parallels to most of the Phantom Thieves (for instance, Ann can relate to Alice, Yusuke can relate to Ango). Why was it necessary for the staff to discover these themes with these characters?
DK: As I touched upon beforehand, a extremely necessary query for us was how we needed to depict the expansion of every Phantom Thief. What it got here right down to was: What are the issues they’re now able to, as a result of they’ve grown as individuals? One reply is identical as the rationale that introduced them collectively: saving the hearts of those that are struggling. The different is saving the hearts of these whose ache may twist them into villains: in different phrases, the Monarchs.
I believe everybody typically needs to reside a noble life, however in that course of, we frequently encounter surprising setbacks. Those would possibly make us push individuals away, or lose sight of who we’re, and finally we’d attain the purpose the place we simply cannot acknowledge who we have turn out to be. The trauma that the Monarchs carry is a chief instance of that.
But, if in these moments of ache, we had somebody who’s keen and in a position to attain out to us, that connection might be sufficient to maintain us from dropping ourselves to that feeling. And I posited that the Phantom Thieves, who had undergone tough change themselves, would be capable of present that connection.
Of course, dropping sight of who you might be is one thing that may occur to anyone, even together with the Phantom Thieves. The cause that did not occur for them is as a result of that they had one another – a trigger to unite them, and friendship to help them. But in the event that they did not have these issues, they might effectively have turn out to be Monarchs themselves.
Having the Phantom Thieves change the hearts of the Monarchs is a means of contrasting the 2 methods of dwelling, and I believe it was an important technique to illustrate how a lot the characters have grown as people.
What had been crucial messages the event staff needed gamers to remove from a narrative similar to this, which is stuffed with themes similar to trauma and redemption?
DK: I believe probably the most vital message is no matter you as a participant took away from it. It’s true that as we created this sport, we embedded sure themes and concepts that we needed our gamers to really feel. But I additionally suppose that if we tried to place all of them into phrases ourselves, it’d influence their significance.
Whatever the consumer themselves felt and skilled whereas enjoying the sport is what’s most necessary for me, and in a means, I believe these are the varieties of private, highly effective messages that may solely be imparted by way of this medium. So, if there’s something we would prefer to say, it is merely “Thank you for playing our game!”
Persona 5 Strikers arrived on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on February 23. For extra on Persona 5 Strikers, check out our review! If you are an enormous fan of Persona 5 and have all the time needed to strive your hand at making the delicious-looking curry type the sport, head here to learn how in an easy-to-follow recipe!