This week’s issue of Weekly Famitsu magazine #1629 (or the March 5, 2020 issue) includes a launch feature on the now released action RPG Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers.
Persona 5 Scramble is featured on the magazine’s cover, and the special launch feature is 26 pages long. The feature consists of an overview of the game, along with a guide and tips to enjoy up to the middle of the story. There is also a collection of guest illustrations by artists who enjoy Persona 5.
Finally, there’s a developer interview with key members of the Persona Team and Omega Force, discussing secrets behind the game’s production and gameplay tips.
A developer interview of the same type with Degenki PlayStation magazine can be read in a previous post.
Some new tidbits from this developer interview. Those interviewed were: Daisuke Kaneda (producer / director) of Atlus, Mumon Usuda (director) of Atlus, Kazutoshi Sekiguchi (director) of Koei Tecmo Games, and Nobumichi Kumabe (director) of Koei Tecmo Games.
On the Story
- In the early stages of the game, Kanada says that one of the concepts was for the Persona users to travel in time and fight during the Warring States period. Sekiguchi laughs about this, saying that this idea changed when they decided on an RPG system instead of a “musou” system.
- The “Kings” at the center of the Jail areas were designed to be different than the antagonists in the original Persona 5 “Palaces.” In P5, they were designed to be pictorial “villains.” There was little room for sympathy with the palace rulers. In P5S, however, the Kings of the Jails have their own circumstances, and both good and bad sides of those people were meant to be conveyed. The protagonists, who have grown and regained their future in P5, will have the motivation to show the path to those who are at a loss. That is also one of the themse in this game.
On the New Characters
- While the developers were working on the project, Koei Tecmo were able to suggest profiles for Sophia and Zenkichi Hasegawa.
- Sophia’s initial pitch was “a girl” who holds the key to the story, and her overall design was solidified at an early stage. Kanada worked so that the story would depict Sohpia’s growth, with her mission of being a good friend to people and a new member of the Phantom Thieves.
- On the other hand, it was a struggle to solidy Zenkichi Hasegawa’s character. At first, they thought that it would be interesting if they would add an adult who was in the position of a mother figure instead of a father figure.
- The idea of an adult persona user was established at an early stage, with Sekiguchi saying that that’s what he wanted. However, there was a lot of discussion about what kind of adult would be interesting as a member of the Phantom Thieves and would fit just right. They were worried about how to incorporate the fundamental theme of the Persona series, which is “growth,” into adults.
- As a father and police officer, part of him is trapped in his thoughts and in the past, and his desire to escape from it. Around those ideas will be the emergence of an adult persona user, which is rare for the series, so the developers want people check it out in the game.
On the Phantom Thieves’ New Outfits
- The new daily outfits for the Phantom Thieves such as casual wear and swimsuits were drafted by the Omega Force side, and supervised by the Persona Team. Usuda says that Makoto and Haru are college students, so the are a little more mature, and Ann is a bit more open in the summer. Futaba chooses a long, hoodie that can withstand both cold and hot weather, since she’d like to relax when travelling.
- Sekiguchi says that making these kinds of designs was new for Omega Force. Usually, they focus on the practicality and appearance for battles. It was a fun process to create designs for individuality in this setting.
On UI Design
- Usuda says that they worked together with Masayoshi Sudo who is in charge of the UI design in the Persona series. They spent a lot of time integrating Omega Force’s technology to express a cool and easy to use UI. They particularly like the Sophia shop screen.
Weekly Famitsu magazine #1629—or the March 5, 2020 issue—was released on February 20, 2020.
Release Celebration Art
To celebrate the Japanese release of Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers, Atlus has posted commemoration artwork by character designer Shigenori Soejima, featuring the new characters Sophia and Zenkichi Haseqgawa.
Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers was released for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch on February 20, 2020 in Japan. It will be released on June 18, 2020 in Asia and South Korea.