"But having played (and mostly loved) the modern Persona games, I’ve come around to thinking of the Persona-swapping ability of the main character as a manifestation of their desire to be whomever others want them to be. Which is to say, the main characters of Persona 3, 4, and 5 all suffer from being chronic people pleasers, a pattern of behavior each game subtly encourages in the player through their mechanics, which, as a recovering people pleaser myself, made me sad in a low, burbling kind of way."

This is so spot on. I've bailed on every Persona game I've played for this reason. I love the art, the music, the gameplay. But that mechanics of people pleasing for specific awards just kills my enjoyment. At one point in P5, I looked up from my Steam Deck and thought "My main character is the definition of a sycophant."

Haven't picked up the game since.

Great article!

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