For the most part, Persona 5 handles fusions in the same ways as other entries. You start out being able to only fuse two Personas. After unlocking the Caroline and Justine Confidant relationship, which happens fairly early on May 18, you’re able to combine three specific characters to obtain a more powerful one. There’s the standard compendium you can turn to, where any creatures you befriend or fuse are automatically added, you can register updated versions of existing ones, and you can pull ones you’ve had and lost from a book for a fee. But there are ways in which creating new companions feels better than before, giving you chances to make wonderfully strong characters.
One change is that it feels like the Velvet Room is a little more accessible. Doors to the realm are available in multiple spots in Persona 5. It’s present in various shopping districts, which means you can quick travel to one from main menu. (Something I very much appreciated when I needed one from a specific arcana before interacting with a Confidant.) It’s also immediately present at the entrance to both the Palaces and the Metaverse, as usual, but again the option of fast traveling from a safe room makes visits seem more feasible. It’s so much easier to constantly get in and adjust the party.
Another is having Igor as the Fool Confidant. This means you’ll get upgrades to experience boosts and Persona stocks at a much more reasonable pace. The Arcana Bursts gradually give more and more experience from boosting social ranks as you grow closer, with the higher ones, like High Arcana Burst and Max Arcana Burst, coming at times where you’ll have maxed out social bonds and level 40 to 60 Personas that wouldn’t normally be getting enough experience to go up a few levels by that point. The Stock abilities are event better, with Ultra Stock at Rank 8 arriving on August 31 and giving you immediate access to 12 Personas at a time for the rest of the game.
But the best part has to be Caroline and Justine and their relationship. It is a complete pain to rank up, seeing as how it requires you to create Personas with specific skills and show it to them, but has the benefit of not taking up any time. Get the right creature, show it to the twins, and you’re done. You’ll get abilities that let you basically break the rules of the game and create Personas that are slightly overpowered. Of course, doing so is a challenge, but it can be incredibly well worth the effort. At least until Rank 5, at which you get the Guillotine Booster that increases the number of three Persona combinations you can do.
Fortunately, the first few Caroline and Justine fusions are rather easy to acquire. The Rank 1 Persona is Jack Frost with Mabufu, which is a skill it learns at level 12. Getting a Shiisa with Frei for Rank 2 or Matador with Magaru for Rank 3 involves fusing commonly found standard Personas and choosing to have them inherit the right skill. And Flauros learns Tarukaja, its required skill, by leveling up. It’s only around Rank 5, where you need an Ame-no-Uzume with Dodge Psy, that things can get tricky. After that, it can take multiple fusions and saved skill cards to get the right required characters. Getting Lachesis with Tetraja or Seth with High Counter can be tricky. Though, knowing ahead of time what you should be looking for is a big help.
Caroline and Justine’s two best abilities completely change the game. In Persona 5, you can leave a Persona with them in Lockdown or Isolation. The latter is an improved form of the former. When leaving a Persona with them, they could train to become resistant to different kinds of attacks and elements. This becomes incredibly helpful in the endgame, when you get Personas you could feasibly use for longer periods of time. Special Treatment is equally wonderful, as it lets you fuse beyond your current level. There’s a fee you need to pay for that, of course, but when you’re in the final month of the game, paying so you don’t have to spend a half hour or more grinding to reach that extra one or two levels makes it worth it.
Persona 5 is a game where it feels like the sky is the limit with your Personas. There are so many things you can do. The Lockdown and Isolation features help you make creatures more viable by adding resistances. Special Treatment lets you get ones you normally wouldn’t be “strong” enough to handle. Igor is constantly leveling up at a steady pace, so you’re getting more boosts and space for new Personas. Everything is just so steady and solid, making it possible to build an amazing fighting force at practically any time.
Persona 5 is available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.