Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Problems always begin in school...
   Death. Taxes. Megami Tensei games. Some things are just givens in life, and Atlus's insanely successful (at least in Japan) RPG series is one of them. Now in its umpteenth incarnation, the series continues with Persona 2: Innocent Sin.

   A direct sequel to the only Megami Tensei title to reach US shores, Persona 2 takes place several years after Revelations: Persona and features a mix of old and new characters. The plot centers around a mysterious disease spreading through the high school that the main character, Tatsuya Suo, attends. The disease spontaneously appears after rumors are spread throughout the town prophesizing death and destruction to all who wear the high school's insignia. Thanks to the rumor, the feared destruction becomes a reality.

Summoning a Persona

   A number of features from the original Persona have been reincarnated, such as the ability to talk to monsters to collect their Spell Cards. Once these Spell Cards have been obtained, they can be fused together to form Personas. Personas act similar to Espers from Final Fantasy VI or Masters in Breath of Fire 3 -- you equip them on a character to boost his or her stats and teach new spells and abilities. The graphical style is similar as well -- town and battle scenes are portrayed in isometric 2D, while dungeons and the town map are rendered in three dimensions.

   Of course, Atlus wouldn't be content with simply retaining the existing gameplay features, so some new ones have been added. You can now use up to three characters at a time to talk the demons, rather than just one. Should diplomacy fail, however, you'll also be to wield combination magic. The entire party can combine its Personas together to unleash attacks far more powerful than ones executed alone.

Talking with demons

   The rumor theme behind the storyline also comes into play in the game itself, as hearing rumors can actually affect reality -- for example, if you hear that a secret passage exists in a certain area, a secret passage will suddenly appear there. This raises plenty of possibilities for puzzles and secrets, and will certainly provide some original situations.

   Will North American gamers ever get a chance to play Persona 2: Innocent Sin? While the game's sequel, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, has already been released in English, but if sells sufficiently, a translation of Innocent Sin may still come under consideration. Let's hope it becomes a given.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Persona 2
Developer Atlus
Publisher Atlus
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium CD (2)
Platform Playstation
Release Date  06.24.99
Persona 2 US release update
High-quality opening movie
Heroes and Persona / Character portraits
Official Japanese strategy guide cover