When giving tips for a Persona title, there are always going to be some crossovers. These games have been designed in a similar way for many years now, but it’s worth noting that Persona 3 in particular heralded the start of what we now know as the ‘modern’ Persona game. It features everything you might know and expect; a social link system, a huge compendium of possible persona fusions and a feature length script full of novel and interesting characters. That said, what should you bear in mind if you’re approaching the third installment for the first time? Following are the most essential 8 tips that we can come up with to help you on your way.
Tip 1: Use Your Items
Are you the kind of player that likes to horde your items away, saving them for a rainy day? Does that rainy day ever come? If this sounds like you, then you’re just like the rest of the JRPG playing fanbase. We’re here to tell you that, more than most other games, you really should use your items as much as possible in Persona 3. Tartarus, being a randomly generated dungeon, allows you to gather items by the bucket load. Floors replete with treasure chests, rare enemy spawns and shuffle time opportunities are likely to keep your coffers full of powerful consumables, so why not make use of them as much as you can?
Tip 2: Keep Fusing
This is a tip that is almost universally useful within the Persona games, and indeed the Shin Megami Tensei series as a whole: Never stop fusing new Personas. In many ways, it’s possible to treat these games a bit like a Pokemon title, simply gathering new persona through battle, but to do so would be to miss out on a whole world of possibilities. Not only do the persona that you hold directly influence your statistics – holding a high magic persona will increase your magic damage, for example – but they’ll also learn advanced spells, and with clever usage of the system you’ll be able to keep your hands on the skills that you prefer. There’s no down side to fusing, so do it as much as possible, whenever you can. We like to do a round of fusing after reaching the end of each Tartarus block. Twice even, if we’re feeling a bit grindy.
Tip 3: Upgrade Your Gear
Given that we’ve established that items are easy to come by in Persona 3, it’s also worth noting that you don’t have to use or store all of them. Some of them can be sold, and indeed some of them are designed for such a thing, so you should have no problem getting your hands on plenty of cash. If items are taken care of, then the only thing remaining to spend your hard earned dollars on are pieces of equipment, and this is something that we recommend you most certainly should do. Not only do these increase your statistics, weapons for attack and armour for defence etc, but some of them even change your appearance in battle. Some of them are even rather… Unusual. Looking at you, Yukari.
Tip 4: Take Requests
Speaking of unusual and powerful pieces of equipment, there’s more than one way to get your hands on them. Soon after the game introduces you to the many levels of Tartarus, the Velvet Room will unlock the ability to take on requests. These are essentially side quests, most of which require you to fetch an item, and they’ll often reward you with powerful items or bits of equipment. Some of these are exclusive to the request system and at times they can be very powerful, so we thoroughly recommend that you complete as many as possible. Only picking up three at a time can be a bit of a pain, but be patient and you’ll get them done. Pay attention to the requirements too, sometimes they just require a conversation with a team member to complete.
Tip 5: Patiently Explore
By now we’ve probably assigned you quite a few tasks, and you’re likely to have a significant list forming. Were this any other series of games, you’d likely be able to blast through side quests, gear and push through it in short order. Not so with Persona games. These are designed to be enjoyed at a slower pace, so rather than fighting the calendar that contains you, take your time to adhere to it. Some requests can only be completed after a certain point in time, and access to the upper reaches of Tartarus are hemmed off too, so we implore you to take your time. Explore it all, speak to everybody and allow yourself to be swept up in what many consider to be the game with the best story in the series.
Tip 6: Talk To Everyone
There is something you should know about this game: Persona 3 was made in a time before the yellow exclamation mark. Sure, the side quests have a log for you to look through, but other than that your direction is really up to you. That said, it’s entirely worth your while to talk to as many people as possible. Not only will this sometimes give up valuable pieces of information, like hints about possible future social links or battle tips, but they may even turn up entire request items. Hell, even the fortune teller can be worth listening to. Sometimes.
Tip 7: Social Links
This is likely to seem obvious, especially to any regular to the Persona series, but it goes without saying that you absolutely must cultivate your social links as much as possible. These are your relationships with the world outside of Tartarus, and outside of battle. No, they won’t confer as many benefits as in those in the later titles, at least outside of Persona 3 Portable, but they will allow you to access more and more of it’s excellent back story. Each of these links have a considerable amount of detail to them, and some of them are truly touching by their conclusion.
Tip 8: Target Weaknesses
Another from the selection of series specific tips rather than title, is to ensure that you target weaknesses as much as possible. When in battle, you’ll be able to knock down opponents if you target the element or strike that they are weak to, which not only renders them inoffensive for a round, but you’ll also be able to take another turn. Following this, if you knock all of the opponents down then you’ll be able to initiate an all out attack, which deals tremendous damage to the entirety of your enemies. Further still, completing a battle in this fashion will almost guarantee shuffle time, allowing you to get further benefits from the encounter itself. It’s probably the most vital piece of information we can give you about Persona 3, and indeed any of the modern titles, SMT included. Take advantage of this, fuse plenty of persona to cover your options and you’ll be well equipped to take on anything the game can throw at you.