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Persona (universe)

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Persona (universe)
Persona logo.svg
Developer(s) Atlus
Arc System Works
Koei Tecmo
Publisher(s) Atlus
Distributor(s) Sega
Designer(s) Kouji "Cozy" Okada
Kazuma Kaneko
Katsura Hashino
Genre(s) Role-playing, social-simulation
Console/platform of origin PlayStation
First installment Revelations: Persona (1996)
Latest installment Persona 5 Strikers (2020)
Article on Wikipedia Persona (universe)

The Persona universe (ペルソナ, Persona) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties from the series of role-playing social-simulation games developed by Sega subsidiary Atlus. A sub-series of the Megami Tensei franchise, the games blend life simulation with dungeon crawling RPG elements of its parent series. This franchise, alongside its parent Megami Tensei franchise, is considered a flagship franchise for Atlus, helping to establish Atlus and the Megami Tensei franchise's popularity outside of Japan. Persona 5, released in 2016, is the single best-selling and most popular game in the franchise.

Franchise description[edit]

Following the positive reception of Shin Megami Tensei If..., a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series which saw the series' traditional post-apocalyptic setting replaced with a high-school setting, Atlus commissioned an experimental spinoff with a dedicated focus on the inner struggles of young adults. The first game in what would become the long-running franchise, Revelations: Persona, was released in 1996. Departing from the traditional first-person gameplay and post-apocalyptic setting of its parent series, Persona games take place in a modern metropolis and focus on a party of high school students, each wielding the power of "Personas". Personas are described as "masks to wear through everyday life", and bestow the user with a guardian entity which takes the form of a mythological figure and is capable of magic and other supernatural abilities. The games take heavy symbolism from Jungian psychology, as well as the tarot cards. Each game takes place in a separate locale and makes few direct references to its predecessor, though various Personas recur from game to game, as does the series' mainstay location "The Velvet Room" and its mysterious master Igor. Inevitably, the protagonists end up confronting the supernatural being responsible for the game's central conflict, and defeat them in combat in order to resolve it. Starting with Persona 3, the series placed additional emphasis on "Social Links", a visual novel-like system where the player character converses with various NPCs, including their party members, and forges bonds by helping them through their struggles and fulfill their individual character arcs. In turn, the strengthened bonds of the Social Links grant the main character additional perks, such as new Personas to wield or added inventory to shops.

Planning for Persona 5 began after the release of Persona 4, though full development did not officially begin until after the release of the puzzle game Catherine in 2011. The game's development was handled by P-Studio, an internal team within Atlus who were responsible for the core Persona series and Catherine. One early concept for the game was to incorporate an action battle system with real time elements. However, doing this would have meant throwing out everything the studio had cultivated over the course of the series, so the idea was scrapped on the spot. Rather, the team would refine what they already have built on, such as the Persona fusion system, as well as bringing back concepts from earlier Persona titles such as guns and the Negotiation system.

The original scenario for the game was to emulate a backpacking journey around the world with a storyline that diverged from the established paths of Persona 3 and Persona 4, with "self-discovery" and "journey", being its keywords. However, just as the team began solidifying this direction, the catastrophic 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. The aftermath of the disaster deeply affected director Katsura Hashino, who then decided to refocus the game's scenario on Japan. More specifically, it has been noted that the Japanese government's actions in response to the earthquake and tsunami's fallout, along with Japanese citizens' reactions to how the government acted during that time, may have served as partial influences on the game's themes. From that point on, the scenario would instead focus on the "freedom and how the characters attain it", as Hashino put it, through the lens of the Japanese. To achieve this, the scenario adopted a more picaresque tone where the main characters were lovable misfits and rebelled against the conventions of society armed only with their wits. This became the basis for the Phantom Thieves of Hearts and "Social Links" were renamed to "Confidants". The party's starting Personas also reflect this change, as most of them are named after famous outlaws and criminals such as Arsène Lupin, Zorro, William Kidd, Carmen, and Pope Joan. The choice for the more stylistic user interface for Persona 5 came from the picaresque direction to reflect the rebellious nature of the Phantom Thieves. This did not come easy, as the team had to continuously test and adjust the UI until it achieved a good balance between style and clarity. Many critics and fans took note of and praised this UI, saying it complemented the themes of rebellion well and calling the game "effortlessly stylish" because of it.

After what amounted to a five-year development cycle, Persona 5 was released in September 2016 in Japan and April 2017 worldwide. The game went on to become Atlus's single best-selling title in Japan in just three weeks as well as the fastest selling Persona game ever internationally, selling 3.2 million copies worldwide by the end of 2019. Critics praised the evolution of the game's combat, Social Links, and story and called it one of the best Japanese role-playing games of its generation and of all time. The game went on to receive many Game of the Year nominations throughout 2017 and placed highly in many outlets' "RPG of the Year" category. An enhanced version with additional characters, locations, and quality-of-life improvements called Persona 5 Royal was released in Japan in October 2019 and was released worldwide in March 2020. Reviews of Persona 5 Royal have eclipsed those of the original, with outlets citing the improvements to exploration, menuing, and the gameplay and story additions as welcome ones and calling Royal a defining example of how to do an updated rerelease.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The Persona series makes its Super Smash Bros. series debut as the first DLC franchise in the Fighters Pass Vol. 1. While most of the content present is from Persona 5, the series is also represented with content from Persona 4 and Persona 3. In addition to one newcomer, the series is represented by a stage, several character cameo appearances, 11 music tracks from across three games, four Mii Fighter costumes, and 11 Spirits. The series made its debut alongside the version 3.0.0 update and its associated new content.


  • 71.
    Joker: The protagonist of Persona 5 and leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts debuts as the first newcomer of the Fighters Pass Vol. 1. In battle, he wields a knife and an airsoft gun, but the power of the Wild Card allows him to call upon multiple Personas to his aid. Chief among them is his starting Persona Arsène, whom is Joker's Persona of choice in battle. When Joker’s Rebellion Gauge is maxed out, Arsène will be unleashed and give his attacks a slight boost. Arsène cannot be damaged and will persist until the gauge runs out or if Joker is KO’d. Finally, his Final Smash calls upon the Phantom Thieves to catch any opponents in an All-Out Attack, capable of instantly KOing them at a certain percentage. He was released on April 17, 2019 alongside Mementos, its 11 music tracks, and the Persona series Spirits as part of Challenger Pack 1.


  • SSBU-Mementos.jpg
    Mementos: The psychedelic Metaverse subway station from Persona 5 where Morgana first revealed his ability to transform from a cat into a bus. This location is visited several times throughout Persona 5 and is the Metaverse parallel to the underground metro that the player uses to travel around Shibuya. The stage’s layout is mostly flat with a handful of platforms, but walls may close in from any of the blast zones and a train may come rushing through the bottom of the screen. The Morgana bus will occasionally drop off familiar Phantom Thieves who will watch and react to the battle at play. Finally, the background colors and some visual elements in the background and on the base platform will change depending on the music track concurrently playing; red for Persona 5 music, yellow for Persona 4 music, and blue for Persona 3 music.


Original Tracks[edit]

Persona received three arrangements for Ultimate.

  • "Beneath the Mask": An arrangement of the theme that plays in the Tokyo overworld at night in Persona 5.
  • "I'll Face Myself": An arrangement of I'll Face Myself (Acceptance version) from Persona 4. The theme plays at various points in Persona 4, most commonly when a character accepts their Shadow Self. The structure is based off of the Acceptance version, but the instruments are based on the battle verion.
  • "Aria of the Soul": An arrangement of the Velvet Room theme present in every Persona title, debuting in Revelations: Persona. Registers as a Persona 5 music track on Mementos, as indicated by the red background when it plays.

Source Tracks[edit]

Tracks sourced directly from the Persona games.

  • "Last Surprise": The main battle theme, sourced from Persona 5.
  • "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There": The opening theme, sourced from Persona 5.
  • "Rivers in the Desert": The boss theme for the fights against Shadow Masayoshi Shido, the Holy Grail, and Caroline and Justine, sourced from Persona 5.
  • "Our Beginning": The second phase of the final boss theme, sourced from Persona 5.
  • "Reach Out to the Truth": The main battle theme, sourced from Persona 4.
  • Time To Make History: The main battle theme, sourced from Persona 4 Golden.
  • Mass Destruction: The main battle theme, sourced from Persona 3.
  • Battle Hymn of the Soul: The penultimate boss theme, sourced from Persona 3.

Victory Fanfares[edit]

  • "Victory! Joker (Persona 5)": The primary victory theme, sourced from Persona 5.
  • "Victory! Joker (Persona 4)": The victory theme, sourced from Persona 4. Plays when Joker wins on Mementos when Persona 4 music is playing.
  • "Victory! Joker (Persona 3)": The victory theme, sourced from Persona 3. Plays when Joker wins on Mementos when Persona 3 music is playing.


  • An instrumental version of "Life Will Change" was used in Joker's reveal trailer, as well as the track "The Spirit". However, neither of these tracks are in Ultimate.

Mii Costumes[edit]



  • MiiSwordfighterHeadSSBU.png Persona 3 Protagonist Outfit (DLC)
  • MiiSwordfighterHeadSSBU.png Persona 4 Protagonist Outfit (DLC)


1,304. Joker (Phantom Thief)
1,305. Joker (Student)
1,306. Phantom Thieves of Hearts
1,307. Igor
1,308. Caroline & Justine
1,309. Morgana
1,310. Ryuji Sakamoto

1,311. Ann Takamaki
1,312. Yusuke Kitagawa
1,313. Makoto Niijima
1,314. Futaba Sakura
1,315. Haru Okumura
1,316. Goro Akechi

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Revelations: Persona[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's Purple costume represents this game's thematic color.
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateIgor, a recurring character in the series since the first installment, appears as a Spirit.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Aria of the Soul": An arrangement of the recurring Velvet Room theme, which debuted in this game.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment[edit]

  • Playable Characters:

Persona 3[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's Blue costume represents this game's thematic color.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe All-Out Attack, which serves as Joker's Final Smash, debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateA Mii Costume based off of the protagonist from this game appears as a costume for Mii Swordfighters.
  • Music:

Persona 4[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's Yellow costume represents this game's thematic color.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe protagonist from this game appears as a costume for Mii Swordfighters.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateTeddie appears as a hat for Mii Fighters.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Reach Out To The Truth": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"I'll Face Myself": A remix of the "Acceptance" version of the boss theme from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Victory! Joker (Persona 4)": Sourced from this game.

Persona 4 Golden[edit]

Persona 5[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker originates from this game. He utilizes moves from this game, such as his Gun, Eiha and Eigaon, and Tetrakarn and Makarakarn. Arsène appears as part of his moveset. Morgana also appears as part of his taunts and victory poses.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe visuals for Joker's All-Out Attack are taken from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's Red costume represents this game's thematic color.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's first six costumes are based on his Phantom Thief appearance from this game, while his other two are based on his Shujin Academy and summer uniform (also from this game).
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's White costume is based on Goro Akechi's Crow outfit.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateA Morgana Hat appears as headgear for Mii Fighters.
  • Stages:
  • Stage Elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Phantom Thieves appear in the background of Mementos.
  • Music:
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Phantom Thieves of Hearts (both in a group and individually), Goro Akechi, and Caroline & Justine all appear as DLC Spirits.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateIgor appears as a Spirit using his artwork for this game.

Persona 5 Royal[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJoker's Grappling Hook originates from this updated release of Persona 5.


  • The Megami Tensei series, from which the Persona series deviates, crossed over with the Fire Emblem series in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE and the Bayonetta series in Shin Megami Tensei Dx2, before the debut of the Persona universe in Smash.
  • Persona, EarthBound, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest are the only universes without playable characters from the first installment in their series in Super Smash Bros.
    • It is also the only universe not to have any playable characters from the century it debuted in.
  • Persona is the first third-party universe (with a playable character represented in Smash) that is a sub-series (as Persona deviates from the Megami Tensei franchise).
    • Persona is also the first sub-universe to not have its root universe featured in Smash.
  • Following Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Bayonetta, and Castlevania, Persona is the fifth universe with a playable character to have games in its series be rated M by the ESRB.
  • Persona is the first character-based universe to introduce a new company in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as the copyright in Joker's reveal trailer mentions Atlus (although it is wholly owned by Sega, which is already represented in the game).
  • If one does not count the Megami Tensei games, Persona is the first third-party universe with playable characters in Smash that has no main series games released on a Nintendo console.
  • Persona is the only spin-off franchise to have representation in Smash without the main series (being the Megami Tensei games) also having representation.