Persona 5 Royal: Two Worlds, One Strange Game

The following is a guest post from Andrew, who reached out to me on Twitter about contributing to the blog. I’m looking forward to his series of posts on Persona 5 which I hope you all enjoy. It’s his first run through of the game, so he will be sharing his thoughts on it as he plays. Let us know what you thought in the comments, and you can reach Andrew at his links at the end. God bless!

Hello, reader! You and I are about to embark on a strange journey. One with two different sides to the same world. What do I mean by that? Well, I think it’s best explained with a Bible verse. 

Ephesians 6:12 to be precise.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Does it sound a bit intense? “Come on, Andrew! This is just a video game we’re talking about here. How intense can it get?” With the game we’re talking about and given the context for the events I’m about to describe, it’s gonna get really tense really quick. Buckle up, buttercup! This is part 1 of a series of blog posts describing my time with Persona 5 Royal.

The game opens in a high-end casino. Our protagonist, Joker, along with his friends (whom we don’t know the names of yet) are all trying to escape and get away from what appears to be the casino security. As I progress however, I quickly learn that these are monsters in disguise. Before we proceed, I’m hoping that this meme I made will illustrate how difficult explaining some of the story will be.

The simple version is that there are two worlds in this game, the real world and the “metaverse”. After going through gameplay that I did not really understand, I completed the intro and Joker made his escape into police custody. 

At this point I get to name the protagonist. Normally when I’m playing a game where I get to name my character, I like to name them by their in-universe name. Link is Link in The Legend of Zelda, Crono is Crono in Chrono Trigger and so on and so forth.  I only knew him as Joker thanks to Super Smash Bros Ultimate so that’s what I went with. 

I pressed the options button on my PS4 controller and I have to give him a last name. 


In the few RPG’s I have played, I never had to give my character a last name. At my Twitch chat’s suggestion, I went with Senpai. Yes, I named him (and at the time of writing this still is) Joker Senpai. I later learned that his name is Ren Amamiya. 

Joker gets pummeled and beaten to confess for an unknown crime. This goes on for a bit and then a lady with silver hair shows up, wishing to speak to Joker in private, claiming that this is her case. Initially being denied that request after talking with her director, she is reluctantly given access to him. She starts asking him questions, not giving him a chance to respond. The final question she asks is for Joker to describe the events that led to this point from the beginning. 

Joker and the silver-haired lady

The screen around Joker fades to black and a blue translucent butterfly flutters past him. A voice of a little girl tells us (I’m paraphrasing this next part) how Joker is a prisoner of fate and that he’s in an unjust game. She hopes that he’ll break free and save the world, reminding him that the keys to victory lie in his bonds. 

A small flashback reveals why Joker was arrested. The game cuts to him waking up on a monorail train heading to Shibuya, and he sees a man harassing a woman. He tries to stop him, but in the process the man trips over himself and is apparently injured. He threatens to sue Joker (whom at this point I’m now going to be referring to as Ren for the remainder of the article) and sees that he is arrested.

Once off the train, Ren gets a text telling him to go to LeBlanc, which is a small coffee shop that Sojiro Sakura (the man who has been paid to take care of us) runs. He is on probation for a whole year and simply needs to prove he can be an upstanding citizen in society. He’ll do this by going to school and just being a normal High School student, but that would make for a boring video game wouldn’t it? 

The game literally goes by one day at a time. So the next day we go to school and are introduced to the Principal and our whiny and reluctant homeroom teacher, Ms. Kawakami. The following day we ran into two more students. The first one is Ann Takamaki. I really found it funny how dumbstruck Ren was when she removed her hood (guessing she’s the love interest?). Ann gets into a white car with who we later find out is the high school volleyball teacher, Mr. Kamoshida. After they drive off, Ryuji Sakamoto comes running up showing his utter disdain for Kamoshida and offering to walk to school with Ren, only they don’t wind up at school but a giant castle.

Ren and Ryuji standing outside Kamoshida’s Castle

I’m going to briefly explain that on the way to LeBlanc, Ren discovers an app on his phone that has a glowing Red Eye as a logo. This app allows him (as well as anyone who either has it or is nearby) to travel between the real world and that “Metaverse” I mentioned earlier. As you can guess, this castle exists in the metaverse. Confused, Ren and Ryuji enter and are promptly captured. After being sentenced to death, we learn that the “King” of this castle is Kamoshida!

Everyone you see in the metaverse is not the real person their appearance is based on. It’s their “cognitive self.” Good thing too because Kamoshida is dressed incredibly inappropriately for a high school volleyball teacher. Just when all hope seems lost a mask appears on Jokers face and a voice calls out to him to unleash the power within. He does so in pretty graphic fashion and Jokers persona, Arsene, is now unleashed and starts tearing up the guards. The boys escape along with a new cat friend named Morgana, who insists he is not a cat.

After the boys escape they are escorted by the police to the school with Ryuji swearing there was a castle in place of the school. Upon arrival they are confronted by Kamoshida and the principal. Kamoshida has no recollection of the events that transpired in the metaverse which is where the verse I mentioned earlier and this game all tie together. Ephesians 6:12 states:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ren and his pals are not struggling against the real Kamoshida per sé. They are struggling against his metaverse shadow that struggles with lust. In fact, I have a hunch that the remaining 6 palaces in the game are themed after the remaining seven deadly sins. Eventually, Ann joins the group after her friend, Shiho, is told to kill herself and jumps from the roof of the school. It really surprised me that this was in the game but fortunately, she only suffers a coma. At this point I found out that in order for the palace ruler to have a change of heart, their “treasure” must be stolen. A palace treasure is the core of someone’s twisted desires. Kamoshida in this case has a giant crown for his treasure. He thinks he’s the king of the school and can do whatever he wants. Everyone there is his slave and worships him.

Eventually the Phantom Thieves put out a calling card to Kamoshida telling him they’re coming for his treasure. The group obtains the crown and on their way out, Kamoshida stops them and transforms into a pretty ugly demon of lust named Asmodeus (look up the image yourself at your own discretion). One successful boss fight and harrowing escape later and the group is back in the real world. The following day there is an assembly at the school where Kamoshida admits to every despicable and heinous crime he has committed against the students. This was honestly one of my favorite scenes thus far. It reminded me of another verse which states:

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””

John 8:31-32

While its never stated in game if Kamoshida was a believer in Christ, the last part of the verse, “The truth shall set you free.” is what really stuck out to me in that moment. It took a group of bold teenagers and a talking cat to convince Kamoshida of his wrong doings and to ultimately get him to confess. Something to remember from all of this is that God tells us in Jeremiah 17:9:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

God doesn’t want us to trust our hearts. Look at how that turned out for Kamoshida. He let his past Olympic fame get to his head, and when he became a Volleyball coach, he let his hearts perverted desires ruin not just him but the lives of the students he was given free reign over. If you are struggling with any kind of sin or vice, I want you to remember the words of Proverbs 3:5-6, and to reach out to someone you trust and get the help you need if necessary.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

For my first 15 hour review. I find Persona 5’s mechanics very interesting. I still haven’t fully mastered them yet and I’ve only beaten the first dungeon. All this talk about Confidants, Personas, and Palaces has my head spinning. Two things I love so far about this game is the music and the story. The gameplay is also not too bad but I’m still getting the hang of things on that front. Until next week, if you want to follow my playthrough of this game, you can do so by going to my Twitch channel and clicking the heart button to follow me there. I stream every Saturday and Sunday at 7pm pacifc/10pm eastern. I hope to see you there. Take care and God bless.

My name is Andrew Simpson. I’m a 32 year old single father who loves God and all things nerdy. My three favorite video game genres are Platformers, Fighting and Adventure games. I stream over on twitch every Saturday and Sunday at 7pm pacific/10pm eastern. I’m currently playing Persona 5 Royal on stream and working my way through the Uncharted series in my spare time. You can find me on social media below:

Twitch | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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