1. Nyarlathohotep (Persona II)

Persona II: Innocent Sin begins with a bet. Philemon and Nyarlathotep; as the outer beings representing the good and evil in the collective human conscious; each respectively bet on the good or evil side winning out in humans. Will humanity tend towards enlightenment or self-destruction? It is self-destruction that Nyarlathotep sees in our future, and in Persona II: Innocent Sin, he tempts our human characters toward ruin.

But perhaps he does a little more than simply tempt us. Throughout the game, Nyarlathotep plays off the fear and hatred of our human characters, creating illusions of things that aren’t real (even going so far as to impersonate Hitler), and allowing our own emotions to dictate some of our realities (such as a rumor creating an actual spaceship beneath Sumaru City). But Nyarlathotep’s crowning achievement is literally the destruction of all things.

After Maya Amano is stabbed in the back by an insane Ms. Ideal, the rest of the world falls into the void. And to save Maya Amano, the other characters remove all their memories of her and, in effect, abandon this world. Philemon simply shifts the party to an alternate universe for the stage of the next game, where Maya is still alive.

~ Joe Molohon

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