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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, released in Japan as , is the the fourth video game in the Persona series of console role-playing games developed by Atlus. The game is also part of the larger Megami Tensei series of video games. Persona 3 was originally published in 2006 on the PlayStation 2 by Atlus in Japan; the North American release of the game was delayed due to issues with the publication of the official art book. An add-on disc entitled Persona 3 FES, containing a "director's cut" of the original game, as well as a new epilogue, was released alongside Persona 3 in Japan in 2007, and in 2008 in other territories. A PlayStation Portable version of Persona 3, titled Persona 3 Portable was released in Japan on November 1, 2009. The remake adds the ability to play as a female protagonist, new story elements and music, and a new interface designed for the PSP.

In Persona 3, the player takes the role of a male high-school student who joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), a group of students investigating the "Dark Hour," a time period between one day and the next that few people are aware of. During the Dark Hour, the player enters Tartarus, a large tower containing Shadows, creatures that feed on the minds of humans. To fight the Shadows, each member of SEES is able to summon a Persona, a manifestation of a person's inner self. The game's most iconic feature is the method by which the members of SEES release their Personas: by firing a gun-like object called an Evoker at their head. In addition to the standard elements of role-playing games, Persona 3 includes elements of simulation games, as the game's protagonist progresses day by day through a school year, making friends and forming relationships that improve the strength of his Personas in battle. The North American release of Persona 3 includes the aforementioned art book, along with a selection of music from the official soundtrack.

There are official soundtracks for Persona 3, Persona 3 FES, and Persona 3 Portable, as well as an arrangement album containing music from multiple games in the Persona series. Persona 3 has seen a manga adaption, multiple radio dramas, an anime sequel entitled Persona: Trinity Soul, and its own line of character action figures. Critical reception of Persona 3 was mainly positive; reviewers enjoyed the game's social elements, while some found its combat and environments repetitive. Persona 3 FES was said to give narrative closure to the original game, although it was criticized for not featuring the simulation aspect of Persona 3. The sequel to Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, was released in 2008.

Plot

Setting

The story of Persona 3 takes place in a modern Japanese city, built and funded by the Kirijo Corporation. Experiments carried out ten years ago created the "Dark Hour," a period of time that exists between one day and the next. During this time, most people are transmogrified into coffins and are not aware of the Dark Hour; however, there is a select group of people who are. The Dark Hour bends reality; Gekkoukan High School, where most of the characters attend school during the day, becomes a huge labyrinthine tower called Tartarus, and beasts known as Shadows roam the area, preying on the minds of those still conscious. The Shadows leave their victims in near-catatonic states outside of the Dark Hour. To investigate and learn about the Dark Hour, Shadows, and Tartarus, the "Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad," or SEES, was created. SEES is a group of high-schoolers capable of summoning beings known as Personas to combat Shadows. The Persona 3 instruction manual describes Personas as being "a second soul that dwells deep within a person's heart. It is an entirely different personality that emerges when a person is confronted with something from outside his world." Persona-users summon their Persona by firing a gun-like object called an Evoker at their head.

Characters

The main character of Persona 3 is a silent protagonist, named by the player at the start of the game. He is a teenage boy, orphaned as a child, returning to the city he grew up in ten years prior to attend Gekkoukan High School. After learning of his ability to summon a Persona, he joins SEES, which is composed of students at his school: Yukari Takeba, a popular, cheerful girl; Akihiko Sanada, a calm and collected senior who leads the school's boxing team; and Mitsuru Kirijo, the Student Council President and daughter of the head of the Kirijo Group, who provides backup during battle. As the game progresses, SEES gains several new members: Junpei Iori, a class clown and the Protagonist's best friend; Fuuka Yamagishi, a shy girl who replaces Mitsuru as a support character; Aigis, a female android designed by the Kirijo Group to fight Shadows; Ken Amada, a middle schooler whose mother was killed by a Persona-user; Shinjiro Aragaki, a former member of SEES who quit due to past events; and Koromaru, a dog capable of summoning a Persona.

Story

Persona 3 begins with the Protagonist transferring to Gekkoukan High School, and moving into a dorm in the city. After learning of his ability to summon a Persona, he is asked to join SEES, and is eventually elected its leader in combat. The group gains more members over time, all students attending Gekkoukan: Junpei, who had only recently discovered his ability to summon a Persona; Akihiko, whose arm injury prevented him from fighting; and Fuuka, who replaces Mitsuru as the team's support member. After awakening to his Persona ability, the Protagonist is transported to the Velvet Room, which its proprietor, Igor, says is a realm between "dream and reality". Igor explains to him that his Persona ability is special: he is the only member of SEES capable of wielding multiple Personas in battle. In-game, the Velvet Room is where the player may fuse two or more Personas to create a new one. Igor also encourages the Protagonist to meet people and form bonds with them, known as Social Links. According to Igor, the power of his Social Links will determine his potential in combat.

On nights when the moon is full, the city is attacked by a Shadow more powerful than the ones found in Tartarus. After several of these incidents, Mitsuru is forced to reveal to the team the origin of Tartarus and the Dark Hour. Ten years earlier, the Kirijo Group, a research company founded by Mitsuru's grandfather, began amassing and containing Shadows. They studied and performed experiments on them, in order to possibly harness their power. However, the experiments went awry, allowing the Shadows to escape and assemble into twelve larger creatures. Each is affiliated with one of the twelve Major Arcana. SEES's leader, Shuji Ikutsuki, informs them that, if they were to defeat all twelve of the greater Shadows, Tartarus and the Dark Hour would disappear forever.

As the year continues, the group adds two more Persona-users to their team: Ken and Koromaru. While vacationing in Yakushimamarker, Junpei, Akihiko, and the Protagonist encounter Aigis, who had recently escaped the laboratory where she was kept, despite having been deactivated for years. For reasons she cannot explain, she has a need to be near the Protagonist, even breaking into his dorm room at night to monitor him. Aigis is also enlisted in SEES. After defeating the twelfth and final Shadow, SEES learns that they had been mislead by Shuji Ikutsuki. By destroying the greater Shadows, they have freed parts of a being known as Nyx, which will bring about the end of the world if it is fully restored. Nyx, or the "maternal being," is the creator of Shadows; she is drawn to Earth by The Appriser, or "Death", a Shadow of the Death arcanum. SEES encounters The Appriser disguised as Ryoji Mochizuki, a recent transfer student to Gekkoukan High School.

The Shadow experiments performed ten years earlier created the Death Shadow, albeit in an incomplete state. Aigis, unable to defeat the Shadow, sealed it inside the Protagonist, who was still a child at the time. By defeating the twelve greater Shadows, the Death Shadow was recreated. Its purpose is to usher Nyx into the world, who will bring about the extinction of the human race. Ryoji insists that Nyx cannot be defeated; however, he offers SEES an alternative. If they were to kill him, their memories of the Dark Hour and Tartarus would vanish, allowing them to continue life unaware of their impending death. Aigis, who now realizes why she wanted to protect the Protagonist, begins to believe that she is useless. She urges SEES to kill Ryoji, as they cannot defeat Nyx. Through encouragement from her friends, however, she gains the resolve to join with SEES as they attempt to fight Nyx.

On December 31, New Year's Eve, the player must decide whether to kill Ryoji. If he is spared, then the game continues, and on January 31, SEES ascends to the roof of Tartarus to face Ryoji, who has transformed into the Nyx Avatar. While they are able to defeat him, Nyx continues to descend to Earth. As this is happening, the Protagonist is summoned to the Velvet Room, where Igor reminds him that the power of his Social Links would determine his potential. The Protagonist hears the voices of his friends encouraging him. The strength of his Social Links grants him the power of the "Universe," allowing him to seal away Nyx from humanity. The world returns to normal, though the memories of the past year are lost to the members of SEES. However, Aigis and the Protagonist do remember. On Graduation Day, the two go to the roof of the school, where the members of SEES had promised to meet should they stop Nyx and live to see their graduation. It is here that Aigis thanks the Protagonist for giving her a purpose in life: protecting him.

Gameplay

Combining elements of traditional console role-playing games and simulation game, the gameplay of Persona 3 involves following the day-to-day life of the game's protagonist, as he attends school and works to build relationships with other people. Each day is broken up into several periods of time, such as "Morning", "After School", or "Evening"; certain activities are restricted to certain times of the day. Free time can be spent engaging in a number of activities, including participating in a sports team or club meeting, seeing a movie, eating at a restaurant, or spending time with someone to improve a Social Link. Social Links are bonds of friendship the Protagonist has formed with other characters, each associated with one of the Major Arcana. Each Link has its own narrative arc, starting at Rank 1; spending time with a Social Link character progresses their story, and increases the Rank of the Link.

The Protagonist has three social attributes—Academics, Charm, and Courage—which can be improved by engaging in specific activities. For example, studying after school or at night will increase Academics, correctly answering a question during a class increases Charm, and singing karaoke at night will increase Courage. Some Social Links cannot be started unless a specific attribute is at a certain level.

At night, the player may enter Tartarus, the primary dungeon of Persona 3. Tartarus is a tower containing over 250 floors, divided into several "blocks". The floors of Tartarus are randomly-generated, each containing chests with money or items inside, enemies to fight, and a stairway to the next level. Certain floors contain mini-boss that must be defeated before moving on, along with a teleport point which allows the player to return to the entrance of Tartarus. To fight Shadows, the player may bring into Tartarus up to three members of SEES, in addition to the Protagonist; these four characters comprise the player's "party". The condition of members of the player's party will worsen as they continue to participate in battles. A "tired" or "sick" character will perform worse in battle, and must be given time outside of Tartarus to recover.

Combat

While in Tartarus, the player will encounter numerous Shadows roaming each floor. When the player's character comes into contact with a Shadow, or strikes it with his weapon, the game switches to a battle screen where combat takes place. Battles are turn-based, meaning the player's characters and enemies wait their turn to attack. The player only directly controls the actions of the Protagonist, but the actions of other party members may be guided via a "Tactics" menu. Each character can perform a basic attack using an equipped weapon, summon their Persona to use a special ability, or use recovery and battle items. Offensive abilities are classified by type of damage done, such as "Slash," "Fire," "Ice," or "Darkness." Enemies, as well as members of the player's party, have a set of strengths and weaknesses to these attack types; striking a foe with an attack it is weak against will knock it down. This allows the attacker to act again, and requires that the knocked-down combatant use its next turn to stand up. If all on-screen enemies are knocked down at once, the player may commence an "All-Out Attack," in which the party rushes the knocked-down enemies, creating a large cloud of cartoon-like smoke and inflicting a high amount of damage.

Personas

Each member of SEES has a Persona they can summon during battle. Each character's Persona has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, as well as its own unique set of abilities. It also identifies with one of the Major Arcana. When a battle is won, each Persona gains experience points, eventually causing it to level up, increasing its strength in battle and granting it new abilities. The Protagonist is unique among the members of SEES, as he is able to carry multiple Personas. By switching between them during battle, he has access to a wider variety of skills than any other character. In addition, he is the only character who has access to the Velvet Room, in which the player is able to fuse multiple Personas together to create a new, more powerful one. A new Persona inherits several abilities from the Personas used to create it; in addition, it can gain an experience point bonus, based on the rank of the Social Link that matches the Arcanum of the Persona being fused. The player is limited by the level of his character when fusing a Persona; the level of the Protagonist must be at least equal to the level of the Persona to be fused. There is also a Persona Compendium which contains all previously-owned Personas; this allows the player to retrieve, for a price, an older Persona to be used.

Development and design

A Japanese ad for Persona 3, created by the game's art director, Shigenori Soejima.
The ad "contains three important game elements: school, Persona, and friendship."


In March 2006, the first details on Persona 3 were unveiled in the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsū. In addition to announcing the game's Japanese release date of July 13, the three-page article detailed the game's premise, combat systems, and the Social Link system (known as Community in the Japanese version). It also profiled three characters—the Protagonist, Junpei, and Yukari—as well as their respective Personas: Orpheus, Io, and Hermes.

While localizing Persona 3 for English-speaking countries, the honorifics used by the characters in the original Japanese script were retained. According to Atlus script editor and localizer Nich Maragos, their use "adds so much more meaning to the text." In an interview with RPGamer, project editor Yu Namba explained that during the process of translation, some of the Japanese humor, "things that made absolutely no sense" to Western players, was replaced with similar jokes in English. In an interview with the magazine Play, lead director for Persona 3 Katsura Hashino discussed why the decision was made to have party members be directed by an artificial intelligence: "I think it's more fun to have the party members controlled by their AI, so each member's characteristics and personality are on vivid display. There were no objections raised among the Persona 3 development team, either." He also notes that the system "wasn't well received" by players of the game. Persona 3 does not include the negotiation elements of previous Persona or Megami Tensei games, which allowed players to talk to enemies during a battle to recruit them, earn money, or obtain items. However, the social elements of Persona 3 (and its successor, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4) are considered the equivalent of the negotiation system by the development team. Maragos said in a 1UP.com interview that "negotiation isn't gone…And [it] still factors into Persona Fusion; it's still a big part of the game. I feel like it's disguised, but it's there."

Audio

The soundtrack for Persona 3 was composed entirely by Shōji Meguro, with the exception of "Adventured act:", which was co-composed by Yosuke Uda. It was released as two discs on July 19, 2006 by Aniplex in Japan. A selection of tracks from the original soundtrack was bundled with the North American release of Persona 3. An arranged album titled Burn My Dread -Reincarnation: Persona 3- was released in Japan on April 18, 2007 by Aniplex. It contains eleven arrangements of tracks from Persona 3, as well as an extended version of the song "Burn My Dread." Reincarnation was composed and arranged by Shōji Meguro. Meguro has said that the development of Persona 3 was one of his first opportunities to fully realize his music in video games. In the past, the hardware limitations of the original PlayStation required him to compose music in 100-200 kilobyte samples, which he felt made the music sound "pretty cheap". The move to the PlayStation 2 allowed for real-time streaming of music. Meguro considers this "the point at which I was finally able to express my music without making any compromises".

Meguro returned to compose new music for Persona 3: FES. Released in Japan on May 2, 2007 by Aniplex, the soundtrack contained the original score for FES, as well as arrangements of music from earlier games in the Persona series. "The Snow Queen", composed by Kenichi Tsuchiya, is a remix of the theme to Revelations: Persona. "Maya's Theme", composed by Kenichi Tsuchiya, and "Time Castle", composed by Toshiko Tasaki, are remixes of tracks from Persona 2. Persona 3 Portable contains new background music, which can be heard if the player chooses to control the game's new female protagonist. The game's official soundtrack was released by Aniplex in Japan on November 25, 2009.

Remakes

Persona 3 FES

The North American box art for Persona 3 FES, which contains a silhouette of the character Aigis.


 is an add-on disc for Persona 3 containing updates to the original game, as well as a new epilogue in which the player controls Aigis. FES was released in Japan on April 19, 2007, as both a stand-alone game, and with the "director's cut" version of Persona 3. Overseas, the combined edition was published in North America by Atlus U.S.A. on April 22, 2008, and in Europe by Koei on October 17, 2008. According to the game's director, Katsura Hashino, the subtitle "Fes" is derived from the word "festival".


The expansion to Persona 3, in addition to adding new content to the main game (referred to as "The Journey", or "Episode Yourself" in the Japanese version), includes a epilogue to the original story entitled "The Answer" ("Episode Aegis" in the Japanese version). The core gameplay of The Answer is similar to that of The Journey, although the Social Link system has been removed, and the player does not attend school.

The Answer story

The events of The Answer begin on March 31, shortly after the end of the original game. During the opening sequence, it is revealed that the Protagonist has died; the other characters speculate that his death is related to his defeating Nyx. The school year has ended, and the dorm is to be closed down soon. However, the characters discover that they are trapped in their dorm, and that the day March 31 is repeating itself over and over. Later, a large hole opens in the floor of the dorm, and SEES is attacked by Metis, an anti-shadow weapon like Aigis. In the midst of fighting Metis to protect her friends, Aigis's Persona, Athena, transforms into Orpheus, the original Persona of the Protagonist. She also gains the power to summon multiple Personas, like the Protagonist. Aigis is able to subdue Metis, whose actions were an attempt to end the time skip and save Aigis, who she calls her "sister".

Underneath the dorm is the Abyss of Time, the cause of the time skip. The Abyss contains seven doors, the insides of which contain multi-floor dungeons, similar in design to Tartarus; it is in these areas that the game's combat takes place. At the top of each door, the characters witness an event from the past of a member of SEES. After seeing several of these flashbacks, the characters discern that the event shown in each door relates to how that person obtained their Persona. At the top of the seventh and final door, SEES fights a Shadow of the Protagonist. After defeating it, each of them obtain a key. By combining the keys, they would be able to end the time skip and leave the dorm. However, Metis presents SEES with an alternative: instead of unlocking the front door of the dorm, they may also use the keys to travel back in time, to before the fight against Nyx and the death of the Protagonist. Unable to agree on how to use the keys, the characters determine that they must fight each other to decide. Aigis and Metis claim all eight keys, but then discover a third, new door in the Abyss of Time, which leads to the moment the Protagonist sealed Nyx from the world.

The Japanese box art for Persona 3 Portable, which depicts the game's male and female protagonist.
Metis explains that the purpose of the seal created by the Protagonist was not to seal Nyx from humanity, but to prevent humanity from calling out to Nyx. However, the malice of the human race manifested in a monster called Erebus, which was able to break through the seal, causing the time skip. SEES realizes that the wishes that created Erebus came also from them, and so they fight it, and are able to defeat it. Mitsuru points that Erebus will return someday, as humans will never stop wishing for death. After breaking the time skip and exiting through the front door of the dorm, Metis, Aigis, and the rest of SEES are summoned to the Velvet Room. It is here they learn of Metis's true origins: that she is a manifestation of a part of Aigis's personality. Distraught over the death of the Protagonist, she no longer wanted to live like a human, and wished to return to being a machine. However, after being set free from the Abyss of Time, Aigis changes her mind, deciding to continue to attend school, something she had chosen not to do earlier.

Persona 3 Portable

, an enhanced remake of Persona 3 for the PlayStation Portable, was released in Japan on November 1, 2009; a Western release of the game has not yet been announced. The announcement in Famitsu revealed that the player would have the option to play as a female character. This selection alters some aspects of the story: the first Persona gained by the Protagonist, Orpheus, will have a different appearance; Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room, Elizabeth, will be replaced with a male equivalent named Theodore. The gender choice also alters some aspects of the Social Link stories. In addition to the new playable character, there are two new difficulty levels to select from, alongside the original game's three. The remake will include only the original game's story (The Journey from Persona 3). However, general changes have been made to the plot, regardless of character choice.


The game's revised battle system draws on elements added in Persona 3's successor, Persona 4. In combat, the player is able to directly control every character, as an alternative to utilizing the game's artificial intelligence. The ability to guard has been added, and allies will take fatal attacks for the Protagonist, preventing his or her death. Outside of Tartarus, instead of navigating the game world by directly controlling the Protagonist, the player guides an on-screen cursor around an area, allowing interaction with characters and objects. The game includes the voice acting of the original game, although characters are not shown in the world, instead being represented by on-screen portraits. In addition, there is new music, composed by Shōji Meguro; some of the game's music is different if the female protagonist is selected. Several cameo of characters from Persona 4 have been added to Persona 3 Portable, including Yukiko Amagi, a playable character from Persona 4.

Release

The North American release of Persona 3 shipped as a collector's edition box, containing the game, a soundtrack disc, and a 52-page art book. The game's original release date was July 24, 2007. However, Atlus encountered a problem with the manufacturing of the art book several days before the intended ship date. Instead of shipping the game without the book, the company decided to push its release back three weeks, to August 14. Atlus issued a press release explaining that they were delaying the game so as maintain the quality of the package, which would have been "irreparably compromised" if they had "revise[d] or abandon[ed] the deluxe package." Persona 3 FES was first released alongside the original game in two forms: the "Regular Edition" — containing both the "director's cut" version of Persona 3, and the new epilogue — as two separate discs, and the "Append Edition", containing only the epilogue, on a single disc. Persona 3 and its expansion were released simultaneously in Japan on April 19, 2007. At the time, Atlus had not announced plans to release FES outside of Japan. This announcement did not come until February 2008, when the game's North American release date was revealed to be April 22, 2008. Persona 3 Portable was released as a stand-alone game and as part of a bundle package, which includes a t-shirt and desk calendar. The game on its own retails for 6,279 yen (US$68), while the bundle (known as Persona 3 Portable DX) sells for 8,495 yen (US$92).

Critical reception

Persona 3 has seen generally positive reviews since its release, earning a Metacritic score of 86. Shane Bettenhausen of 1UP.com called the game a "refreshingly new take on the MegaTen [Megami Tensei] concept", and "the best RPG hitting the PS2 this year." He praised the "excellent" AI created to direct the actions of party members during battle, which he felt created "the series' speediest and most dynamic battle system to date." This sentiment was shared by other reviewers: Play magazine's Eric Patterson said that the game's characters are a "smart bunch" in battle; in addition, Patterson wrote that the concept "strengthens the idea that each character is not just some sprite in a video game, but a real character in a real world." Jeff Haynes from IGN criticized the system, finding that it would occasionally result in the death of the player's character, which causes a game over.

GameSpy's Patrick Joynt praised the social elements of Persona 3, calling the game's Social Links "almost universally fascinating." While he suspected the simulation elements would "probably be the biggest hurdle" for fans of role-playing or Megami Tensei games, in his review he wrote that he "can't stress enough how well-done it is." Heidi Kemps of GamesRadar found the game's teenage themes to be "a refreshing change" from those of other games in the genre, as they touch on "the social awkwardness common at that point in life." Patterson commended developer Atlus for how "utterly enjoyable" they made the "mundane life of a typical Japanese high school student" be.

Jonathan Hunt of G4 commented on the day-to-day structure of Persona 3, which he found to be both "a blessing and a curse." While "look[ing] forward to seeing what new characters or events are revealed" each day, "having to visit a single dungeon…is not always appealing." Similarly, Game Informer's Joe Juba found the game's environments to be weak, as "most of the game takes place within one tower [Tartarus]." He also in his review noted that the game's roots in the Megami Tensei series would come across as foreign to new players. "If you don’t know anything about fusing Personas, or simply that 'bufu' means 'ice attack,' you have some catching up to do."

Persona 3: FES received a score of 89 on Metacritic, slightly higher than that of Persona 3. The plot of The Answer provides "much-needed narrative closure" to the story of The Journey, according to Shane Bettenhausen. Kevin VanOrd called FES a "wonderfully enhanced version of an already-great RPG"; in his review, he recommends the game to new players and those who had already finished the original game. The gameplay of The Answer was criticized by several reviewers for not including the social elements of the original game. VanOrd found the new chapter to be "less interesting" because of this. Jeff Haynes commented that the change "harkens back to a classic, more hardcore RPG experience of fighting and grinding," while done at the expense of what "made Persona 3 so intriguing in the first place." The reviews of GameSpy and IGN reiterated issues found with the original game, such as the inability to directly control party members in battle. Persona 3 Portable received a score of 32/40 from Famitsu; one reviewer wrote that the remake includes "enough differences in the Social Links to make it fun even for old players."

Shane Bettenhausen considered the inclusion of Evokers "a ballsy and shocking move" on the part of Atlus, but felt their inclusion created "an edgy sensibitliy that fits perfectly with the overall dark tone" of the game. Similarly, Joe Juba thought the concept fit "perfectly" with the game's "dark tone". Jeff Haynes found the animations of characters using their Evokers to be "intriguing and shocking at the same time". While previewing Persona 3 for GameSpot, Kevin VanOrd said that the continued use of Evokers "never gets old and it never gets any less awesome to watch, and considering that you could play this for fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty hours or more, that's saying something."

GameSpot and RPGFan named Persona 3 the best role-playing game of 2007. GameSpy named the game the 2007 PS2 RPG Game of the Year and placed it second in the 2007 PS2 Top 10 Games of the Year. IGN placed Persona 3 FES fifteenth in their feature "The Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time". 1UP.com's 2007 game awards, which ran in the March 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, included Persona 3, given the award for "Most controversial game that created no controversy". Atlus U.S.A. did not remove the Evokers from Persona 3 for its worldwide release, despite the possible controversy. Nich Maragos said on 1UP.com's Retronauts podcast that the company did not receive any criticism for their inclusion, however. "There was never any Jack Thompson-ing…we didn't get any letters from concerned parents."

Related media and merchandise

An anime sequel to Persona 3 entitled Persona: Trinity Soul aired in Japan starting in January 2008 and ran for twenty-six episodes. Taking place ten years after the events of the game, the anime features Akihiko as a secondary character. There is also a manga adaptation of Persona 3, written and illustrated by Shūji Sogabe, and published monthly in the Japanese magazine Dengeki Maoh. Several figurines of the characters have been produced by Kotobukiya, a Japanese collectible toy company. They include the Protagonist of the game, Aigis, Mitsuru, and Akihiko. The figurines have interchangeable parts, such as an Evoker or weapon, which can be stored in the base. Alter, another Japanese company that specializes in collectibles, has also released 1:8 scale figurines of Elizabeth, Aigis, and Mitsuru. The headphones worn by the Protagonist are sold by Audio-Technica, model ATH-EM700.

Several series of radio dramas based on Persona 3 and Persona 3: FES have been released in Japan. Persona 3 Drama CD: A Certain Day of Summer features an original story voiced by the game's original cast. Persona 3 Drama CD Vol. 2 -Moonlight- links the story of Persona 3 and the epilogue released with Persona 3: FES. From February to June 2008, a series of character dramas were released as five CDs. The volumes respectively focus on the Protagonist and Ryoji; Junpei and Chidori; Fuuka, Ken, and Aigis; Yukari and Mitsuru; and Akihiko, Shinjiro, and Koromaru. In early 2009, a two-volume side story about Mitsuru was released.



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