Persona 3 Reload Makes the Reaper More of a Threat
Screenshot by Siliconera

Persona 3 Reload Makes the Reaper More of a Threat

I wasn’t afraid of the Reaper in most iterations of Persona 3 prior to Persona 3 Reload. I played every version, mind you, both for work and fun. But because of the way that I played, I didn’t fear Tartarus’ greatest foe.

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Persona 3 Reload made me genuinely fear the Reaper.

Okay, so, in past games I always go for efficiency when exploring Tartarus. Especially after getting through the first 100 floors, because by that point I’m sort of done. I don’t want to waste time exploring. I’ll probably even forget to rescue people who wandered in by that point. I just want to reach the next wall so I can go back and do the daily life stuff and see the story. This means I never really encountered the Reaper unless I was trying to. If you aren’t lazing about, that boss isn’t going to show up.

In Persona 3 Reload, other elements culminated to make an opponent who didn’t see unless I was really looking for it before turn into a genuine threat. It first happened around November in-game. I was going in a bit more often when not engaging in daily life due to finishing the Mutatsu and Tanaka social links. I realized that if it was a darkened floor, the Reaper was not only more likely to appear, but would show up more quickly. 

The first time it happened, I was about two “rooms” in when Fuuka warned me the Reaper was here. I didn’t see the red marker for the enemy on the map and there wasn’t the telltale red haze at the edges of the screen, so I figured there was some sort of mistake and made a note for my review to point out there were inaccurate alerts. But then after a fight with a normal enemy, I came out of that to see that yes, the haze was there, the Reaper was there, and it was right behind me.

Worse, this version of the Reaper was smart. As you may or may not know, the Harabah block of Tartarus has a disco sort of feel to it, with winding paths and circular spaces. I figured, “Oh, I will run to the right, get the Reaper to chase me, then make a full circle to go back around. Except the AI for it seemed to realize that and doubled back to continue a close pursuit.

Persona 3 Reload Makes the Reaper More of a Threat
Screenshot by Siliconera

However, what really got me about the Persona 3 Reload Reaper is that this time the dude follows up us stairs. (It’s me, I’m the reason Google probably started autofilling “Persona 3” Reaper follow another floor.”) I ended up consulting with two fellow Siliconera writers with equal levels of familiarity, DMing them at a late hour going, “Yo, could the Reaper climb stairs before?”

It was such a shock when in December Fuuka suddenly warned me that after escaping the Reaper on one floor, the enemy was still right on my tail. Especially since the game then cut to an animation at the entrance of that floor showing that yes, my “friend” was here and wanted to catch up. I dashed to the next fast travel point I was aware of a few floors up, afraid that the Reaper might suddenly decide to tag along again. 

It really added to the intensity of the experience. While I don’t like the idea of fighting the Reaper in any Persona 3 entry before I’m ready, the execution in Persona 3 Reload is pretty good and helps establish the opponent as a true threat.

Persona 3 Reload is available for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.