BackgroundPersona 3 takes place in Iwatodai--a fictional Japanese city in 2009. Unlike real life, however, there are not 24 hours in a day. The Dark Hour occurs unknowingly to most between 12:00AM and 1:00AM. Electronics do not work, the moon covers everything in an eerie green glow and Gekkoukan High School turns into a giant labyrinth called Tartarus. Within Tartarus are creatures referred to as Shadows, which are able to pray on the minds of humans outside of the mysterious labyrinth. Normal people are transmogrified into coffins and are therefore not aware the 25th hour actually exists. A select group of people are able to experience the dark hour, though. If they do not have "the potential," they are unfortunately prayed upon by the Shadows. Those who fall victim to the Shadows become nothing more than mindless zombies--a condition referred to as "Apathy Syndrome." Those who do have the potential? They are able to use a power called Persona. By shooting themselves in the head with evokers, these select few can fight back with beings that represent their innermost selves.
The Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES) is a normal school club at Gekkoukan High on the surface. In reality, however, the members are Persona users that use their power to fight Shadows and explore the mysteries within Tartarus. Mitsuru Kirijo and Akihiko Sanada are the founding members alongside the Chairman, Shuji Ikutsuki. They are soon joined by the game's protagonist, Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori. While most people only have the ability to summon one Persona, the protagonist has a special power in that (s)he can call upon multiple Persona depending on the situation. Eventually SEES grows with the addition of Fuuka Yamagishi, Aegis, Ken Amada, Shinjiro Aragaki and Koromaru. With their growing man, robot and dog power, SEES begins to climb further and further up Tartarus. The answer that they find, however, is something more important than they could have ever imagined.
Persona 3 was originally for the Playstation 2 and contained the storyline depicted above only. Persona 3 FES was made shortly after as an enhanced remake. FES contained the original storyline (The Journey), but also added on a new story taking place soon after the original game's end (The Answer). Rather than the protagonist, the player controls Aegis in The Answer. A few years later, the original game was once again remade for the Playstation Portable as Persona 3 Portable. The player can choose to be either the original male protagonist or the new female protagonist. The story is virtually the same between the two--the main difference lies in the available social links. Lastly, Persona 3 has a manga series as well as anime-style movies.
Persona 3 is a really great game and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys RPGs. It has been my favorite game since 2007! If you would like more information about the gameplay, story and characters, please check out the following links: