Alright… you got me. That was pretty good.
(Please note, this article contains spoilers after finishing Palace #6.)
Anyone who has completed Sae Nijima’s Casino knows very well how the story develops. As it all went down, tears were streaming down my face for two reasons:
- God damn, that was sad… he really died.
- He really fucking died… wait, did I just choose a bad ending?!?
After trying to steal Sae’s heart, Akechi sets up the Persona team and gets you, the Protagonist, arrested and killed in an interrogation room. We’re back to the intro of the game. You find out why Sae is interrogating you and ultimately who she is, and as you try to strike a deal with her she walks away. Akechi walks into your room, revealing his evil plan to get you caught, and shoots you point blank. Queue a long cutscene of the Protagonist bleeding on the floor, Akechi getting his last laugh, and the Japan news announcing to the world that the leader of the Phantom Thieves has died. Your team is around Tokyo, watching the news in their respective locations. I’m crying because I can’t believe it ended this way thinking, “Akechi you son of a fucking bitch!!!” I felt like I failed the game, somehow messing up my answers during Sae’s interrogation led to this horrific moment. It was all over, and I almost threw my controller.
Until the camera pans to Ryuji’s face, with the smuggest smirk you can see. The cutscene ends, but the game doesn’t roll to credits.
Wait a minute…
It turns out the Phantom Thieves not only steal the hearts but play with them. It was a setup this entire time, and I was fooled more than Akechi’s fake ass. I honestly spent the entire cutscene thinking I got to the bad ending (which I was trying so hard to avoid), and suddenly the Protagonist is alive at the interrogation table. Sae and Sojiro are as much in the dark as the player is, and the Phantom Thieves are trying to explain exactly what happened. Needless to say, I was impressed. Most of all, I was ecstatic and jumping that the game didn’t just abruptly end.
Akechi was always questionable, but I applaud the game for the reveal that the team had known from their first meeting with him that he was a bad character. We see the importance of Morgana’s character come to fruition with these past two chapters. It apparently started at the TV studio recording field trip, when Akechi overheard Morgana talking about eating pancakes. A slight detail that slipped my mind (and many people) was that you can’t hear Morgana unless you’ve entered the Persona world. You’re only concentrating on the fact you don’t want Akechi to find out about the Metaverse, you don’t realize he has visited the Metaverse if he can understand Morgana talking. Then the various instances throughout the game where Akechi could understand Morgana, I was shocked I didn’t place the pieces earlier. Then for the entire Phantom Thieves to put out the most elaborate plan together, trusting in Sae’s Palace and Metaverse that the plan would go as planned. By using the Metaverse phone app, chance triggers the interrogation room and Akechi kills a cognition of the Protagonist instead. After, Futaba gives a call to Sae and asks Makoto’s sister to trust her and follow instruction. All of this is done by chance and nothing was messed up.
Now the team is working together with Sae and Sojiro to get Akechi, who is working for Shido’s political campaign. The story comes full circle, and getting revenge on Akechi means the Protagonist is getting his closure for being sent to Tokyo in the first place. Sae is looking for her acknowledgement, Sojiro wants justice for his stolen love, and your team is behind you to help you out as much as you helped them. The backdrop is set for what appears to be the final palace of the game, and it’s going to be a wild ride.
Could there be another major plot twist between now and the ending? Of course, because as far as I know we haven’t reached the moment yet that triggers the multiple ending. What that could be? When that comes along, you bet I’ll be back to talk about it.