I'm about to start a Persona 3 playthrough, what should I know?

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fingerprints

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#1  Edited By fingerprints

Hey guys,

So with the massive delays to Persona 5 I'v decided to give P3 a play through. I'm reaching out to the community for some advice. (some context I have 100% PS4 Golden.)

What should I know going in? Should I pick Persona 3 FES of P3P? Any tips or game play hints? is it even worth it?

Much obliged

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Crommi

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In my opinion, P3 FES.

Here's one topic about it:
http://www.giantbomb.com/shin-megami-tensei-persona-3/3030-4473/forums/persona-3-fes-or-p3p-534539/

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alistercat

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Go with FES. There's just too much missing from P3P unless you don't really care about seeing cutscenes and animations.

Going from P4 to P3 is rough. This isn't a place for me to vent, but I had a pretty miserable time. Even cheating my way through the boring parts. I would say skip most of the side quests unless you really need the items. Expect to go in to battle most nights, because there isn't much else to do in the evening and there's a lot of grinding that needs to be done. You can't manage your party's SP use because they act on their own (though this is changed in P3P). You also get tired if you spend too long in dungeons, so you can't do the 1 day dungeon runs that you could in P4. You'll have to leave regularly.

You can become intimate with female social links a lot earlier, and they will get jealous, so you shouldn't get intimate with anyone else until they're at 10 then you can romance someone else without consequences.

Also, I don't think it's worth it. Watching it on youtube would be better, but I can't take back the 120 hours I spent.

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hmoney001

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All you really need to know...

Waifus

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OurSin_360

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If you have a good computer the pc emulation is great with nice graphics upgrade and widescreen support. You don't control your entire party directly so it may be an adjustment but it allows a better focus on your personas imo and i hear that the version that adds full party control makes the games too easy. Man i need to get back and finish that game.

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atomicoldman

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#6  Edited By atomicoldman

In battle, your party members act on their own, you'll have no control over what they do beyond setting some commands like "heal" or "magic." I found this made balancing your party way more important because you couldn't count on picking specific moves yourself to dictate the flow of combat. Don't rely on their AI either, make use of those commands or you'll have Misturu trying (unsuccessfully) to charm every damn thing in sight, or have Akihiko spam moves into enemies that will just reflect them back on him. The AI is dog dumb.

To progress social links with the main female cast members, you need to have high ratings in some categories like academics, or courage. If you really want to make sure you don't miss out on maxing them out, or would prefer to invest your time with one rather than the others, maybe look up a guide and plan out the best path accordingly. It's best to start building up towards those early.

Like in P4, your party members can have their personas evolve, though unlike P4, this isn't done through maxing their social link, but through story events. If that's something you concern yourself with, then it might help to know that you don't really NEED to max their S.Links out.

General Persona and SMT advice: save often. The way the battle system in these games works, you can really mess enemies up by exploiting their weaknesses, but that goes both ways. It's entirely possible, and can happen at the drop of a dime, that a seemingly innocuous group of enemies can hit you with just the right combination of attacks that you'll get wiped in a turn.

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Elite_Jason

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I would say play P3P. I also went from P4 Golden to P3P and enjoyed it very much, the ability to control the party members directly was critical for me. Persona 3 fusion system is kind of an annoyance too because of P4 Golden's improvement to directly pick skills when fusing, but its not a deal breaker.

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Mcfart

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If you played Persona 4 and want the Persona 4 conviences (such as controlled party members), then you want Persona 3 Portable.

If you want more challenge, and the occasional rage at your party member for using stupid ass status spells when they could be healing, then play FES. Also, FES has actual cutscenes and whatnot.

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damodar

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I'd also say FES is the way to go.

A lot of the important information has been covered, so I guess I'll just add a few differences in the combat, since you are familiar with P4.

For one thing, P3 and P4 share a lot of the same enemies, but those enemies tend to have different weaknesses between the two games. So forget everything you know from P4 about who is weak to what!

Next, to be honest, most of the systems in P3 are less forgiving than they are in P4, but they're also perhaps more exploitable. One key difference to note is that in P3, when anybody is knocked down and they aren't hit again before their turn, they spend their turn standing up and can't perform any combat actions or anything. So this can be really bad if it happens to you, but it can also be useful against a strong enemy. For example, it's possible to basically prevent an enemy from attacking if you knock it down, opt out of the All-Out attack and don't hit it again before its turn.

Since the knockdowns are less powerful in P4, it's also a little less strict about the systems surrounding that. For example, I seem to recall that in P4, if you do an elemental spell to all and it either misses some enemies or some of the enemies aren't weak to that, you'll still get a One More! free turn, because you at least knocked down one enemy. You only get the One More! in P3 if you knock down everything you targeted. This could totally be wrong, but I want to also say that hitting a downed enemy in P4 with its weakness didn't stand it back up again, which it absolutely will in P3, since any damage will put an enemy/party member back on their feet. So it's a bit more finnicky, but then the rewards can be bigger too.

The AI controlled party members can be really rough sometimes, and it's lacking some of the quality of life changes made in P4, like the quick travel menu and stuff, but I do also prefer it to P4. I hope you enjoy it!

Oh and I second the idea of playing on an emulator, if that's an option. It can do solid 60fps on a pretty average PC and if you crank up the internal rendering resolution, it looks really clean. Best way to play the game, in my opinion.

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TheWildCard

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#10  Edited By TheWildCard

Don't feel compelled to level grind just because the game gives you time to. The game is already slow paced at times, going to the dungeon every other night just makes it worst. Otherwise have fun!

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Nux

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I say go FES, it's the more complete game and has a lot of nice side stuff that the original version does not. Be warned that unlike P4 ,or other Persona games for that matter, you DO NOT have direct control over party members, which means you don't choose what attacks they use or what spells they replace when they level. The AI does an alright job in that respect but it is very important to set up tactics for each party member if you want an effective working party.

Another thing you should know is Persona has a hidden stamina meter for each character, MC included, which decreases the longer you stay in the Tartarus. Once that goes down enough a character will enter an exhausted state and will be completely ineffective in combat. The stamina does increase as a character levels us so you can stay in the Tartarus longer and this kinda becomes a non-factor around level 20 or so. Also you will have unlimited stamina the night right before a full moon so you won't have to worry about being tired during a full moon operation.

One final note, go to the bathroom right before you go to the Tartarus because you have a chance for MC to feel "great" which means you get more stamina and you have a hire crit rate.

Persona 3 is my favorite Persona game. It is kinda dated in some spots compared to P4 but if you stick with it all the way though you will have a fantastic time with it.

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cannonballBAM

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@fingerprints: I think you're okay with playing either P3 FES or P3P. Personally, I would say to bump it down to the lowest difficulty setting and enjoy the story. You'll pick up the rock, paper and scissors element system as you go.

Have fun.

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fingerprints

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Thanks all! Some wonderful advice certainly seems like FES is the way to go, which I have on ps3 but I might try an emulation.

Time to get used to some annoying AI.

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GnosisLord

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The exhaustion system is going to drive you crazy at first, but I think it must be affected by level, because it stopped being an issue in the later game.

P3's major theme is death and one of the ways that is represented is that just about every enemy has Hama or Mudo. Expect a lot of sudden deaths, since there's no way for an ally to protect you like they do in P4.

Never build stats during the day. There are only a couple of SLinks in the evening, which you'll max out pretty quick, leaving you plenty of time to build stats. Days are for SLinks.

Finally, there are multiple SLinks that are only available on Sunday, so your weekends are precious.

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xanadu

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Definitely echoing the thoughts about not grinding too much. You definitely need to do it but not as much as the game offers it to you. I remember there being a 2 week break towards the end of the game they specifically have for you to grind like crazy if you need it. I ended up skipping this whole section (waking up and going back to sleep almost everyday) because I was already way over leveled for the end content.

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Cerberus3Dog

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I put the game on Easy, made for a more enjoyable run. Able to complete a dungeon in a single night, no grinding required, left more time to do the stuff I cared about like exploring the character's stories.

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mgalchemist

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A notable difference from 3 to 4 is that in 3 (at least FES), any social link with a female classmate will become romantic (the rank at which this happens varies from link to link), and this can lead to damaged social links if you date multiple girls at the same time (once you reach rank 10, this no longer matters). I was glad to see that P4 added the option to keep relationships platonic because I always felt bad about that.

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dancinginfernal

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The exhaustion system is going to drive you crazy at first, but I think it must be affected by level, because it stopped being an issue in the later game.

P3's major theme is death and one of the ways that is represented is that just about every enemy has Hama or Mudo. Expect a lot of sudden deaths, since there's no way for an ally to protect you like they do in P4.

Never build stats during the day. There are only a couple of SLinks in the evening, which you'll max out pretty quick, leaving you plenty of time to build stats. Days are for SLinks.

Finally, there are multiple SLinks that are only available on Sunday, so your weekends are precious.

Exhaustion is nullified by your Courage level! I would definitely recommend forgoing social links early on, and instead grinding out your courage and charm early game if only to make it easier-going in the dungeons, and in inter-party social links later.

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Tonylope

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Make sure you've done basically all the school based S-Links by January. I made the mistake of doing the other characters first (they just seemed more interesting), which left me with almost nothing to do outside of dungeons in that month because, if I remember correctly, you don't get many opportunities to do the school S-Links.

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FrostyRyan

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#20  Edited By FrostyRyan

Play FES or you'll miss out on animated cutscenes.

Also bring a box of tissues.

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atomicoldman

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Just thought about this, if you play FES go ahead and skip The Answer. The core game wraps up nicely and they really did not need to trample all over it by over-explaining what's going on. The gameplay is also profoundly dull and goes on for far too long.

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Humanity

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#22 Humanity  Online

@fingerprints: What you should know is my unpopular opinion that P3: FES is actually better than P4, so you've made the right choice.

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ll_Exile_ll

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@humanity said:

@fingerprints: What you should know is my unpopular opinion that P3: FES is actually better than P4, so you've made the right choice.

Hell yeah it is!

Glad I'm not the only one here on GB that like P3 better than 4.

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siln

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FES is visually superior, though for my money P3P actually improves on some of the mechanics, especially if you want to control your party members in battle. In addition, the female MC version of the story has great new music, lets you social link with your whole party (ala Persona 4) and interject more during story conversations. Basically they improved some of the social stuff making it a bit more like P4. Obviously if you're set on playing male protagonist, and don't care about controlling your party directly, none of that matters, and you might as well go FES for the better overall visual presentation.

As most will tell you, you can't really go wrong either way.

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#25 The_Tribunal  Online

Maybe an unpopular opinion but you should try to use a faq to get through all of the social links on your first run (FES is a must). The game is super long and if time is in short supply then you should definitely go that rout. I knew that I couldn't afford to go through two runs of the game time-wise so it was super neat to have the ability to see 99% of the content on just one run.

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Humanity

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#26 Humanity  Online

@ll_exile_ll: I mean maybe parts of the gameplay were improved in P4 but I enjoyed the characters, the style and atmosphere of P3 way more. Maybe because it's darker, who knows. The way they put a gun up to their head in order to draw out their personas never stopped being cool as heck. I even liked Elizabeth more from the velvet room. Something about P4 just did not jive with me at all.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#27  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@humanity said:

@ll_exile_ll: I mean maybe parts of the gameplay were improved in P4 but I enjoyed the characters, the style and atmosphere of P3 way more. Maybe because it's darker, who knows. The way they put a gun up to their head in order to draw out their personas never stopped being cool as heck. I even liked Elizabeth more from the velvet room. Something about P4 just did not jive with me at all.

I definitely liked P4 as well, but the tone and bleakness of Persona 3 really struck a chord with me.

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redelectric

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#28  Edited By redelectric

Mitsuru best waifu.

That is all.

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Hosstile17

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The_Tribunal

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#30  Edited By The_Tribunal  Online
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redwing42

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Elizabeth>>>>Margaret.

I also prefer P3:FES to P4, and I'll even go so far as to say I enjoyed The Answer. I thought how they handled Yukari was one of the best things bits of characterization I've seen in a video game. I also like the fact that you only control the MC during combat. The entire game has a feeling of a bunch of people being thrown together with differing agendas but one common enemy, and not being able to control other party members really feeds into that. Maybe a few less attempts of Tenterafoo would be nice, but nothing is perfect.

As for tips, if you want a 100% run, you have to use a FAQ. There are only about 3 days of wiggle room in the schedule the entire game.

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LackLuster

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Persona 3 is my favorite in the series I actually really enjoyed working with the AI in the battles once I got used to it and the characters are fantastic. Also if you really want to see social links increase to max and keep leveling in the tower I say use a FAQ here and there. Same thing I'd say for P4 as well.

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