By unangbangkay 4 Comments
Note: A post of mine got promoted on Dtoid, Internet-Famous FTW. Hit the full post on my Destructoid.com C-Blog. Apologies for making a post that links to an external blog, but this is the most efficient way to do it.
Good fantasy stories can get you involved within their world. Great fantasy stories get you involved in your own. Persona 3 does exactly that, and in a most novel way to boot*.
If there's anything positive about my being unable to play Persona 4 just yet, it's that it has gotten Persona 3 on my mind. In my mind was a question, "What was that whole thing with 'The Journey' and 'The Answer'"? Even having devoted ninety-odd hours of my life to the game, I hadn't quite bothered to learn why, too busy following a guide to maxing out my social links**.
Indulging my curiosity, I realized just how expertly Persona 3 handles its mythical grab-bag. In fact the personae themselves are the most shallow examples of the game's use of references***.
As pretty much everyone knows, each social link in the game is associated with a major arcana, the "trumps" found in a typical tarot card deck. The real kicker, though, is that the arcana, placed in a certain order, make up "The Fool's Journey", a tarot-based metaphor for life and the search for identity. Even the boss encounters and various plot details, ordered along different phases of The Fool's Journey, each of which (you guessed it) is associated with a given card.
It'd take me a few thousand more words to describe every social link and its various interpretations, so I'll just be addressing the arcana mentioned by the final boss, and the lines he spouts as he shifts between them during the battle.