For years. fans of the Megami Tensei series have been trying to find a connection between all the games. This is no easy feat since the franchise spans 35 years and more than four dozen games. This includes subseries like Shin Megami Tensei and Persona. However, there have been subtle hints that all the Persona games are connected through references and cameos.
Persona and Persona 2 are the most obviously connected, as they involve the same characters. As for the other games, Mitsuru’s father mentions Kei’s family from the previous games, the Persona 4 cast visits the school from Persona 3, and Persona 5 references Risette and the detective prince moniker. However, Persona and Shin Megami Tensei are not as easy to connect with the major exception of one character: Tamaki Uchida of the Kuzunoha Detective Agency.
In Shin Megami Tensei If…, players can pick between a male and female protagonist. While both are high school students who play the same role, only the female character, Tamaki Uchida, went on to appear in later games. If…‘s protagonist was transported to a demon-filled dimension known as The Expanse, which is ruled by a self-proclaimed demon emperor Ideo Hazama, whose actions were caused by being bullied. Tamaki Uchida is given four different options at the beginning of the game, resulting in different endings. Shin Megami Tensei If… serves as a precursor to the Persona series, its high school setting inspiring the popular subseries.
While Tamaki is a silent protagonist, Persona portrays her as a strong, sweet young woman who is unafraid of danger. Tamaki transfers to St. Hermelin High School, the setting of the first Persona, and falls in love with Tadashi Satomi, though she has trouble conveying her feelings. Here, she is a side character who helps the protagonist if they choose the SEBEC route. During this route, Tamaki recalls events from her past and helps the player by giving them a rapier used in Shin Megami Tensei If… and the demon mirror towards the end of the game.
In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Tamaki joins the Kuzunoha Detective Agency as an apprentice detective and devil summoner. The Kuzunoha Detective Agency is crucial, as it connects the Persona series with another Megami Tensei series: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner. Tamaki’s role is minuscule, as she helps the party by handling in-game magazine contest entries for prizes. However, later in Innocent Sin, she dresses up as a cat burglar equipped with a GUMP (another reference to Devil Summoner) and tries to take on King Leo.
Tamaki’s role is smallest in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. Here, she continues her work for the Kuzunoha Detective Agency and handles in-game magazine contest entries for prizes for the party. Tamaki does express some concern over her missing fiancé Tadashi and is trying to help a demon, but this is the last we see or hear about Tamaki.
Tamaki is an important character because she proves that connects multiple Shin Megami Tensei games and Persona exist in the same timeline, a trend Persona has continued, though not to this extent. Most Megami Tensei games have minor connections to previous entries, but nothing as concrete as a major recurring character, let alone a protagonist returning in a new role. Tamaki somehow found a way to cross between multiple games, and her existence proves that devil summoners exist in Persona‘s universe, something that would be great to see explored in a future game.
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