In Persona 5, Goro Akechi was in a weird sort of role. His story was developed and we had a sense of who he was, but he never had the same level of attention as the other Phantom Thieves. Even though we’d often see him interact with Joker throughout the story, everyone else had more relationship building and insight offered to help us better understand him. The Persona 5 Royal Goro Confidant route and story elements are handled in a much better way and make him really feel like he’s on the same level as Joker’s other associates.
Editor’s Note: There will be some Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal Goro spoilers below.
The most monumental change is how The Persona 5 Royal Goro Confidant link is handled. In the original game, he wasn’t treated the way the other characters were. In those, you would seek people out and spend time with them. The activities could offer a greater range and opportunities to, well, sometimes be normal teens. Goro’s was automatic. It happened and built up as you went through the story. Now, you put in actual effort to get to know him. There’s real thought here and it makes him feel like an equal since you’re going to see him. It also means you’re getting abilities like the initial Sleuthing Instinct, which reveals an enemy affinity when a fight starts, and eventually the Sleuthing Mastery that reveals all of one opponent’s affinities. It also means boosting things like your charm and knowledge to manage to talk with him.
This means we also get a chance to see Goro as more of an individual and have insights into who he is. For example, In one of the earliest opportunities to spend time with him, Joker meets him to play pool. During the match, Goro wins, but Joker realizes he was using his right hand. Goro is left-handed and is impressed Joker caught that detail, then vows to play “for real” if Joker does manage to beat him while Goro is using his non-dominant hand.
We also get to better understand through the Persona 5 Royal Goro Confidant events what his life is like as a sudden “celebrity.” When he’s having dessert at a cafe with Joker, women catch sight of him and start wanting to mob him. Joker makes the Detective Prince into a pauper to throw them off of his trail. The result is an opportunity to… let’s say see Goro in a new light.
What’s also great is Goro’s role in the new elements. Persona 5 Royal has the third semester. Because of his unique nature and how observant both Joker and Goro can be, he also investigates the things happening. This means you get even more of a sense of how the two mirror each other and the potential for a partnership between them.
Goro has always been an important figure in Persona 5. But because of the way the original story went and how things were handled, he might not have felt like an equal party member. A lot of the new Persona 5 Royal Goro elements remedy this and help put him in a better place.