Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth Looks Cheerful But Has A More Serious Tone

By Sato . April 30, 2014 . 5:01pm


Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth has characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4, and puts them in an Etrian Odyssey-style dungeon crawler. The folks at Famitsu shared some of their impressions from a recent hands-on with the game.



Upon starting the game, the very first thing they noticed was that there are three save slots. Additionally, an SD card allows you to create 16 save data slots, which is pretty nice, considering you might want to revisit certain events or play through earlier parts of the game for different choices.


Famitsu points out that once you start the game, they were immediately able to notice how much the super-deformed chibi characters move around and talk, and display various expressions while exploring the dungeons and fighting Shadows.



While Persona Q starts you out at the school festival, where things are nice and cheerful, Famitsu say that the story itself is more on the serious side, which they feel gives it a lot more of the Persona vibe. Meanwhile, as far as dungeon crawling and fighting goes, it has a lot more of an Etrian Odyssey feel, especially with the mapping and F.O.E. features.



While on the subject of mapping, Famitsu points out an interesting feature. As you can see in the above image, the top-right of the screen indicates 51% of the areas you’ve traveled across.


Once you max it out at 100%, a special treasure chest opens somewhere on the floor. These treasures contain very useful items, so it is recommend players take the time to explore. However, those without much time on their hands can also use game coins to open them.


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The fights themselves are pretty challenging, too. For example, if you forget to debuff enemies that have high physical attacks, they can easily one-hit-kill your weaker party members. The Leader Skills provides players with a lot of options for these kind of scenarios.


Additionally, the two new characters in Rei and Zen are also said to be full of mysteries, and Famitsu say it is interesting to watch their unique exchanges with one another and the characters of Persona 3 and 4.


Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth will be released this fall in North America.

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  • Jero

    I’m going to use the coins because I have no other use for them, few to none games use them.

    • Barrylocke89

      I’ve mostly been using them for Find Mii 2 and puzzle pieces. I’m thinking of getting the other Mii Plaza games in the fall when I’m around more people walking around with 3DS’s, so that’d give me another use.

  • Brimfyre

    Serious tone makes me think this will be canon. And yes I know it features characters that are dead. And like I said to the people who thought Rise playable doesn’t make sense. good writing can fix anything.

    • Rayford Outland

      But it’s not allow her to fight, especially since her persona in it’s shadow form was able to fight anyway. Straight up bringing people back to life is a whole different ball park.

      • Enma_Kozato

        I thought for sure when this game was announced it was stated the events were happening because of some sort of time disruption gimmick :v

      • fan615boy

        they are not bringing anyone back to life, it is set before the death of that character.

        • riceisnice

          Then the characters from P4 should be pretty young.

          • Jero

            Not if the labyrinth is another dimension, each group is taken to it (probably through the velvet room). They’re going to forget everything that happened in the end so it won’t break anything in the future entries, the classic “it happened but no one can remember it”. It’s a common move.

          • MrTyrant

            common move and bad writing…

          • Jero

            Yeah it’s a common move but I wouldn’t rush and say it’s bad writing since I haven’t played the game, I actually think this will be handled good.

          • Arizato

            Gotta agree with MrTyrant here. Why is it a good move when no one remembers it? They entire thing is a waste of time if no character is going to remember it. This should be non-canon (which it probably is) game for fans that want to play an RPG with both casts in it.

          • Neon Z

            I don’t get how making it non canon would solve that problem though. Do you mean because they then could make an ending where the protagonists don’t forget the events of this game? It’s not like this seems set up to allow endings that would be important to the characters anyway, so it’d still be “pointless”.

            The whole story set up seems focused on the two original characters, which is why an amnesia ending is pretty likely. Even if these events end up not mattering to the casts of Persona 3 and 4, they can still matter to the two original characters which seem to be the focus of the plot. These events also could matter if the game is successful and gets a sequel.

          • Brimfyre

            Also if there is a Q2, they can bring the cast back and all they would have to say is, “Oh hey I remember this now.” As in their memories are also tied to the place, so as long as they are summoned to the same spot they remember the previous game events, but forget as soon as they leave. It’s not hard to come up with a work around.

          • Arizato

            I think that story element is just way too convenient. How would their memories be tied to just that place? Why would they go back there? Also, what do they make of Minato and Shinjiro?

          • Steven Higgins

            This game somehow takes place during the school festivals at both Gekoukan in 2009 and Yasogami in 2011 simultaneously. That’s how Minato and Shinjiro are both alive.

          • Arizato

            Because Bad/Clichéd writing is worse than a non-canon game. A non-canon game could be taken as an alternate timeline while bad writing just makes the canonical story all the more confusing and tangled.

            Also, there’s the fact that everyone has the Wild Card ability in Persona Q, whereas no party members had the ability to change Persona after Persona 1 and 2. Aigis/Aegis being the exception, but that’s because she inherited Minato’s powers. Is it really a good plot point to give that power to everyone only to take it away because it’s convenient for Persona 3 and 4?

          • Slayven19

            How would this game being canon interfere with anything if they forget? Lets say its none canon and they still forget each other anyway what would be the difference? In the end it would still basically be a waste of time if you think its a waste of time.

          • Arizato

            I never said it would interfere with anything, don’t put words in my mouth. I said it would make the story more complex for all the wrong reasons. That’s a major difference.

            Like I said above: One example of the story getting kind of messed up is the fact that everyone gets the wild card ability. Something the party members of Persona 3 and 4 never had (Though the cast of Persona 1 and 2 did). Aigis inherited hers from Minato in The Answer. Are you saying that they are getting that power just to lose it along with their memories? Everything is too damn convenient.

            I don’t see why everyone is trying to take this game so seriously and justify reasons of it being canon. Just enjoy the game when it get’s here. We can only speculate as of now if it is canon or not. I just hope it isn’t canon, even though I will buy it if it comes to Europe since it looks like a great deal of fun.

          • Neon Z

            They already seem to be writing and making it more complex than it needs to be as a standalone game though. For example, rather than just writing a story about the two casts being in high school at the same time and meeting each other due to the plot, it uses a plot device to unity their different time periods and locations in a separate dimension, bringing them together. The whole time traveling part of the story only exists to make it fit into their original stories in the first place and seems to have no point aside from that right now.

    • DAT Bird From DAT Cage

      WAIT… Rise is a playable character who can participate in battles in Persona Q?

      oh and is there some difficulty level options for PQ as well?

      • Eder García

        Rise is Playable in P4U, idk in PQ

        • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

          Her and Fuuka are the support characters, though they still gain exp.

      • ManSizeSextet

        Yes there are 5 difficulty levels in PQ (Safety, Easy, Normal, Hard and Risky). Safety even let’s you restart a battle if you get wiped out. So something for everyone!

    • Kumiko Akimoto

      No it’s not going to be canon there’s no amount of good writing that could fix that if it became canon.
      “Well It’s obvious after they got done in that space they were called back to their respective times and don’t remember a thing. I mean that makes it a pointless adventure that didn’t effect anything in their worlds but whatever.”
      You really want that?
      And from the way Rise fights it’s clear that it’s just promotional for the new game.

      • natchu96

        The Persona universe is distantly connected to the rest of the SMT multiverse, so by the Amala Network excuse everything they make a game of is canon.

        Just not the specific canon one should worry about.

        Time travel shenanigans is far more likely here anyway.

        • Kumiko Akimoto

          If by that logic then the femc has every right to be in this game canon or not.
          That is also a terrible excuse imo and there’s no canon that says that the smt universe is a multi-verse.

          Time travel also wouldn’t make sense because they aren’t moving forward or going back in time, they are being plucked out of a specific moment in their stories and brought together in a certain space that mirrors their world.

          • natchu96

            Indeed she doesn’t have any excuse not to be here.

            Eh, a lot of fans seem to like that notion’s existence. It would make a lot more sense considering multiple major demons reference events in past games (which occurred in different timelines entirely).

            One side came from the “past”, one side came from the “future”, and they both got dumped simultaneously into a mirror world they don’t recognize. All the dead characters and their teammates came from a point in the plot before their demise.

            I’m pretty sure time travel does not force everything to move in one direction. That would be pointless. Their ages don’t add up in the first place.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            She isn’t canon though and she’s never confirmed to be that’s the problem.

            The problem with that is that they don’t remember any of it, so it looks more like “Ahh that explains everything” and more like “That’s way too convenient”
            This would only be dimensional hoping or something to that effect. It’s a plot device a lot of crossovers like to use to explain why the characters are together but it’s more just lazy writing then anything.

          • natchu96

            Of course it’s lazy writing.

            Unfortunately that hasn’t really stopped anyone from using that cliche for crossovers either.

            Frankly, they could make anything they want canon. We don’t have to like it, but they could.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            They could but crossovers aren’t usually canon so.

          • Arizato

            Please don’t bring in the Amala Network into this. That theory hasn’t really been proven to apply to every SMT related universe, nor has ATLUS themselves said anything about it. It always has been and probably will just continue to be fan speculation.

            I do however buy the concept that the Persona series is set in an alternate Shin Megami Tensei timeline, starting with SMT: If… since Tamaki Uchida was in that one, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with Persona Q or it’s story.

            What’s wrong with this not being canon? The P3 and P4 cast are acting like they’ve never met each other before in the first Arena game, so if this game ends with some kind of memory loss thing it would just make it kinda cliché and pointless, don’t you think?

            Yes, the game looks interesting and I will buy it when it comes out (IF it comes out in Europe…), but I hope that it’s not canon since they would just complicate the story more for all the wrong reasons.

          • hng qtr

            “there’s no canon that says that the smt universe is a multi-verse.”
            Nocturne? Even Devil Survivor 2 applies.
            Anyway, Q might be relevant to P5 for all we know. Maybe we’ll get more info on that tomorrow.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            Implies is the keyword there.
            It’s not though that’s the point.

    • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

      Except Twilight. And the entire Divergent series, but that’s more controversial.

    • Skeptika Crediblus

      And bad writing can ruin anything, so beware….

  • Alexander Aubert

    an auto pilot? how nice of them…..

    • Jero

      You have to set a road and then the autopilot will walk through it.

  • ZnTxn

    Do I spy a pitfall icon? I can’t wait to see how insane beautiful will the post-game dungeon be.

  • DesmaX

    Well, I believe they did say that the story was meant to be taken seriously.

    Nice to hear still

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I can’t wait to play this.

  • Ecchitori-san

    Chibi Aigis is <3

    • God

      It’s the only character i actually prefered over it’s non-chibi version.

  • “Looks cheerful but has a more serious tone.”
    Isn’t…… Isn’t that what Persona 4 was like?
    Y’know? It doesn’t matter. Just get hype for this game. I think we can trust ATLUS to do a fantastic job with it’s beloved series.

    • LastManStanding

      I think someone summarized this cheerful-yet-dark theme like this: “Let’s go solve gory, mysterious murders YAY!”

    • James Reilly

      Hey I’m cool with a P4 atmosphere game the writing was great in all emotional levels.

      • That’s exactly what I was trying to emulate.
        It’s nice for clarification but the way it was said it almost seemed like they were scared that people wouldn’t take it seriously. My point was that P4 had the same thing but was amazing.
        Just thought I’d clarify. :P

  • DeAndre Atchison

    Calling it now. Rei and zen are the same person. Final dungeon has them fuse together for either a mandatory party member, or as a final boss

  • ivanchu77

    I would love if they put Labrys in this game

    • LastManStanding

      The game is called Shadow of the Labyrinth. Does that remind you of anything?

      …I’ll be pissed if she’s not included somewhere.

    • 하세요

      If we get Labrys before Metis, I’m flippin’ shit.

    • DyLaN

      This takes place be4 P4A chronologically IIRC.

  • benhofb

    Now THIS is what I wanted to hear! I preferred Persona 3 to Persona 4 (haters gon’ hate) because to me, it seemed a hell of a lot darker in tone and story. I also didn’t like the peppy rainbow thing going on in Persona 4, but that’s another argument. Anyways, I am just super pumped to hear that Q is going to be dark, because maaan that is how I love my Persona titles, haha.

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