Persona Q

Top 5 Best Back Row Characters | Persona Q

Truly at home on the 3DS, Persona Q is a wonderful mash up of the Etrian and Persona series of games. It’s filled with unusual dungeons, countless enemies and a version of the press turn battle system ideally suited for the genre. It’s also inhabited by the cast of both Persona 3 and Persona 4, giving the player a huge amount of choice.

That being said, we’re back again to sort out the other half of your party concerns. We’ve already written about the front row, among other topics, so we’re going to break down our Top 5 choices for back row party members! Get in touch down below if you disagree, though we cannot guarantee your wrongness not be mocked…

Persona Q

5. Yukiko

In Persona 4, her game of origin, Yukiko is first portrayed as a shy an unassuming type of girl. She starts off as a shy but pleasant distraction to the main events of the game. As she and the story grows, the player learns that she’s actually strong, smart and dependable.

In Persona Q very little of this character shines through. She’s often part of the conversation, but shows no real inclination to take a side or have an opinion. We’d actually consider her one of the weakest characters in the title from a personality perspective, which is a shame.

In battle she fares somewhat better, though it’s worth noting that back row, magic users generally perform worse in Persona Q, outside of a few key members. She plays like a good, solid but somewhat generic back row magic user. She will max her Magic stat, and whilst this isn’t as strong as physical attacks in Persona Q, it’s still a boost that some others cannot achieve. You could even switch her stats around to strength, should you wish. We prefer her in a supporting, healing role that’s able to contribute with some damage and debuffs when required.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Key Skills

  • Dia – Diarama – Diarahan: Single target healing skills.
  • Fire Amp: Improves the damage of fire spells, all of which Yukiko has access to.

4. Zen & Rei

Unlike all of the characters we’ve written about, in this list and others, Zen & Rei are exclusive to Persona Q. You’ll meet them both very early on in the story and they both play very key roles as it develops. To go further would be approaching spoiler territory, suffice to say they’re very important to the game world.

In battle they have one immediate and glaring flaw: They cannot equip a Persona. Taking them along would mean that you only have 4 other characters over whom you’ll have Sub-Persona control. This is a concern for sure, in fact it’s one that saw most Persona fans immediately remove them from battle, but bare with us here.

The pair will learn some very useful skills as the game progresses, their statistics are some of the highest available in almost all areas and even their equipment has other niche uses. In battle we prefer to position them in the rear, where they take the part of a spell caster whilst also being able to muck in with physical attacks. Inevitably, by the end game they will be surpassed by some members, but for the duration of the game they’re actually very useful and should not be completely overlooked.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Key Skills

  • Squire/Knight/King Card: Significantly increases Fire, Ice, Wind and Elec damage (Passive)
  • Cycone/Fire Spray/Thunder Clap/Frozen Spear: Elemental spells boosted by the passive.

3. Mitsuru

Mitsuru comes from Persona 3, where she is part of the SEES team around which the story revolves. She’s an older, more responsible member who often looks out for the team, feeling like an older sibling to the younger team members. She would struggle in certain social situations however, which if anything endears here to the player even further.

Little of this survives the transition to Persona Q, though she does retain a feel of responsibility though her advice of the main character. It’s limited, and she has little screen time, but she serves the purpose of gently guiding the player to be safe.

In play, she’s another member with a very high magic statistic, something she’ll cap by late game. Granted, this doesn’t enable her to catch up with physical characters in terms of damage output, but in the back row she’s more than capable. She won’t approach massive numbers, though you can switch her magic for strength if you wish, but she’s perfectly capable of supporting from the rear.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Key Skills

  • Tentarafoo: Medium chance to panic all enemies.
  • Mind Charge: Boost the targets magical power.


2. Persona 3 Main Character

Another main character makes it’s way into our lists, this time being the protagonist from Persona 3. Being a player controlled character it’s hard to pin any personality traits from previous games that may have, or may not have, translated from their source game. Your attachment to this character will likely reflect just how much you enjoyed P3.

Knowing him like we do, we can say for sure that their interactions with certain characters have been completely removed from Persona Q. On the one hand this is a shame, of course it is, but then how would it translate without re-telling the entire story? It’s tough, but he’s essentially a player shaped shell, much like the Persona 4 main character.

Using him in battle however, is much better. His statistics are good – high magic and luck – and he comes with a good assortment of fire skills, but all of these pale in comparison to the highlight of his set: Debilitate. It’s the best debuff in the game and something that’ll make your life of FOE hunting orders of magnitude easier than before. Despite the empty hole of personality, we take him on almost every run for this skill alone.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Key Skills

  • Debilitate: Lowers the targets attack, defence and agility.
  • Debilitate: Lowers the targets attack, defence and agility.
  • Debilitate: Lowers the targets attack, defence and agility.

Yes it’s so good we wrote it thrice.

1. Naoto

Naoto hails from Persona 4, in which she initially plays a stoic and unfeeling prospective detective. We learn that this simply hides a softer interior of course, but not before a great deal of exposition. She’s a well handled and balanced character, one which adds yet another level of depth to an already nuanced game.

As you might imagine, none of this really survives the transition to Persona Q. Well, apart from the ‘serious detective’ part. Yes that’s pretty much all you get. It’s a real shame, but if we’re honest this isn’t exactly a genre that’s too concerned with your need for a story line.

When it comes to battles Naoto is, in short, Broken. She has access to multi target, instant death abilities. When these mix with her super high luck statistic, and most enemies’ weakness to one of these abilities, you have the recipe for something very special. She completely deletes random battles throughout the entire game, trivialising whole swathes of enemies with a single button press. Due to the way that Sub-Persona work you’ll likely never run out of SP either, so these battle deletions can go on and on. Truly an incredible character that, if we’re honest, probably makes things a bit too easy.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Key Skills

  • Hama/Mudo Abilities: Stupidly powerful insta-kill attacks.
  • Other skills you’ll never use.

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