Jailhouse Blues

The Velvet Room is one of the few constant locations in Atlus’s Persona franchise. Inhabited by the long-nosed Igor and a rotating cast of Attendants, the Room has been the player’s go-to spot for fusing, summoning, and upgrading their Personas since the series began. The Room has taken many forms over the course of the series: a fancy lounge, an ersatz elevator, and an elegant limousine. In Persona 5, as detailed by a new trailer from Atlus USA, it takes on the form of a jailhouse. And, well…

They’re not afraid to take that theme and run with it.In every previous Persona game, fusing personas was a simple affair. Pick a couple of Personas, slam them together, and you’ve got a new one ready to go. In P5, however, it seems like they’re taking the whole “prisoner” theme to a whole new level by having you actually kill your Personas to make new ones. Keep in mind that Personas are essentially aspects of one’s self. The Protagonist is basically killing off parts of his identity to meld them into new ones. That’s at once both poignant and completely unsettling. Kudos for committing to the bit, Atlus.Also unsettling, though not unwelcome, is the new voice actor for Igor. I can’t pin down exactly who this guy is, but he seems to be going in a darker direction with the character’s voice than his predecessor, Dan Woren. Woren’s performance took on more of a lighthearted, mysterious tone in comparison to P5’s gritty and gravelly take. It’s an interesting shift, though whether it’s one for the better is yet to be seen. *Lastly, we have our Attendants, Caroline and Justine. While neither really do much talking in this trailer, we can get the sense that they’re not going to be the nicest guards the Protagonist could’ve wound up with. Not much else to say at the moment, but that just means there’s more to discover about these mysterious attendants.

Exactly how screwed up the Velvet Room gets will be revealed when Persona 5 drops on April 4, 2017.

*For the record, I know that Igor’s Japanese voice actor tragically passed on before the game could be completed, necessitating a new voice. As far as I’m aware, though, Dan Woren is very much alive, so I don’t see any immediate need for a new voice outside of just matching the Japanese one.