Persona 4 and Catherine: A look at storytelling and themes

Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
 SPOILERS AHEAD!  SPOILERS AHEAD!  SPOILERS AHEAD! 

 If you were to ask most people to name ways that Catherine andPersona 4 are alike, I can guarantee they’d name aspects like the anime style, the animated cutscenes, the voice cast, the supernatural, the developer, etc. But beyond the more superficial elements, I would submit that Persona 4 and Catherine are very similar games. They tell their story in similar ways, the trials a few of the characters undergo parallel each other, and they share some themes and ideas. I don’t mean to belittle either game by stating that they both share themes and explore similar topics, but I do think that looking at these games from this point of view may reveal a little about Atlus, and how that studio crafts its tales.

I’ll start with the most obvious and overt similarity in the two game’s storytelling style (that I didn’t mention above), the use of rumors and eavesdropping as a way to convey information to the player, and as a way for the main characters to learn more about their situation. Let’s start with Persona 4’s Midnight Channel and Catherine’s Dreams. The Midnight channel is introduced by Chie Satonaka, who tells everyone of the rumor that when it rains, a person can see their soulmate appear on a TV screen at midnight. As we all know, being told this prompts the main character to watch TV at midnight and “confirm” the rumor, with the addenedum that he can enter the television. The role of Chie is essentially played by Erica in Catherine, who makes it her business to inform the 4 main characters of every rumor she hears about, from the “dream where you’re falling,” to the witch, to the “Woman’s Wrath.” Also, the characters from Persona 4 and from Catherine listen to other peoples’ conversations regularly, such as when the main character from P4 hears two girls talking about seein Inaba get absorbed by fog on the midnight channel, or when Vincent hears two people discuss the death of Steve the dentist. 

What effect does this have on the story? Well, it’s a fairly reasonable way for the characters to gain information that drives the plot forward. It also presents the idea the plot affects more people than just the main characters: the fatal and/or catastrophic world ending events have caught the attention of more than a few people. Interacting with all the sheep that have been marked for death in Catherine makes the rumors unnecessary an maybe a tad redundant in this regard, but it still does show that people are taking notice of the strange goings on. I really don’t have anything witty or sharp to say regarding this, it is merely a noticeable similarity, that both games rely on this method of storytelling to further their respective plot. Some might argue that it is a narrative crutch, but I wouldn’t say so. The rumors in both games are never 100 % accurate as to what is actually happening, and it is reasonable that rumors would spread when weird events such as those in both games occur. In fact, it is worth noting that the rumors and stories in Catherineare almost all red herrings. While this makes the inclusion of rumors like the “witch” rather irritating, it is believable that they would develop in the game’s reality. 

Another obvious presence in Catherine and Persona 4 are the overtly symbolic bosses. In Persona 4 we are treated to Shadow Yukiko, who transforms into a bird escaping its cage, symbolizing her desire to break free of the town she has spent her entire life in. We see Shadow Kanji, who transforms into a chisled guy holding two symbols for men, which represents Kanji’s repressed homosexuality. Shadow Rise transforms into a monster/stripper thing, which represents her desire to ‘reveal’  her true personality, and abandon the persona (teehee) of Risette. And finally we have Shadow Namatame, who changes into an odd looking interpretation of Christ, which represents how he sees himself: he believes that he was rescuing the people he nearly killed. In Catherine, the majority of the bosses were symbols as well, including the giant baby, who represented Vincent’s fear of parenthood, a monster version of Katherine in a wedding dress, which symbolizes Vincent’s fear of marriage, and a monster that has a gaping mouth where its vagina should be, representing the sexual desires of Catherine, and how they tempt Vincent. Now, these symbols are certainly stronger in one game (coughpersona4cough) than they are in the other, but they all hold the same occupation in the story: to introduce or influence understanding of an issue a character has, be it Vincent’s fear of parenthood or Kanji’s sexuality. Seeing these physical manifestations of purely emotional sentiments does reveal things about that character, even if it is as minor as revealing the severity of their worries. And even though the symbolic bosses in Catherine are not as clever as they are in Persona 4, they all make sense when taken in context, since they all exist within Vincent’s mind, and the mind does not create some kind of subtle image in dreams when a person is afraid of something. I’m afraid of spiders, and I have nightmares about big motherfucking spiders. And for what its worth, neither game is perfect when it comes to clever/symbolic boss design, and as proof I tell you this: Banana head Chie and Child with Chainsaw. What the fuck. 

It is also worth mentioning that the people that Vincent interacts with at the Stray Sheep bar in Catherine are essentially the Social Links fromPersona 4, just on a smaller scale, if you will. First and foremost, they are structured in the same way. A person has a problem, they talk to the main character about that problem, and then they overcome that problem thanks to moral support from that main character, and because they just needed to explain their issue to anyone who would listen. In both games, these interactions aren’t very deep, with either main character only stopping to interject on occassion, and only having two or three options of what to say. Often, these dialog options have no real impact on the conversation as a whole, or the way the supporting character’s story plays out. The gameplay is more of a matter of time management, since the player has to decide who he interacts with and when as time passes in both games. Regardless, these interactions are all fairly believable and satisfying. In Persona 4, all of the characters are kids, and they issues that kids deal with. As such, the simple act of opening up to someone they trust is enough for them to come to terms with their respective issue. In Catherine, the issues people deal with are much darker, and they actually do deal with their delimmas in a different fashion. They all do open up to Vincent, and Vincent offers condolences or whatever. But the interactions in the real world are not where the triumphs of the bar patrons occur. Using Vincent’s climbing as their example, they overcome the threat of an actual, physical death. These victories are what make the attendees of the Stray Sheep realize that their lives are not as meaningless as they thought. When faced with the possibility of death, they realize, through fear or courage, that they do want to live and that they need to put the past behind them in order to move on. What is excellent about both the Social Links and the bar patrons is that the characters do not use the protagonist as a crutch, but they find their own strength within themselves. hey just needed a little help.  

Talking to People. I did this in English, by the way 

Perhaps the most important, most significant area where the two games parallel one another is in their central theme: The unmatched strength of the human spirit. In both Persona 4 and Catherine, we are shown average human beings overcoming Gods: Izanami in Persona, and Dumazid in Catherine. Izanami is the force behind the midnight channel, whose actions are explained in this monologue:

“Everything was for your sake… to create the world mankind so wanted. Man struggles to understand one another. You can only truly know a finite number of people within your lifetime. But humans disregard this fact and try to know more people than is possible. Only by comparing yourself to others can you define yourselves. Thus your ever-present anxiety. Your anxiety causes you to see only what you want to see, and believe only what you wish to believe. As I said, your desire is for a world enshrouded in fog!” 

Essentially, what Izanami is saying is that she created the midnight channel so humanity could learn about those they were interested in but would never get the opportunity to meet (people who appeared on television in the real world). In fact, the TV world is a creation of the people of Inaba, who have collectively created an ideal world. But, according to Izanami,  in turn eith that desire, people only want to see what they believe, and nothing that would confuse or challenge them. Therefore , Izanami made the TV world be shrouded in fog, and attempts to consume the real world in fog as well. 

Anywho, after fighting Izanami, we are treated to this incredibly intelligent discussion between Izanami and two of the more outspoken protagonists:

IZANAMI: “Instead of the endless struggle, wouldn’t it be easier to wrap oneself in lies and live in blissful ignorance? Isn’t that true peace for humans?” 

KANJI: “The hell with that shit!” 

CHIE: “Stop assuming you know us!” 

While Chie and Kanji prove that they are not masters of the English (Japanese?) language here, they get their point across well enough. This deity has misconstrued the desires and motivations of humans. They do not desire to live in a world where they are blind and ignorant. They will face life without a veil, regardless of how difficult it is. But perhaps Izanami herself sums it up best:

 ”Power enough to erase my existence. You have already exceeded what I thought humanity to be capable of…” 

Boom. A few teenage kids have overcome the will of a god.

A scenario that is fairly analogous to this occurs in Catherine as well. After enduring 9 nights of climbing for his life, the all-too-average Vincent manages to overcome the tests set forth by a being of Godly power, Dumazid (aka Boss aka Thomas Mutton). Dumazid’s stated agenda is similar to that of Izanami, in that he believes what he is doing, murdering men who are too weak to commit to their loved ones and ensure the continued existence of the human race, is for the best. After overcoming the trials Dumazid/ set forth, impressing even Astaroth (a being that has more power/has been around longer than Thomas Mutton has), Vincent also gives a less than impressive speech, in which he states that “men and women are more complicated than you think,” and that they don’t need to be “herded.” Again, the protagonist does at least succeed in making their point. The Godly have shown a lack of understanding of how the human race operates, and they force humanity to suffer through it. Vincent is able to overcome the challenges presented by the opposing deity, showing the strength of humanity, then is able to articulate in what way the God he faces does not, to quote Francis Zach Morgan, “understand humans.”

Now, there are some serious differences between these games (in ways other than the core narrative). For example, Catherine explores religious themes and shows religious imagery that is not found in Persona 4. Vincent actually takes on a certain Christ role, but not in the traditional ‘died for our sins’ sense. He becomes a leader, an almost literal shepherd, as he leads a flock of sheep (the other men having the nightmares) to safety. He is a normal man who inspires faith and encourages those who follow him and his teachings (read: techniques). Actually, another interpretation of the sheep is a statement regarding the way we perceive ourselves versus the way we see the rest of humanity. In the nightmares, every person can only see themselves as human, and every other person present appears as a sheep. This could represent the way humans see ourselves: we believe that we are truly unique and original, while everyone else is a mere sheep, part of a crowd, and utterly indistinguishable. We have to realize that these automatons we think we’re surrounded with are people just like us, and doing so will make us stronger as a whole, just as the sheep in Catherine realized that being selfish wasn’t the way to survive. 

There is also a massive difference in the tone of the two games, that is largely due to the age difference of the characters. The Persona group are flawed and tough, to be sure, but they are still just kids. They hang out and have fun, they say and do stupid things, and they approach a good few of the situations they face with a certain lightheartedness. There’s a certain childlike bravado to all of their rescue missions, a naive ‘fuck yeah’ attitude to their trips into the midnight channel, which is only shattered when Nanako is kidnapped. For the most part, Catherine lacks that same sort of brightness. The characters are older and decidedly more serious, and the game just lacks the silliness that permeated Persona 4. There is no school camping trip, nor are there hijinks in the Amagi Inn. That isn’t to say that Catherine is devoid of humor, the game is actually quite funny when it wants to be. But the humor is more based on clever quips during conversations, rather than ridiculous situations. But that’s beside the point. The characters inCatherine are darker and more mature than those in Persona 4, simply because they are (for the most part) adults dealing with adult issues. And actually, maturity is the source of all of the main characters’ issues. Vincent is afraid of fully maturing. Orlando faced maturity by marrying his wife, and suffered for it when she left him. Jonny seems like the kind of guy who tried to become an adult when he was 13. All in all, the characters have understandable, justified angst (I fucking hate that word) that contributes to the darker tone. As I stated above, the other people Vincent interacts are also working through much more serious issues than the P4 characters. A lot of these are normal scenarios for this sort of story (an abusive father, a murdered loved one), but Archie’s relationship with his mother is something that most games wouldn’t dare touch with a ten foot pole. 

But in the end, Persona 4 and Catherine are very similar games when it comes to their themes and storytelling style. But is that a bad thing? I say no. Really, Catherine feels like a progression of Persona 4Personadeals with the teeange years and the struggles that people go through then. Catherine takes the ideas of self discovery ans strength and applies them to adults. Ina strange way, Toby feels like the connective tissue between Persona and Catherine. He has found his identity, but has not truly had to deal with growing up and maturing. Honestly, I could imagine Yosuke being a lot like Toby 5 years after P4’s conclusion (both are voiced by Yuri Lowenthal). But even if you don’t buy that justification for the similarities, consider this: We celebrate Hemingway, even though his books seem to only tell stories about war-time love. But his stories are different enouh each time to catch the reader’s interest. Can we not celebrate Atlus in the same way?

EDIT: Sorry about any spelling/grammar errors I missed. I have no time for spellcheck
#1 Edited by marlow83 (239 posts) -
 SPOILERS AHEAD!  SPOILERS AHEAD!  SPOILERS AHEAD! 

 If you were to ask most people to name ways that Catherine andPersona 4 are alike, I can guarantee they’d name aspects like the anime style, the animated cutscenes, the voice cast, the supernatural, the developer, etc. But beyond the more superficial elements, I would submit that Persona 4 and Catherine are very similar games. They tell their story in similar ways, the trials a few of the characters undergo parallel each other, and they share some themes and ideas. I don’t mean to belittle either game by stating that they both share themes and explore similar topics, but I do think that looking at these games from this point of view may reveal a little about Atlus, and how that studio crafts its tales.

I’ll start with the most obvious and overt similarity in the two game’s storytelling style (that I didn’t mention above), the use of rumors and eavesdropping as a way to convey information to the player, and as a way for the main characters to learn more about their situation. Let’s start with Persona 4’s Midnight Channel and Catherine’s Dreams. The Midnight channel is introduced by Chie Satonaka, who tells everyone of the rumor that when it rains, a person can see their soulmate appear on a TV screen at midnight. As we all know, being told this prompts the main character to watch TV at midnight and “confirm” the rumor, with the addenedum that he can enter the television. The role of Chie is essentially played by Erica in Catherine, who makes it her business to inform the 4 main characters of every rumor she hears about, from the “dream where you’re falling,” to the witch, to the “Woman’s Wrath.” Also, the characters from Persona 4 and from Catherine listen to other peoples’ conversations regularly, such as when the main character from P4 hears two girls talking about seein Inaba get absorbed by fog on the midnight channel, or when Vincent hears two people discuss the death of Steve the dentist. 

What effect does this have on the story? Well, it’s a fairly reasonable way for the characters to gain information that drives the plot forward. It also presents the idea the plot affects more people than just the main characters: the fatal and/or catastrophic world ending events have caught the attention of more than a few people. Interacting with all the sheep that have been marked for death in Catherine makes the rumors unnecessary an maybe a tad redundant in this regard, but it still does show that people are taking notice of the strange goings on. I really don’t have anything witty or sharp to say regarding this, it is merely a noticeable similarity, that both games rely on this method of storytelling to further their respective plot. Some might argue that it is a narrative crutch, but I wouldn’t say so. The rumors in both games are never 100 % accurate as to what is actually happening, and it is reasonable that rumors would spread when weird events such as those in both games occur. In fact, it is worth noting that the rumors and stories in Catherineare almost all red herrings. While this makes the inclusion of rumors like the “witch” rather irritating, it is believable that they would develop in the game’s reality. 

Another obvious presence in Catherine and Persona 4 are the overtly symbolic bosses. In Persona 4 we are treated to Shadow Yukiko, who transforms into a bird escaping its cage, symbolizing her desire to break free of the town she has spent her entire life in. We see Shadow Kanji, who transforms into a chisled guy holding two symbols for men, which represents Kanji’s repressed homosexuality. Shadow Rise transforms into a monster/stripper thing, which represents her desire to ‘reveal’  her true personality, and abandon the persona (teehee) of Risette. And finally we have Shadow Namatame, who changes into an odd looking interpretation of Christ, which represents how he sees himself: he believes that he was rescuing the people he nearly killed. In Catherine, the majority of the bosses were symbols as well, including the giant baby, who represented Vincent’s fear of parenthood, a monster version of Katherine in a wedding dress, which symbolizes Vincent’s fear of marriage, and a monster that has a gaping mouth where its vagina should be, representing the sexual desires of Catherine, and how they tempt Vincent. Now, these symbols are certainly stronger in one game (coughpersona4cough) than they are in the other, but they all hold the same occupation in the story: to introduce or influence understanding of an issue a character has, be it Vincent’s fear of parenthood or Kanji’s sexuality. Seeing these physical manifestations of purely emotional sentiments does reveal things about that character, even if it is as minor as revealing the severity of their worries. And even though the symbolic bosses in Catherine are not as clever as they are in Persona 4, they all make sense when taken in context, since they all exist within Vincent’s mind, and the mind does not create some kind of subtle image in dreams when a person is afraid of something. I’m afraid of spiders, and I have nightmares about big motherfucking spiders. And for what its worth, neither game is perfect when it comes to clever/symbolic boss design, and as proof I tell you this: Banana head Chie and Child with Chainsaw. What the fuck. 

It is also worth mentioning that the people that Vincent interacts with at the Stray Sheep bar in Catherine are essentially the Social Links fromPersona 4, just on a smaller scale, if you will. First and foremost, they are structured in the same way. A person has a problem, they talk to the main character about that problem, and then they overcome that problem thanks to moral support from that main character, and because they just needed to explain their issue to anyone who would listen. In both games, these interactions aren’t very deep, with either main character only stopping to interject on occassion, and only having two or three options of what to say. Often, these dialog options have no real impact on the conversation as a whole, or the way the supporting character’s story plays out. The gameplay is more of a matter of time management, since the player has to decide who he interacts with and when as time passes in both games. Regardless, these interactions are all fairly believable and satisfying. In Persona 4, all of the characters are kids, and they issues that kids deal with. As such, the simple act of opening up to someone they trust is enough for them to come to terms with their respective issue. In Catherine, the issues people deal with are much darker, and they actually do deal with their delimmas in a different fashion. They all do open up to Vincent, and Vincent offers condolences or whatever. But the interactions in the real world are not where the triumphs of the bar patrons occur. Using Vincent’s climbing as their example, they overcome the threat of an actual, physical death. These victories are what make the attendees of the Stray Sheep realize that their lives are not as meaningless as they thought. When faced with the possibility of death, they realize, through fear or courage, that they do want to live and that they need to put the past behind them in order to move on. What is excellent about both the Social Links and the bar patrons is that the characters do not use the protagonist as a crutch, but they find their own strength within themselves. hey just needed a little help.  

Talking to People. I did this in English, by the way 

Perhaps the most important, most significant area where the two games parallel one another is in their central theme: The unmatched strength of the human spirit. In both Persona 4 and Catherine, we are shown average human beings overcoming Gods: Izanami in Persona, and Dumazid in Catherine. Izanami is the force behind the midnight channel, whose actions are explained in this monologue:

“Everything was for your sake… to create the world mankind so wanted. Man struggles to understand one another. You can only truly know a finite number of people within your lifetime. But humans disregard this fact and try to know more people than is possible. Only by comparing yourself to others can you define yourselves. Thus your ever-present anxiety. Your anxiety causes you to see only what you want to see, and believe only what you wish to believe. As I said, your desire is for a world enshrouded in fog!” 

Essentially, what Izanami is saying is that she created the midnight channel so humanity could learn about those they were interested in but would never get the opportunity to meet (people who appeared on television in the real world). In fact, the TV world is a creation of the people of Inaba, who have collectively created an ideal world. But, according to Izanami,  in turn eith that desire, people only want to see what they believe, and nothing that would confuse or challenge them. Therefore , Izanami made the TV world be shrouded in fog, and attempts to consume the real world in fog as well. 

Anywho, after fighting Izanami, we are treated to this incredibly intelligent discussion between Izanami and two of the more outspoken protagonists:

IZANAMI: “Instead of the endless struggle, wouldn’t it be easier to wrap oneself in lies and live in blissful ignorance? Isn’t that true peace for humans?” 

KANJI: “The hell with that shit!” 

CHIE: “Stop assuming you know us!” 

While Chie and Kanji prove that they are not masters of the English (Japanese?) language here, they get their point across well enough. This deity has misconstrued the desires and motivations of humans. They do not desire to live in a world where they are blind and ignorant. They will face life without a veil, regardless of how difficult it is. But perhaps Izanami herself sums it up best:

 ”Power enough to erase my existence. You have already exceeded what I thought humanity to be capable of…” 

Boom. A few teenage kids have overcome the will of a god.

A scenario that is fairly analogous to this occurs in Catherine as well. After enduring 9 nights of climbing for his life, the all-too-average Vincent manages to overcome the tests set forth by a being of Godly power, Dumazid (aka Boss aka Thomas Mutton). Dumazid’s stated agenda is similar to that of Izanami, in that he believes what he is doing, murdering men who are too weak to commit to their loved ones and ensure the continued existence of the human race, is for the best. After overcoming the trials Dumazid/ set forth, impressing even Astaroth (a being that has more power/has been around longer than Thomas Mutton has), Vincent also gives a less than impressive speech, in which he states that “men and women are more complicated than you think,” and that they don’t need to be “herded.” Again, the protagonist does at least succeed in making their point. The Godly have shown a lack of understanding of how the human race operates, and they force humanity to suffer through it. Vincent is able to overcome the challenges presented by the opposing deity, showing the strength of humanity, then is able to articulate in what way the God he faces does not, to quote Francis Zach Morgan, “understand humans.”

Now, there are some serious differences between these games (in ways other than the core narrative). For example, Catherine explores religious themes and shows religious imagery that is not found in Persona 4. Vincent actually takes on a certain Christ role, but not in the traditional ‘died for our sins’ sense. He becomes a leader, an almost literal shepherd, as he leads a flock of sheep (the other men having the nightmares) to safety. He is a normal man who inspires faith and encourages those who follow him and his teachings (read: techniques). Actually, another interpretation of the sheep is a statement regarding the way we perceive ourselves versus the way we see the rest of humanity. In the nightmares, every person can only see themselves as human, and every other person present appears as a sheep. This could represent the way humans see ourselves: we believe that we are truly unique and original, while everyone else is a mere sheep, part of a crowd, and utterly indistinguishable. We have to realize that these automatons we think we’re surrounded with are people just like us, and doing so will make us stronger as a whole, just as the sheep in Catherine realized that being selfish wasn’t the way to survive. 

There is also a massive difference in the tone of the two games, that is largely due to the age difference of the characters. The Persona group are flawed and tough, to be sure, but they are still just kids. They hang out and have fun, they say and do stupid things, and they approach a good few of the situations they face with a certain lightheartedness. There’s a certain childlike bravado to all of their rescue missions, a naive ‘fuck yeah’ attitude to their trips into the midnight channel, which is only shattered when Nanako is kidnapped. For the most part, Catherine lacks that same sort of brightness. The characters are older and decidedly more serious, and the game just lacks the silliness that permeated Persona 4. There is no school camping trip, nor are there hijinks in the Amagi Inn. That isn’t to say that Catherine is devoid of humor, the game is actually quite funny when it wants to be. But the humor is more based on clever quips during conversations, rather than ridiculous situations. But that’s beside the point. The characters inCatherine are darker and more mature than those in Persona 4, simply because they are (for the most part) adults dealing with adult issues. And actually, maturity is the source of all of the main characters’ issues. Vincent is afraid of fully maturing. Orlando faced maturity by marrying his wife, and suffered for it when she left him. Jonny seems like the kind of guy who tried to become an adult when he was 13. All in all, the characters have understandable, justified angst (I fucking hate that word) that contributes to the darker tone. As I stated above, the other people Vincent interacts are also working through much more serious issues than the P4 characters. A lot of these are normal scenarios for this sort of story (an abusive father, a murdered loved one), but Archie’s relationship with his mother is something that most games wouldn’t dare touch with a ten foot pole. 

But in the end, Persona 4 and Catherine are very similar games when it comes to their themes and storytelling style. But is that a bad thing? I say no. Really, Catherine feels like a progression of Persona 4Personadeals with the teeange years and the struggles that people go through then. Catherine takes the ideas of self discovery ans strength and applies them to adults. Ina strange way, Toby feels like the connective tissue between Persona and Catherine. He has found his identity, but has not truly had to deal with growing up and maturing. Honestly, I could imagine Yosuke being a lot like Toby 5 years after P4’s conclusion (both are voiced by Yuri Lowenthal). But even if you don’t buy that justification for the similarities, consider this: We celebrate Hemingway, even though his books seem to only tell stories about war-time love. But his stories are different enouh each time to catch the reader’s interest. Can we not celebrate Atlus in the same way?

EDIT: Sorry about any spelling/grammar errors I missed. I have no time for spellcheck
#2 Edited by supermike6 (3556 posts) -

Holy shit man, great analysis. You've certainly earned a follow, keep it up.

#3 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@supermike6: Thanks man, I really appreciate it!
#4 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

...Whoa. I'll be sure to read it, but I'd just like to say good job on this.

#5 Posted by hedfone (1751 posts) -

THE ONLY GAME ATLUS HAS EVER MADE IS PERSONA 4... ENDURANCE RUN! BUFU! STEAK!

#6 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@hedfone said:

THE ONLY GAME ATLUS HAS EVER MADE IS PERSONA 4... ENDURANCE RUN! BUFU! STEAK!

You have truly read my article and put deep thought into this response. I thank you for the insight
#7 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: Thank you sir
#8 Posted by Guyzea (816 posts) -

Did you just spoil Catherine for me with that last pic??

#9 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Guyzea: Oh Christ, sorry man! I meant to add a spoiler thing to the title
#10 Posted by figurehead00 (142 posts) -

Nice, nice work.

#11 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@Guyzea said:

Did you just spoil Catherine for me with that last pic??

Not really. There are 8 endings to the game and that only represents one of them (a really obvious one, given the number of endings, at that).
#12 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@figurehead00: Thanks man
#13 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -

Great write up and a great read over all. You are a definite follow.

#14 Posted by Nux (2322 posts) -

Good read and good write up.

#15 Posted by Daveyo520 (6675 posts) -
I will not read because of the Catherine stuff.
#16 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

Love it.  Great analysis.

#17 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Catolf: Thank you, kind madam
#18 Edited by VanTesla (246 posts) -

I will say that most Atlus created SMT games have huge similarities and are connected in one shape or another. All Persona games and Catherine are in the same universe after Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and SMT 1-3 are connected by a loose thread of what ending you had and the world changed constantly thanks to the MC or YHWH (God).
#19 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@VanTesla said:
All Persona games and Catherine are in the same universe after Persona 2: Eternal Punishment   
Why do you say that? Nowhere have I seen any proof that P3 and P4 take place in the same universe and Catherine definitely doesn't take place in the same universe as those games since the creators themselves have said so.
#20 Posted by DonChipotle (2714 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@VanTesla said:
All Persona games and Catherine are in the same universe after Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Why do you say that? Nowhere have I seen any proof that P3 and P4 take place in the same universe and Catherine definitely doesn't take place in the same universe as those games since the creators themselves have said so.

In Persona 4 you go to Gekkoukan High from Persona 3 and talk to Chihiro who mentions Mitsuru.

Online
#21 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@VelvetLore04 said: 

In Persona 4 you go to Gekkoukan High from Persona 3 and talk to Chihiro who mentions Mitsuru.

Oh shit, that's right! You even meet the odd teacher that always talked about the occult and was also the school nurse. Man, totally forgot about that.
#22 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ
Your History Teacher in P3 and P4 are brother and Sister, Kanji talks about a childrens book about a purple Alligator that was written in Persona 3 by Akinari Kamiki, Tanaka is a social link in Persona 3 and in Persona Four he host sunday sails on T.V., School field trip to Persona 3s highschool and you meet Chihiro, Margret talks about her sister from persona 3 and the blue haired boy (Main Character), Igor is in all Persona games, the butter fly is Philmon who is Igor's boss, Naoto research on shadows was found through connection of documents that where saved from destruction of the Kirijo group facility from persona 3, in Person portable 3 you can see vincent from Catherine at the nightclub, Junes mascot is Teddie in Catherine and you see him in certain locations, and on one of the t.v.s at the bar shows a fast clip that catchs Rise on it.
#23 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ
There is a huge list of connection for P3 and P4. Lesser conections with P2 and P3, but they are there. P1 and P2 have huge connections together.
#24 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@VanTesla: Yeah, I'm starting to remember the concrete links between P3 and P4, but the Persona references in Catherine are just that: references. Atlus staff officially and explicitly said in a podcast that Catherine does not take place in the same universe as the Persona series.
#25 Posted by Force0401 (22 posts) -

A great read, its nice to see a well-written blog post now and then :D 
 
By the way, for FluxWaveZ, you can find Vincent in the night club in Persona 3 Portable.

#26 Edited by Brodehouse (9769 posts) -

The Immoral Beast is not representative of Catherine's desires, they're representative of Vincent's (natural) perversions.

edit: Chie's boss had strong male imagery and sat on top of a throne of enslaved girls. Chie doesn't feel that she comes off as naturally feminine and has control issues regarding Yukiko.

#27 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ
Is it from Atlus America that said that or Atlus Japan? If Atlas Japan said so then I am wrong, but if Atlus America said it, then I have my doubts since they had no say or part of Catherine or Persona creation. 
 
It is possible to be one of the many diverge realities of SMT that contain same characters and places, but different results. Vincent was in the new version of Persona 3 for male and female, even though the female MC is not part of the main continuity of the Persona series, she still exist in her worlds alternate reality.
#28 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@VanTesla: It was from Atlus Japan. In response to the Vincent cameo in P3P, they said something akin to the following: "That Vincent was a look-alike (note the mole) and Catherine does not take place in the same universe as the Persona series."
#29 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:

The Immoral Beast is not representative of Catherine's desires, they're representative of Vincent's (natural) perversions.

edit: Chie's boss had strong male imagery and sat on top of a throne of enslaved girls. Chie doesn't feel that she comes off as naturally feminine and has control issues regarding Yukiko.

To your first assertion, I say we are suggesting roughly the same thing, but in two different ways (I mention Vincent's temptations). To the second, I say whoops, my bad
#30 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ
So it is one of the many alternate realities in the SMT universe.
#31 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@Force0401: Thanks!
#32 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@VanTesla said:

@FluxWaveZ: Is it from Atlus America that said that or Atlus Japan? If Atlas Japan said so then I am wrong, but if Atlus America said it, then I have my doubts since they had no say or part of Catherine or Persona creation.  It is possible to be one of the many diverge realities of SMT that contain same characters and places, but different results. Vincent was in the new version of Persona 3 for male and female, even though the female MC is not part of the main continuity of the Persona series, she still exist in her worlds alternate reality.

Catherine also takes place 50-100 years after Persona 3 would if they were in the same universe.....so no.
 
None of the SMT games are connected in any meaningful way, unless they're direct sequels(P3>P4, P1>P2, DDS1>DDS2)
 
 

@VanTesla

said:

@FluxWaveZ: There is a huge list of connection for P3 and P4. Lesser conections with P2 and P3, but they are there. P1 and P2 have huge connections together.



Vague, fanservicy connections that can be easily retconned, yeah. Innocent Sin is referred to as an actual videogame in the P3verse for christ sake. And hell, the nature of Personas and shadows are completely different in P3/4 compared to P1/2.
 
 You need to distinguish fanservice from canon. They don't spend any meaningful thought into trying to fit these games in a unified universe.
#33 Posted by Daroki (709 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

@VanTesla

said:

@FluxWaveZ: There is a huge list of connection for P3 and P4. Lesser conections with P2 and P3, but they are there. P1 and P2 have huge connections together.

Vague, fanservicy connections that can be easily retconned, yeah. Innocent Sin is referred to as an actual videogame in the P3verse for christ sake. And hell, the nature of Personas and shadows are completely different in P3/4 compared to P1/2. You need to distinguish fanservice from canon. They don't spend any meaningful thought into trying to fit these games in a unified universe.

But aren't you missing a chance to strengthen the role of rumors in Atlus games since the rumors in Innocent Sin are supposed to drive the story? Still waiting for the PSP version to see how much stronger the role of rumors are in Innocent Sin and how much of what I heard is going to resonate with what I'll play when it finally comes out.

#34 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@mutha3
Persona 3 takes place in 2009-10 so Catherine takes place in 2059 or 2109.... Where is that information from? 
 
It's been a while but it is true that all the Persona series connect and are in the same world, except the divergence in Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment. All SMT game are connected through threads of diverged realities that took place in SMT2 and possibly again in SMT3, some are more connected and others have little to no connection. Shadows have always been around in one shape or form and the difference on how they came to be is derived differently by humanity, through experiments of P3 to a dream scape created by humans and shaped by they're desires and emotions. The connection with P3 to P2 is more than the online social link and PHIL the moderator, in the dorm on certain days if you click on the T.V. there are interviews with some of the cast of P1 and P2 as adults.
#35 Posted by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@Daroki
+5 for using the rumor system :)
#36 Posted by SMTDante89 (2558 posts) -

A great read. You've earned yet another follower.

#37 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@VanTesla said:

@mutha3: Persona 3 takes place in 2009-10 so Catherine takes place in 2059 or 2109.... Where is that information from? 

 It can be inferred from the True Freedom Ending and various other hints that Catherine takes place in the far flung future(and on a space colony, to be more specific). As for the specific time frame of 2060 and beyond.....there is a poster in the stray sheep advertising a motorcycle model released in the year 2060.
 


 's been a while but it is true that all the Persona series connect and are in the same world, except the divergence in Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment. All SMT game are connected through threads of diverged realities that took place in SMT2 and possibly again in SMT3, some are more connected and others have little to no connection. 

 

 There is no concrete evidence to support any of these claims you make.
 
 You were wrong about Catherine going by the little bits fanservicy nonsense present in P3P and I think you are wrong in this case as well. I don't buy that there is a SMT universe and I'm certain that it has never lead or gotten into the way of the production of any element of any SMT game. 
 
I suppose a Persona universe connection is possibe, but it seems rather pointless to me if there is one anyway-- its not like the narrative benefits at all from being connected.

 


Shadows have always been around in one shape or form and the difference on how they came to be is derived differently by humanity, through experiments of P3 to a dream scape created by humans and shaped by they're desires and emotions. 

 
Shadows, in Persona 3 and 4, are repressed emotions taken form, and a strong shadow is a collection of these singular entities. In Persona 2, shadows are simply evil/fake versions of the protagonists.
 
 


 The connection with P3 to P2 is more than the online social link and PHIL the moderator,  in the dorm on certain days if you click on the T.V. there are interviews with some of the cast of P1 and P2 as adults.

 
Those interviews are the very definition of meaningless fanservice.
 
You do realize that Trish the fairy, is a fairy, and not a tv host?
#38 Edited by VanTesla (246 posts) -
@mutha3
You think your right and I think I am right. We both are only going by what we know of the SMT universe and since I do not have the concrete proof infront of me just as you don't, we can agree to disagree. 
 
What I meant by the shadows manifestation is applied to what you gave as an example, they all can be connected for we are not given every piece of history. I played all the games and I know what you are talking about. 
 
I did not play Catherine though I will admit, but know a good portion of it, so I admit my mistake on this, but everything else still holds to me.
#39 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -
@SMTDante89: Thanks man, I appreciate the support!

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