Megami Ibunroku Persona

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This article is about the first game in the Persona franchise, also known as Revelations: Persona. For other things named Persona, see Persona.

Megami Ibunroku Persona is a 1996 role-playing game for the PlayStation, and the first entry in the Persona series. It was developed and published by Atlus and released on September 20th, 1996 in Japan. The game was subsequently released in North America as Revelations: Persona on December 14th of the same year, including significant localization changes. A PC port was released in Japan on March 25th 1999. It was included as one of the games on the PlayStation Classic released on December 3rd 2018, marking its first release in Europe.

A remaster of the game, simply titled Persona, was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2009, featuring a more faithful localization outside of Japan and completely replacing the soundtrack.



Megami Tensei shirīzu no miryoku o uketsugu, arata-na kanōsei o tsuikyūshita saishinsaku. Daremo ga taikensuru mata wa shita koto no aru gakuen o tēma ni shiage, arayuru nenreisō ga tanoshimeru sofuto desu. Pureiyā wa furu porigon ni yoru mappu o idōshimasu. Sōgūshita teki to wa sentō igai ni mo kontakuto (kaiwa) o okonai, umaku kōshō dekiru to superu kādo ga te ni hairimasu. Kore o fukusū atsume berubettorūmu e motteyuku to, akuma o perusona to shite mi ni tsuke tari, gattai de kyōryokuna perusona ga tsukuremasu. Kwōtābyū no sentō gamen de hadena mahō o taiken. Perusona wa arayuru pureisutēshon yūzā no tame no honkaku RPG na no desu.


In the near future, mankind has conquered dimensional travel but the door we have opened swings both ways. The peaceful city you have grown up in has become a haven for dark creatures from another world— Demons! Now it's up to you and your friends to harness the hidden power within you by entering the fantasy game known as Persona.

You awaken with incredible abilities that you will need to defeat the scores of Demon invaders and cleanse the land of their forces. Converse with them before doing battle to determine your best course of action. Fight them or enlist their aid in your mission. Either way, you are set for the fantasy adventure of a lifetime!


Megami Ibunroku Persona follows a group of high schoolers at St. Hermelin High School, who get wrapped up in a bizarre series of events after demons suddenly appear while they were visiting their friends Maki at the hospital. Now, they must use the power of Persona to fight demons, and unravel a world threatening plan involving the SEBEC corporation, and their CEO Takahisa Kandori. Meanwhile, St. Hermelin has been engulfed in ice and taken over by the Snow Queen, but luckily some students who wield Persona were inside the high school, and are determined for lift the Snow Queen curse.


Megami Ibunroku Persona features the traditional first-person dungeon crawling gameplay, though it makes several changes from the other Megami Tensei games. Exploration outside of dungeon is made in a 3D map that follows the party.

Fights are not played in first person, but from a 2.5D isometric view, showing every demon and party member currently in the battle. Every attack has different range on the field, and as such each party member's position can be rearranged in a menu, either in battle or in the overworld. Each party member's attack must be chosen at the same time before they're all performed in succession. After a battle, EXP is not shared equally around all party members, but instead split between the party members who contributed the most to the fight. This means that if a party member wipes the enemy demons, but the rest of the party does nothing, that specific member will recieve all the EXP while the rest of the team will gain almost no EXP. Personas have a set MP cost instead of different skills costing different amounts of MP.

Demon negotiation is back, though this time each party member has 4 different actions they can perform during negotiation, with demons having 4 emotions they can express after an action is performed: Eager, Happy, Fear, Angry. An eager demon will be open to form a contract, give an item or go away. An happy demon will be inflicted with the Happy ailment. An angry demon will attack the party. A fearful demon will flee the battle. Two emotions can be combined for different effects.

When a demon is eager enough, and if the party member asking is higher or the same level as the demon, they can give the party a spell card. Two spell cards can be fused into a Persona at the Velvet Room, with the protagonist being able to hold 12 cards at once. The protagonist can choose to manually fuse two spell cards together, or to search from a list of Personas the available spell cards can create. When doing manual fusion, certain elements need to be taken into account: White Fusion is oriniary fusion, Orange Fusion indicates a higher chance of a fusion accident, Blue Fusion means the resulting Persona will have +5 to its highest stats and +20 to its Magic Attack. Additionally, angled arrows will indicate whether or not the Persona will inherit a skill from the second demon, with an upwards arrow indicating +1 to all stats and a beneficial skill while a downwards arrow means a -1 to all stats and an unfavorable skill. An item can be used in fusion to enhance stats or add a skill. Gems change the Persona to a different one of the same Arcana, and Totems can summon a specific Persona.

Personas are of a certain Arcana, and each character has a different affinity with each major Arcana. Certain Personas can only be used by a certain character, like that character's starting Persona or Ultimate Persona. The better the affiny, the less MP the Persona costs to use and the more damage it does.

Version Differences

Revelations: Persona

In contrast to the Japanese release, the North American release of Revelations: Persona made numerous changes to the characters and their designs, as well as receiving several omissions to the story.

Most of the members of the main cast received major alterations to their designs, most notably being the protagonist and the character Mark.[2] Each member of the main cast received names that were heavily westernized, with Mark, Elly and Yuki being the only characters to receive little to no alterations.[2]

The setting has also been entirely americanized: for example, the city is renamed "Lunarvale", and the game is now set in the United States.[3] Thus, Yen are now changed to dollars. The sole exceptions being the shoe lockers at the entrance of the high school and the Shinto Shrines.[4] This was done in an effort to make the game more palpable to western audiences, as Atlus USA felt American gamers would not be able to connect with the game due to the heavy Japanese influence present in Megami Ibunroku Persona.[5][6][7]

A large number of demons are completely renamed, in order to avoid controversy.[8]

Notoriously, the Snow Queen Quest was almost entirely discarded, with only remnants of translated information being accessible through the usage of cheats. The majority of the quest still exists within the game's files, but the data is largely untranslated. The engine cannot support Japanese characters, so upon accessing this data, the game cannot process this information properly, and the text is left almost entirely unintelligible.[9]

There was a loading screen graphic added in the localization; the Japanese version's loading screens are entirely black.[10]


Main article: Persona (PSP)

The PSP remaster features a good number of changes, most notably in the English localization. All of the changes made in Revelations: Persona were reverted and the game features a brand new English script more faithful to the Japanese text, with brand new English voice actors. Additionally, the Snow Queen Quest is now translated as well. The CGI cutscenes were entirely redone, using the new English voice actors, while being silent with subtitles in Japanese. Shoji Meguro made a brand new soundtrack with fewer songs than the original. The remaster also introduced some quality of life gameplay improvements, such as being able to run in dungeons. General balance changes have been made to certain demons and Personas. Persona runs in 16:9, and as such the UI was remade to account for the bigger screen.






Resistance Types







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While the Megami Tensei franchise had been going strong since 1987 in Japan, the United States didn't see any title due to their heavy use of religious imagery and taboo topics which could potentially prove controversial. As such, Atlus lacked a flagship RPG title in the west, akin to Konami's Suikoden or Capcom's Breath of Fire.[6] While Jack Bros. had been localized in 1995, the lack of any controversial content in Megami Ibunroku Persona meant it could be released in the west, which Atlus USA was interested in doing.[6]

The team responsible for the localization of Megami Ibunroku Persona into Revelations: Persona was pretty small, consisting of only 6 full time employees at Atlus USA.[6] In order to make Revelations: Persona more accessible to western audience, the localization team choose to remove or change almost every reference to Japan and Japanese culture.[6] They set the game in the United States and decided to change character design so they would look more American.[2][5][6] Plus, due to the American version releasing only three months after the Japanese release, there was pressure to finish it quickly for the christmas 1996 deadline. The official website for Atlus planned for a November 1996 date,[11] but the game finally launched on December 14th of that year. Due to needing to heavily modify the script and sprites, the Snow Queen Quest had to be cut to finish the game on time. However, the data is still accessible on the disk via cheats, though untranslated, and unreadable as the text engine cannot render Japanese characters.[9] Philemon's cutscene at the entrance of the dream world in Hypnos' Tower has been fully translated and dubbed, however.[9]


Megami Ibunroku Persona sold 201,147 copies during its first week, making it the best first week for a Persona game until Persona 5.[12] The game sold 391,556 copies by December 29th 1996, and 409,491 copies by July 6th 1997,[13] it was the best selling Persona game until Persona 5.[14] Meanwhile, Revelations Persona had sold 37,947 copies by January 2003, one of the lowest sales number for any mainline entry.[15]

Famitsu awarded Megami Ibunroku Persona a score of 32/40.[16] Revelations: Persona scored a 78 on Metacritic based on 6 reviews, as well as an 80% on gamerankings based on 8 reviews, indicating a "Generally Favorable" opinion.[17][18] Reimer of GameInformer gave the game an 8.75/10, calling it "the best PlayStation RPG available".[19] Jeff Gertsman for GameSpot gave Revelations: Persona a 7.3/10 and qualified the game as a "sleeper hit", praising the unique setting and story, as well as being able to speak to enemies, but criticized the dialogue, calling it "insane" and saying it "makes no sense".[20] IGN called it an "RPG masterpiece", saying it's "the perfect title for any RPG fan who craves something different".[21]

Additionally, the name Revelations: Persona, coupled with the box art, had people calling Atlus USA to accuse them of worshipping the devil. The religious implications of the name were never considered, and the team thought to call it Revelations because it "sounded cool at the time".[6]


Names in Other Languages
Language Name Meaning
English Revelations: Persona
Japanese 女神異聞録ペルソナ Alternate Goddess Tale: Persona



  • The official website and inside cover for Revelations: Persona re-use art from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, due to the failed localization project by Atlus USA.[22][23]
    • This includes art of demons not present in Revelations: Persona, such as Phoenix and Dwarf.
  • The back cover, official website, and advertising for Revelations: Persona claim that over 300 demons are present in the game.[22] This is false, even including Personas gained exclusively through fusion.


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  5. 5.0 5.1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6
  7. "Interview: Atlus Talks Translating Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for PSP". Archieved here.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2
  22. 22.0 22.1