Persona 3: FES is an expansion to the original RPG Persona 3, itself another installment in the Megami Tensei series, developed and released by Atlus. In Japan, FES had two versions: the Independent and Appendant version. The Appendant version required the original Persona 3 and the Independent version does not. However, when Atlus localized the game, they released the Independent version at the lower price of the Appendant version.
FES contains additional quests and new events added to the original game, purportedly comprising 30 additional hours of gameplay in a new chapter called "The Answer." New additions to the game include 23 new Personas, new social links, new character costumes, a weapon synthesis system, a new hard difficulty mode, and more.
Persona 3 was very well received in North America, winning a "Game of the Year" award from Gamespy. Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES have sold 340,000 copies in North America combined, a high success considering Atlus's games' typically short production runs.
The player starts out as a teenage boy transferring into Gekkoukan High School during his junior year. When this silent protagonist enters his new dorm, he is greeted by a mysterious boy who asks him to sign a contract, promising that he will be responsible for his actions.
At this time the player experiences the Dark Hour, an extra hour that occurs between midnight and the first hour of the next day. Only people with the capacity to summon a " Persona" (a spiritual figure that lends power to the summoner) can experience the Dark Hour. During this time, everyone else is transmogrified into a coffin, completely unaware of the extra-temporal period that is passing, or the state they are currently experiencing. During the Dark Hour, monsters called "Shadows" emerge to prey upon the local populace and feed upon their psyche. The next day, an attacked victim remains in a zombie-like, near-catatonic state, thought by the rest of the world to have contracted a strange epidemic called "Apathy Syndrome."
After an attack by an unusually powerful Shadow during a full moon, the player awakens his persona for the first time. He is then recruited into SEES (Special Extracurricular Execution Squad), an organization tasked with finding out why and studying, understanding, and ultimately trying to exterminate the Shadows. All of the mysterious phenomena seems to be connected to Tartarus, a giant tower that rises from the school grounds during the Dark Hour. With the main character newly recruited, SEES begins deeper and deeper excursions into the Tartarus labyrinth in hopes of finding answers.
Instead of allowing the player to control every single action of all members of the party, Persona 3 only allows direct control of the main character. Since the player cannot specifically control other characters' actions during battle, the player has the choice to give general instruction s to his/her comrades in the form of phrases like "Heal/Support" or "Conserve SP." Beyond that, the player has little choice but to rely on party members' AI in hopes that it will act most effectively, enhancing the tension and difficulty of battle. Players gain new abilities by collecting and fusing personas. When the player equips a persona, the main character becomes able to use the skills that the persona has in their arsenal. Personas also have the ability to learn new skills by leveling up. Personas level up the exact same way as the player does, both sharing in the full experience points gained at the end of a battle.
All combatants in the game (Shadows and characters' Personas alike) bear elemental strengths and weaknesses. Attacking weaknesses can knock an enemy down, costing it its next turn, and gaining the attacker an immediate bonus turn. The system works vice-versa as well, allowing enemies to attack the party's weaknesses. The player's advantage is in the main character's unique ability to summon and command different personas at will, granting new abilities and changing elemental strengths and weaknesses according to the demands of any given battle. Knocking down all enemies in a given battle grants an opportunity to conduct an "All-Out Attack," in which the entire party executes a high-damage rush attack on all the enemies in the field. All the characters engulf the enemy shadows in a cartoonish cloud complete with words like "Wham!" or "Smash." At the end of battle, there is a chance of playing a minigame called "Shuffle Time," from which the player may receive some sort of extra reward. Random cards with various rewards depicted on them are shuffled in front of the player; picking the right card grants the player the corresponding reward, such as additional experience points, new weapons, new personas, money, etc. Picking a bad card (those with a portrait of a skull over the card) results in the imminent summoning of a tremendously difficult super-boss called The Reaper on the same floor the party is. The player then has precious little time to attempt to flee the floor before The Reaper hunts the party down or decide to face Death itself.
In Persona 3 the player has a year to complete the tasks at hand, as well as establishing social links along the way. Throughout the game, the player follows a schedule. In the morning they go to school, and in the afternoon, lunchtime and after school times, they can participate in social links, or choose to perform other actions (such as studying or eating out). Doing so can increase the player's attributes, like their charm, courage and intelligence. Higher stats allow for establishing social links that come later in the game and some require a certain level in order to establish a bond with them. At midnight, has the option to enter the Dark Hour and can decide whether or not to enter and explore Tartarus during that particular day. The game also counts days until a full moon occurs. The player must utilize his or her time, spending time with social links while balancing them with increasing attributes, or advance through Tartarus and gain experience. These actions could help prepare the party during full moon operations. When a full moon occurs a very strong Shadow will come to town and the player must defeat them. These moments are related along the main storyline and are important events. The player has to defeat these full moon shadows in order to advance through the game.
Every night at midnight the player has the option to go into Tartarus. During the Dark Hour, the player's school transforms into Tartarus, a dungeon filled with the shadows. The player must be wary of their time in Tartarus for their characters will begin to grow increasingly tired. When a character is tired, they will need to rest and they will refuse to go to Tartarus until they are better. To remedy this, taking a break from Tartarus is recommended. This also puts a strain to the player's battle experience and must be extremely careful to watch his party's status as well as his own. The dungeon has around 250 floors, each floor being randomly generated each time the player enters it or accesses the stairs to the next floor.
Tartarus is divided into blocks, each block having a different design to its floors. Along with the blocks in Tartarus there are also bosses. After a certain amount of floors scaled the player is faced with a mini-boss blocking their progression and must defeat it. In each boss floor there is a marker, by activating these markers, the player gains access to enter Tartarus from the floors with markers in them.
Along the path of the main storyline the main character will meet many different people that aren't involved with personas. Each one of these characters have their own dilemmas and stories that the player can choose to listen and solve their problems. When the player develops these relationships with characters, they establish a social link with that particular person. Each type of social link represents the Arcana of a persona (A social link is labeled "The Fool" and theirs is a Fool type persona). As the relationship progresses the social link levels up, opening up the player's ability in achieving higher level personas of the same Arcana. Characters the player interacts with will do things like call you to visit them on weekends and things of that nature. Beware, however, that sometimes a social link can reverse or even break if you don't spend time with a character for a long time, or when you're spending too much time with one character. For instance, if the player chooses to date a female social link and then spend time with another girl, that can make the other girls angry, and the social link may reverse. It cannot be resolved unless the player finds and reconcile with that character.
The following Social Links and characters can be found in Persona 3: FES
To gain access to new personas the player is able to fuse his/her existing personas to make new ones. The player will be able to fuse up to six personas together at once. By doing this the player can create stronger personas. When personas are fused, the result can take on the abilities of the other personas before it. So if one of the personas used to fuse had a healing spell, the result will take on that same healing spell. Upon creation the persona will gain experience corresponding with the level of the Social link that holds that persona's Arcana.
New Game Plus
After completing the game, you have the option to begin a subsequent playthrough, carrying over many aspects of your completed one. To do this, you must first choose to save your game when prompted after the game's ending credits roll. Then, instead of starting a new game by selecting " New Game" from the main menu, you load your completed game's save data. You will now have the pleasure of enjoying the entire game again with the following carried over from your completed game:
- Main character's level
- Persona compendium
- Attributes (Courage, Academics, Charm)
- Max social link items
- Equipment (weapons, armor, and accessories)
- Money (yen)
- 12 persona slots
- Play time
Things that do NOT carry over include: party members' levels, social link levels, and consumable items.
The Answer picks up the story one month after the events of Persona 3. The main character has been in a coma for a month and has just recently been declared dead. To make matters worse, the SEES members' dorm is being closed down. Mysteriously, all the dates on their TVs, phones, and clocks are no longer advancing. After some investigation, the SEES members discover that there is maze called the Abyss of Time located below the dormitory. The SEES members must explore the area to find out why they're stuck in a time loop, what really happened to the main character, and how they will face their futures.
Aigis replaces the original main character as the player-controlled protagonist for The Answer, gaining his unique ability to summon and fuse multiple personas. A new character, Aigis's sister Metis, is also introduced during The Answer. The Answer's gameplay is largely identical to that of The Journey, though it lacks an adjustable difficulty level, the social link system, and the persona library. Thus Aigis is prevented from simply buying previously discovered personas, and must rely solely on fusion and random acquisition to expand her portfolio of personas.
This soundtrack is called the Burn My Dread -Reincarnation: Persona 3- as an arrangement album, meant to accompany the release of Persona 3: FES. It is made up of 12 tracks originally from the Persona 3 Original Soundtrack, and remixed by Shoji Meguro.
The remixed tracks are extended and modified versions of the original tracks.
- Burn My Dread -Full Version-
- Changing Seasons
- Want To Be Close
- When the Moon's Reaching Out for the Stars
- Unavoidable Battle
- Poem for Everyone's Souls
- Burn My Dread -Last Battle-
- Deep Breath, Deep Breath
- Battle for Everyone's Souls
- Living With Determination
- Mass Destruction
- Memories of You -Orchestra Ver.-