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Forums: Index > The Cathedral > Persona 5 shadow versus demon


I have seen many editors refer "demons" per se when they appear in Persona 5, but all the official screen shots and videos say that they are Personas from the collective subconsciousness but become shadows by the command of each Palace's own master. The transformation from shadow to Persona is quite reminiscent of the bosses in Persona 4. As seen in the conversation videos of Silky, Yaksini and Mokoi[1], by the moment MC has successfully persuaded a shadow to become his Persona, the shadows always say this line with minor variety: "After talking with you, I finally remember that I am not a shadow of this place but something originated from people's hearts. I am thou, thou art I". -- Inpursuit (talk) 04:53, August 24, 2016 (UTC)

even if they're called "shadows" in game, we should probably still call them "demons" to differentiate them from the generic Arcana-based Shadows (which are fragments of Nyx's psyche which have become an integral part of the human mind), and then just note that the game refers to them as shadows when fought as enemies or whatever and expand the Demon and Shadow pages accordingly. even if they are called shadows in-game, they still meet the megaten definition for "demon" ("any supernatural entity that can bring harm to human beings or interfere with their lives in one way or another"), but seems to not meet the definition for "shadow" (fragment of Nyx's psyche). there's little benefit to over-complicating things and coming up with new categorizations and all that for "entities from the collective subconscious which have been changed into 'shadows'" or "autonomous persona" or whatever when we already have a perfectly good one that works just fine. Tathra (talk) 06:50, August 24, 2016 (UTC)
The very dialogue they use confirms they are demons as well. Tatsuya's Scenario had Wendigo a demon who was supposed to be the artificial persona of Shiori Miyashiro come from the sea of souls and possess her, turning her into a demon. Not to mention the words they use something instead of saying persona or shadow. And peoples hearts generally refers to the Sea of Souls. Plus there's nothing reminiscient of P4 considering these beings outright erupt out of the shadow bodies we do see, while it was a normal transformation into the shape of enemy shadows in the previous game. Everything about them fits demons from previous games in persona instead of shadows.--JupiterKnight (talk) 10:34, August 24, 2016 (UTC)
To add to that, the early Persona games explictly stated that the demons in those games aren't "real" demons, but entities formed from humanities' collective unconsciousness, molded after their beliefs, myths and legends, etc. Both demons and Shadows/Personas are said to be drawn from the same area of the Sea of Souls in the Tatsuya scenario (if I recall correctly), so one can argue that they are subsets of the same larger type of entity, but they are distinct enough to be treated separately for our purposes. Related to P5, the game has tons of throwbacks to P1 (and a lesser extent P2) already, so reintroducing their version of demons was probably the intention; I wouldn't be surprised if they also made solid the link between them and Shadows that the Tatsuya scenario implied at the same time though.--Otherarrow (talk) 16:16, August 24, 2016 (UTC)
I'd actually mention that demons in general seem to be born of human stories, it's just that the Persona games go more in-depth with this and also show other mental creatures like Shadows and Personas. There's stuff in the main games about demons having to "follow their story" or some such, plus YHVH being warped through belief and etc. etc. So the Persona approach to demons isn't specific to that series, it just goes into more detail. -A—Preceding unsigned comment added by 1337doom (talkcontribs) on . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!
P2 also explicitly states that there may exist "real" demons who inspired the ones found in the collective unconsciousness. Not to mention, word of god related things stating that demon structures and forms (such as the Expanse in SMTII being based on Kabbalah) are actually the originals and humanity shaped their versions based on it (and not the other way around as it is out of universe). This wouldn't be relevant to Persona per say, but SMT: if... and the Devil Summoner games are implicitly in continuity with the Persona series...--Otherarrow (talk) 20:28, August 24, 2016 (UTC)
as for shadows and demons being the same thing, they're not. shadows are fragments of Nyx's psyche, which demons and the collective unconscious were created to suppress. the gods and demons in the collective unconscious are just as real as the demons and gods in the shin megami tensei series. all this stuff is covered in the Persona 3 Club Book, the relevant sections translated here and here (and here is a transcript of Tatsuya's Scenario). in light of them being distinctly different entities, i'm still not too clear on how to reconcile P4's revelation that a person's shadow and their persona are the same thing, since the latter is supposed to be a separate entity suppressing the former... Tathra (talk) 05:48, August 25, 2016 (UTC)
The actual in game info has said since the start of the series (see: the Shadows of Maki, P2 Shadow Selves, etc) that "shadows" are a part of the person's psyche, other sides of themselves that they repress and so on. This is rather at odds with Shadows being just "fragments of Nyx". I'd say that actual in game info should supersede club book info, especially when they contradict. Heck, P3 itself contradicted the club book, as not only does The Answer explicitly state that Shadows are the repressed "other side" of the human consciousness, but Metis openly mocks the idea that Shadows are "alien invaders" or the like in the same breath. Even with the non-contradicted club book info in mind, Nyx being the "mother of Shadows" is mainly in a metaphorical sense, as Nyx's arrival and introduction of "Death" is what prompted the development of the collective unconsciousness, Shadows with it. On topic, yeah, as stated canon has at least some link between demons and Shadows (P5 enemy weirdness, artificial Persona users turning into demons, both coming from the Kadath part of the collective unconsciousness), but for both convenience and consistency for the wiki, we should keep referring to them as separate entities.--Otherarrow (talk) 12:36, August 25, 2016 (UTC)
There also is the fact we can't take everything in Fanbooks as 100% canon because it might be changed later. Atlus has done this with several Timelines they've made of SMT, with the last one being in the Raidou Fanbook that revealed Future Raidou is Raidou XL and that If... takes place in SMTI-II world instead of Persona. Now Nyx being a Star Eater is likely correct, but the stuff about shadows is probably metaphorical like Otherarrow suggests.--JupiterKnight (talk) 21:23, August 25, 2016 (UTC)

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