DISCLAIMER: Endgame spoilers inbound.
So you’ve just finished all 80-100 hours of gameplay in Persona 5. You’re watching the credits scroll on by as you gradually begin to feel a sense of emptiness, and longing for more of the Persona 5 experience. You ask yourself, “I’ve finally finished this game. Now what?” I’ve asked that same question too. Here’s the answer: just play the game again!
Fortunately, Persona 5 isn’t lacking at all in the replayability department. Even if you’ve already beaten the game, the Persona 5 experience isn’t truly over yet.
New Game Plus (NG+ for short) allows you to play the game again from the start, but with the added benefit of carrying over some of your progress from the previous playthrough. Here’s a list of what’s included:
- Social Stats (knowledge, charm, guts, kindness, and proficiency)
- Persona Compendium progress
- Currently equipped melee weapons, guns, armor, and all accessories in your inventory
- All Skill Cards and Blank Cards in your inventory
- Special post-game Confidant Link items: if you max out a Confidant Link, you get an item that gives you the benefits of certain abilities of a Confidant after you’ve initiated them in NG+
If you’ve already finished Persona 5, you’ll know for certain how important your decisions are in regards to the limited amount of time that you’re given. For you completionists out there who followed a guide to max out every Confidant link in a single playthrough, you might have felt disappointed that you couldn’t really invest time in activities such as fishing, training at the gym, and even collecting room decorations.
But here’s the good news: because you no longer need to spend so much time on increasing your social stats, and you probably have a Persona that’s good enough to carry you through an entire Palace in a day, you have much more time to do whatever you want in NG+. Not to mention, there are quite a few alternative ways to play the game and keep things interesting.
Here’s a list of some things to try out in NG+.
1. Fight the Optional Superboss
Technically, there are two optional superbosses in Persona 5. The first is everybody’s favorite dual gun-wielding AFK-killer, the Reaper. It’s available to fight as soon as you gain access to Mementos, and all you have to do to get its attention is to go idle while on the field. Eventually, you’ll hear the distant sound of chains, which means that the Reaper’s coming for you. Obviously, it’s one of the toughest bosses in the game, and should pose a huge threat to anyone, especially on higher difficulties. (There is a neat little trick to killing it easily, though…)
However, there is one superboss—or should I say two?—that is unique to NG+. As per tradition since Persona 3, you get to battle Velvet Room attendant of the game. This time, in Persona 5, you’ll be facing two Velvet Room attendants at once: Caroline and Justine. To challenge the Twins, all you need to do is head down to Mementos (as soon as it’s accessible) and speak to Caroline, who will now be standing alongside her sister at the entrance to the Velvet Room.
Though small in stature, the Twins are definitely no pushover. Like the previous Velvet Room attendant bosses, they follow a certain attack pattern and switch up their preferred element every turn. To survive the fight, you’ll need to be very careful about not getting your weaknesses exploited. Why? Like you and your allies, they also have the ability to use Baton Passes to bolster their offense. On top of all this, you’ll also need to to defeat them within 50 turns. Failure to do so will result in the battle being forcibly ended. But as for how that happens, I’ll let you find out on your own. (It’s awesome. And painful.)
Should you emerge victorious from this grueling fight with the Twins, you’ll be rewarded with the Omnipotent Orb. This accessory grants immunity to every element and status ailment, with the exception of Almighty.
2. Fuse the Ultimate Persona
Remember that epic fight against Yaldabaoth at the climax of the True Ending route? Remember how the Protagonist summoned this giant, winged Gundam-like Persona with a Big Freakin’ Gun that delivered the final blow to save all of humanity? That’s Satanael. You get to get to add him to your arsenal of Personas in NG+. Provided, of course, that you have the necessary materials to fuse him in the Velvet Room.
For starters, Satanael starts out at level 95, higher than any other Persona in the entire game. He also requires a special 6-way fusion consisting of the following Personas: Arsène x Anzu x Ishtar x Satan x Lucifer x Michael. Ishtar and Lucifer are the Ultimate Personas of the Lovers and Star arcana, respectively, so you will need to have at least completed Ann and Hifumi’s Confidant Links in order to unlock them for fusion.
There are two things that make Satanael worth using. The first is that he’s the only Persona in the game who learns Victory Cry, which is a passive skill that fully restores your HP and SP at the end of every battle. It can also be passed down and inherited by other Personas. Victory Cry is an indispensable skill to have for a mob-clearing build.
The second reason is that Satanael is the only Persona in the game that naturally resists all elements (excluding Almighty), and is immune to both Bless and Curse. Now try giving him Firm Stance, which you can get from Futsunushi. Firm Stance is a passive skill that halves all incoming damage, but prevents you from evading attacks entirely. On top of this, try equipping the Divine Pillar accessory (dropped by the Reaper), which has the same effect as Firm Stance.
What’s crazy is that all of these damage reduction buffs do stack. Doing the math, you’ll see that enemies will be inflicting only 12.5% of their original damage, for all non-Almighty attacks! This means that even the mighty Reaper’s standard attacks will be doing a paltry 50 damage or less—on Merciless difficulty. With this build, Satanael becomes extremely resilient, and I can’t recommend it enough.
3. Do a Solo Run
Pfft, who needs partners, anyway?
Infiltrating Palaces and exploring the depths of Mementos definitely feels different if you’re all by your lonesome. Without allies, it won’t be possible to perform Hold Ups, which means no All-Out Attacks and no negotiation. You also won’t be able to execute special actions during some of the Palace boss fights, such as firing the ballista at Sphinx Mom, or exposing Goth Lady for cheating at the roulette game. You can forget about Baton Passes, too.
Nonetheless, these limitations open up the possibility for new challenges. NG+ gives you the resources that you need to overcome these limitations right from the get-go. That said, here’s some advice: a successful solo run really comes down to optimizing your Persona builds and coming up with a sound strategy. In both Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games, preparation means the difference between getting your entire party annihilated in a couple of turns, and a satisfying victory. So patch up those weaknesses and pile on the best passive skills that you have, and watch as you dominate every foe that stands in your path.
Another protip: make lots of Smokescreens for when you want to breeze through Palaces. They make your life a lot easier, since you can literally hold down R2 and sprint past enemy Shadows undetected.
4. Enjoy the Tokyo Life
As I mentioned earlier, NG+ gives you the opportunity to enjoy some minigames that you wouldn’t normally be able to on your first playthrough. Raising social stats and trying to rank up your Confidant Links do take up quite a lot of your time. In all likelihood, you may have missed out on completing a few of these activities.
First, there’s strength training. This is a great way to boost your HP and SP in small, incremental amounts. You get to train in two ways: for free, in your room at Leblanc, and at the gym. Both training methods actually have their own levels of progression. As with real life strength training, you’ll eventually hit a plateau, which pushes you to increase the intensity of your next workout. To get the most out of your training, you can take a Protein supplement to slightly boost your HP and SP gains. You can buy Protein, along with a more effective Moist Protein (rainy days only), at the discount store in Shibuya. It’s located to the left of the movie theater.
Next, there’s fishing. To unlock the Ichigaya fishing pond, you’ll need to have either accepted Ryuji’s invitation to go fishing, or read the book ‘Fishpond Spotter’ from the Shibuya bookstore. The main goal of fishing is eventually to work up enough points to buy the higher-tiered prizes. Each successful fish catch will earn you some points, which you can exchange for prizes. Like Persona 4, there’s even a legendary fish called the Guardian that you can catch, which gives you thousands of points and even a PSN trophy. Here’s what you’ll need to capture the elusive creature.
Lastly, you can try your hand at completing the batting minigame, located at Yongen-Jaya. It’s available early in the game, as soon as you’re given control of your daytime activities. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Successfully hitting all balls and/or a home run will unlock the next difficulty level and net you some prizes. Like the fishing minigame, you can read a book from the Shinjuku bookstore that allows you to use the Third Eye skill. In the baseball minigame, Third Eye slows down time, making it much easier to get a home run.
5. Go on Dates with Your Waifu(s)
One of the social gameplay elements that were expanded upon in Persona 5 is the dating system. When you reach rank 9 with most of the game’s female Confidants, you get the option to start a romantic relationship with them, or remain friends. After you’ve maxed out their Confidant link, you can choose how you want to spend time with them. In addition to just inviting them to your room (obviously to play mahjong), Persona 5 now gives you the option to choose where you want to take the girls out on dates.
As you progress through the game, accept hangout invitations from Confidants, and read books on popular attractions in Tokyo, you’ll unlock more ‘hangout spots’ to check out. Note, however, that each girl has her own preferences in hangout spots. For instance, while Makoto isn’t really interested in visiting the Planetarium, she does enjoy shopping in Harajuku or going on food trips to Chinatown. There are also some couples-oriented date spots, such as Dome Town, Seaside Park, and Destinyland. Compared to the usual hangout spots, these locations are really more for fleshing out the romantic side of your relationship.
If you don’t have any Confidants to attend to for the day, and you’ve already cleared the current Palace, why not invite your waifu out on a date? (Side note: the harem route is still an option, but pursue at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Know any other ways to get the most out of Persona 5? Enjoyed the game so much that you just want to rave about it? We hear you. Hit us up in the comments, or on Twitter @whatsageek!