- "I just... put it to my head... and pull the trigger..."
- —Yukari Takeba, Persona 3 Portable
The Evoker is a gun-esque item that appeared in Persona 3. It functions as a summoning medium for members of SEES to invoke and control their Personas. Evokers are created and manufactured by the Kirijo Group.
Evokers prove to be traumatizing and tiring, as the Evoker still retains the shape of a gun, and using an Evoker resembles the act of suicide. The Evoker is symbolic of accepting death and knowledge of mortality, which often arise during the teenage years. It also acts as a reminder of how the members of SEES are aware that they can die while fighting the Shadows. This is why Yukari Takeba has difficulty using her Evoker: she is afraid of death, and comments that the predicament is like "losing innocence". This is also why the protagonist has no difficulties using it: he does not view death as scary.
While human members use gun-esque Evokers to summon their Persona, there are several unique cases. Koromaru, a dog, utilizes a collar-shaped Evoker to summon his Persona. Moreover, Aigis, as an Anti-Shadow weapon, possesses a built-in Evoker. Takaya Sakaki, an artificial Persona-user, is able to summon his Persona without the use of an Evoker.
To summon their respective Personas, users must press the Evoker to their head and pull the trigger, emitting a pale blue fog that covers them while giving out the shape of their Personas, along with a glass shatter effect. The Evokers also have a noticeable slight "recoil" effect, shown by the sudden flinch of the head, especially noticeable by how Yukari's body jerks backwards during her summon animation. In Persona 3 The Movie, it is seen that the Persona user's eyes glazes over briefly during the firing of the Evoker.
Although the actual method that the Evoker summons a Persona is vague and unclear, it is always reiterated that the main purpose of the Evoker (and summoning a Persona in general) is provoking a sense of terror and thus, inducing extreme stress which is one of the prerequisites for summoning a Persona. Evokers contain a Plume of Dusk, which allows them to work during the Dark Hour and also aids in summoning one's Persona.
The Evoker returns in Persona 4 Arena, carried by Akihiko Sanada and Mitsuru Kirijo. Mitsuru only uses hers during her Instant Kill, while Akihiko also uses his during his Instant Kill or whenever he casts Maziodyne. However, with other skills involving their Personas, they no longer use Evokers to summon them to perform attacks. In terms of the story, the TV World's influence on a person's thoughts are much stronger and thus merely the thought of summoning a Persona can call it out. One can also summon a Persona in the real world if they condition and train themself to concentrate at extreme levels.
In the Persona 3 Manga chapter 20, it is revealed that if a Persona user gets scared, they cannot summon their Persona but along with the manga being uncanon, this detail is rendered contradictory when a female researcher in the canon Persona 4 Arena reveals that a feeling of fear and self-preservation are key to summoning a Persona as seen in other Persona related media.
- "Enables the user to summon a Persona, although it is supposedly possible to do so without one."
- —Persona 3 FES Dictionary Entry
An Evoker is first seen being held by Yukari Takeba, prior to the protagonist moving into the dorm, and she appears to have problems pulling the trigger. Upon entering the dorm, Yukari sees the protagonist. Thinking him an intruder, she prepares to fire her Evoker, but is stopped by Mitsuru Kirijo.
Later, when a Shadow attacks the dorm, Yukari attempts to fire her Evoker in hopes of fending off the Shadows. Unfortunately, she fails and her Evoker is knocked aside by the looming Shadows. The protagonist sees the young child whom he met when he first entered the dorm. The child promptly encourages the protagonist to pick up the Evoker and fire it. The protagonist complies, pulls the trigger, and summons his persona, Orpheus. The protagonist is subsequently called to the meeting room, where he becomes a member of SEES and receives his own Evoker.
Throughout the story, the Evoker serves as a summoning tool for SEES, though later a group of individuals named Strega is revealed to possess their own Evokers. The members of SEES appear to be surprised of seeing them having Evokers, though Strega simply brushes off their questions. Later, one of the members of Strega, Chidori Yoshino is subdued by SEES. Upon learning that her Evoker has been taken away by SEES, she becomes emotionally unstable, constantly pleading SEES to return it to her.
It is later revealed that, in order to learn more about Tartarus, the Kirijo Group rounded up children in the streets, gave them Evokers, and used them as part of their experiments about Shadows and Personas. In the end, only three of these children survived. Those three children later grew up to become Strega.
In the epilogue of Persona 3, titled The Answer, it is revealed that Aigis kept the protagonist's Evoker after his death as a memento. Mitsuru would later regroup the remaining SEES members to see the dorm's closing. However, after witnessing the strange events surrounding them, the remaining members of SEES are forced to take up their Evokers once again and investigate the Abyss of Time.
The door to Akihiko's past reveals that the Evoker existed as a gun as early as 2005, when Mitsuru and Akihiko were both 3rd-year Junior High students. In the scene, Mitsuru approaches Akihiko and offers him a new way of fighting. She presents an Evoker to him immediately in an effort to grab his attention, and Akihiko evidently accepts.
In the end, after knowing the protagonist's efforts and motive of sealing Nyx, Mitsuru scraps her plan of recollecting everyone's Evoker; instead, she advises them to keep them, as a remembrance that they will live and making the most out of their own lives, never looking back of their grief. Aigis would later make a vow in hopes of changing the world so that someday, people will not long for Nyx's advent and The Fall, so that the protagonist may be freed from his bonds.
- As seen in the Persona 3 concept art, Tarot Cards were originally planned to be used as the summoning medium for invoking Personas, similar to the summoning sequence in the Persona 2 duology (the concept was later continued in Persona 4), but it was later changed to a gun motif to fit the game's themes.
- The appearance of the Evoker is based on the Ruger Mk. III semi-automatic pistol.
- In 2013, Happy Kuji company released a 1/1 scale Evoker watergun to celebrate Persona 3 The Movie ＃1: Spring of Birth.
- ↑ Researcher with a tie: "Well, at least this proves that mental stress is the key to activating a Persona."
- ↑ Female researcher: "The fear impulse and self-preservation instinct seem to be the key to activating a Persona."
- ↑ Persona 3: Official Design Works