- "Thou art I... And I am thou... From the sea of thy soul I cometh... I am Orpheus, master of strings..."
Orpheus (オルフェウス, Orufeusu) is a poet of Greek Mythology, commonly known as the 'Master of Strings', referring to his skills with the lyre. In Persona 3, Orpheus is also the initial Persona of the Protagonist.
In Greek mythology, Orpheus was the son of Thracian king Oeagrus and the muse Calliope (some versions have Orpheus' father as the god Apollo). Apollo, fond of Orpheus, gave him a small golden lyre, which he quickly mastered. Taught to sing verses by his mother, Orpheus was so skilled at making music that he was called "Master of Strings" and "Father of Songs", capable of such music that even rocks and animals would be compelled to dance.
Upon the death of his wife Eurydice, Orpheus was so distraught that his mournful singing brought nymphs and gods to tears. Traveling to the underworld, he used his music to soften the hearts of Hades and Persephone, who allowed him to bring his wife back to the upper world on the condition that he walk in front and not look back until they had both arrived on the surface. In his anxiety, Orpheus forgot his warning and looked back when he alone had reached the surface, and saw his wife vanish, this time forever.
At the time of his death, Orpheus had become an apostate, spurning all gods save for Apollo, whom he thanked for his golden lyre. For this he was ripped apart by Dionysian Maenads (although according to other versions, he is ripped apart for refusing to participate in their drunken (and often cannibalistic) orgies, on account of remaining committed to his lost lover), only his head and lyre remaining. His head floated down the Hebrus, continuing to sing sad songs until it was buried on the island of Lesbos, while his lyre was carried to the sky by the muses and placed among the stars.
True to his legend, Orpheus is the archetypal musician in literacy and lore, and he stands for foolish human folly (for turning back out of doubt) as well as sacrifice (for dying for Eurydice).
- Persona 3: Fool Arcana
- Persona 3 FES: Fool Arcana
- Persona 3 Portable: Fool Arcana
- Persona 3 (Manga)
- Persona 3 The Movie: Fool Arcana
- " A poet of Greek mythology skilled with the lyre. He tried to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from Hades, but she vanished when he looked back before reaching the surface."
- —Compendium Info
Orpheus is the initial Persona of the protagonist of Persona 3. He makes his first appearance during the Protagonist' attempt of summoning a Persona via the Evoker to fend off the looming Shadows. During Orpheus' initial summoning, Death (whose appearance is identical to Thanatos) bursts forth from Orpheus' head, ripping him apart in the process. Death violently destroys Arcana Magician before reverting to Orpheus, who then becomes usable as the protagonist's initial Persona.
Orpheus cannot speak through his mouth (presumably due to not having lungs or a larynx), instead, he uses a stomach-embedded speaker to talk. Also, according to the mythology, Orpheus was ripped apart by Maenads for not honoring Dionysus; only his head remained intact, according to the myth. For this reason, Orpheus appears here with an organic head atop a mechanical body.
In the playable epilogue of Persona 3 FES, titled The Answer, Orpheus makes his appearance as Aigis' Persona.
After a heated battle between Metis, Aigis attempts to summon Pallas Athena, but the Persona instead transfigures into Orpheus. Orpheus fends off Metis, rendering her incapable of fighting. Igor would later mention that the transmogrification symbolizes a change in Aigis' psyche, and that her Journey is about to begin. Orpheus then serves as Aigis' initial Persona throughout the story. Aigis having inherited the protagonist's psyche and the Persona irritates a jealous Yukari.
Orpheus can also be obtained throughout the Wild Card shuffles after battles in The Answer.
Persona 3 PortableEdit
If the player chooses the Female Protagonist in this game, a female version of Orpheus becomes the player's Initial Persona as to reflect on the player's gender, though the female protagonist's versions of Thanatos, Messiah and Orpheus Telos retain their masculine appearance.
This version of Orpheus, although bearing the same concept as the male counterpart, now sports longer brown hair, a golden-colored torso instead of a platinum one the male Orpheus adorns, and a giant heart-shaped lyre.
The female Orpheus may be obtained and used by the male protagonist via New Game Plus, should the player have registered the female Orpheus in the Compendium while playing as the female protagonist. The same is true for the reverse, with the female protagonist having access to the male Orpheus.
Orpheus (regardless of the protagonist's gender) will now give the player the Skill Card "Agi" after Orpheus reaches level 3.
- Orpheus appears as a palette swap for Izanagi in Persona 4 Arena.
- While using cheats to get the full compendium in Persona 4, there are five extra slots in the compendium: 034, 0B4, 0B5, 02B, in the Fool Arcana including Izanagi-no-Okami. The slots 0B4 and 0B5 have a portrait of Orpheus but when summoned they appear as a Slime.