Saeko Takami, or Ms. Saeko, is a high school teacher that appears in both the original Persona and both parts of Persona 2, Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment. In the original North American release of Revelations: Persona, her name was changed to Ms. Smith during the localization process. She is well-liked by her students, to whom she's always friendly and willing to help.
In the original game, she is the protagonist's homeroom teacher at St. Hermelin High School and is a minor supporting character in the main storyline involving SEBEC. She also works to help protect the school and the students trapped inside from the demons that have invaded Mikage-cho.
The Snow Queen Quest
Saeko is a central figure of the Snow Queen quest; an alternate story route that was excised from the original North American release of Revelations: Persona, but was included in the North American release of the PSP remake. In the Snow Queen quest, it is revealed that Saeko had been a student at St. Hermelin High School eight years prior and was also a member of the drama club. As a member of the club, she played the role of the Snow Queen in a play of the same name despite the fact that he Snow Queen mask that the school traditionally used for the annual performance was regarded as cursed. While the curse didn't claim Saeko's life, her best friend Tomomi Fujimori was killed. Following this tragedy, the school sealed the mask away.
However, when the mask is unsealed, an evil spirit within it takes possession of Saeko and intends to use her as a sacrifice in a ritual to summon an eternal night. The Snow Queen mask also covers the school in ice, trapping everyone inside as the building becomes an ice castle. In order for the protagonist and his friends to save Saeko, they must enter three towers, Hypnos, Nemesis, and Thanatos, and defeat the guardian at the end of each; each of the guardians is a former student of St. Hermelin High that had also worn the Snow Queen mask and was taken in by the allure of its promises. The party must also collect the twelve shards of the broken Demon's Mirror, which, when restored will have the power to rescue Saeko. The player can confront the Snow Queen with fewer than twelve mirror shards once all three guardians are defeated, but doing so will result in the quest ending badly upon the Snow Queen's defeat.
When the incomplete Demon's Mirror fails to free Saeko from the Snow Queen mask's grasp, it is revealed that the spirit that possessed Saeko is actually the former Persona of Tomomi, the Night Queen. The Night Queen, freed from both Tomomi and the mask thanks the sacrifice of Saeko, taunts the party, and then departs to the top of the ice castle. She then summons forth the "Eternal Night" she desires and begins freezing everyone in the school solid. Saeko and Tomomi's spirits rescue the party by teleporting them to an exit, where they realize that the entire town, and the world, has become frozen in the Night Queen's Eternal Night. The game ends with the Night Queen victorious.
Upon shining the mirror on Saeko, she is freed from the mask, and the spectral form of a student with a burned face appears, bemoaning that everyone always take's Saeko's side. The party must then do battle with the Snow Queen mask itself. Upon its defeat, Saeko awakens unharmed and informs the students that the spirit possessing the mask was Tomomi, one of the many students that fell victim to the mask's power. It is then revealed in a flashback that Tomomi had in fact won the part of the Snow Queen, but another member of the club tells her that Saeko had bowed out of the competition because she was afraid of the mask's curse. Later, Saeko arrives in the drama club room to meet Tomomi, who reveals that upon donning the mask, it burned and horrifically disfigured her face. Enraged, Tomomi dies under the belief that it was Saeko's fault.
The students tell Saeko that what happened to Tomomi wasn't her fault, but looking back on what happened, she isn't so sure and wonders if perhaps a part of her had actually reveled in thrusting the Snow Queen role on Tomomi to maintain a popular image of being considerate. Yukino tells Saeko to stop fretting over the past, but as she does, everyone realizes that the school is still frozen and the sky above still has an odd appearance. It is at this point that the Night Queen, Tomomi's Persona, is now free of both Tomomi and the mask. Despite being unable to claim Saeko as a sacrifice, she intends to unleash the Eternal Night upon the world. The students surmise that when the mirror was shined upon the Snow Queen's mask, Tomomi came to her senses, but her dark side, her Persona the Night Queen, flew out of control.
As the party prepares to fight the Night Queen, they are visited by the spirit of Tomomi, who thanks everyone for helping her. She also rewards them by turning the Demon's Mirror into the Spiegel Shield. She also tells the party that the hero's costume from the play is still in storage in the school's gym. The party then makes its way up to the castle's upper floors, where they find some of the students have been frozen solid by the Night Queen. As they traverse their way further up, they encounter masked figures that resemble their friend Maki and a younger Takahisa Kandori, who offer their assistance to the Night Queen.
At the top of the school, the party engages in a final battle with the Night Queen and defeat her. The masked boy and girl then escape, but the frozen environment finally thaws and the school returns to normal. Concerned for Maki, the party departs the school, and Saeko sees them off as they all ponder their futures. After the students leave, Saeko prepares to return to her duties when she notices a butterfly and thinks it's sending the students off as well, unaware that it is actually Philemon.
Following the end credits, there is an extra scene in which the students meet back up with Masao, who informs them that Maki has been taken by the demons in the SEBEC building, and they head off to rescue her.
In Persona 2, it is revealed that Saeko has transferred and is now working at Seven Sisters High School. In Innocent Sin, she is the homeroom teacher of the protagonist Tatsuya Suou and provides assistance when he and his friends attempt to stop a curse from affecting the school's students. She is also briefly put under mind control by Principal Hanya, who had managed to gain the total obedience and loyalty of the students and faculty of Seven Sisters High through the powers of the Joker.
Saeko's role in Eternal Punishment is smaller, but she is at one point early on interviewed by Maya Amano.