Persona 3 Portable’s Evoker & Why It’s Important

Players can select a male or female protagonist in Persona 3 Portable.

Persona 3 is a beloved game, and with its port to modern consoles, it is important that players know about the potentially troubling Evoker tool.

The following article contains discussions of suicide & suicidal imagery. It also contains spoilers for Persona 3 Portable, availabe now.

Persona is one of the most beloved JRPG series, spanning over 20 years and five console generations. Every entry brings something new to the series, with every mainline game being largely well-regarded by fans. Unfortunately, outside the recent entries, there are not a lot of ways to experience some of the franchise’s staple titles. Persona 3, in particular, was only available on the PlayStation 2 and PSP until the recent port to modern consoles. While this is long-awaited and fantastic news for fans, Persona 3 Portable features a mechanic of which fans and new players should be aware.

In each game, players summon the titular Personas to help them in battle. Gamers can do this in ways that vary from game to game. When a character summons a Persona — especially for the first time — it requires the character to experience certain emotions, and there is usually a major theme that triggers the action. There are also story elements that relate to summoning a Persona. Persona 3 Portable takes one of the most interesting approaches to this in the series. Characters use a device called an Evoker, which bears a striking resemblance to a handgun, to summon their Persona in a manner that may be upsetting for some players.

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The Evoactive Imagery of Persona 3’s Evoker’s Can Be Troubling

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Persona 3 Portable Evoker
Protagonist from Persona 3 using the Evoker 

When the character uses their Evoker to summon a Persona, they place the Evoker to their head and pull the trigger. This causes a glass-shattering effect, and the character recoils away from the Evoker in their hand. Blue mist appears, and then the Persona is summoned. Obviously, this mimics the act of suicide, and it is easy to understand why some may be uncomfortable with this mechanic. While it is established that characters are not actually using real guns or harming themselves in any way, there are many new players to the Persona series that may be disturbed by the action.

Many players will undoubtedly already know about Evokers before they start the game. Players experiencing the modern ports of Persona 3 Portable will have likely played the game before. However, there will be many new players coming to the game because of the new ports, and those players should be aware of the potentially traumatic imagery shown in the game. While the imagery can be troubling for some, it features no vivid scenes of violence or gore. The imagery is limited to the brief animation described, and the rest of the game is comparably tame. Despite the seemingly extreme visual, Persona 3 Portable does provide some explanation for the nature of the Evoker.

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There Are Narrative Reasons Behind Persona 3’s Evoker

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Persona 3 Portable female protagonist summoning her Persona, Orpheus in battle

Characters are usually only able to summon a Persona after certain emotional conditions are met. When a character does this for the first time, it tends to take a mental toll on them. Afterward, the toll eases, and it is easier for the character to summon the Persona. This is largely true for Persona 3 Portable as well, but characters in this game have to achieve a state of terror to summon or awaken their Personas. The Evoker is designed to help Persona users reach this state by forcing them to confront the idea of death and the loss of innocence. Thematically, it serves to sever the tie of childhood that binds the characters in the game, who must take up a massive responsibility, and represents the characters’ knowledge that they could die trying to fight the evil shadows of the game.

Despite the narrative explanations, the Evoker can be a difficult concept for some fans to wrap their heads around due to its resemblance to suicide. Persona 3 Portable does tackle difficult themes and the Evoker is the tool that allows them to do that. The game does well to tackle the idea maturely, and it attempts to make it clear that the characters are never in danger of being critically hurt using the Evoker despite the emotional toll it takes to summon a Persona. Regardless of intent, it is important that players are mindful of themselves and others when discussing, recommending, or playing Persona 3 Portable.


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Funimation India

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