|Persona 3 Portable|
|Perusona 3 Pōtaburu|
|November 1, 2009|
|July 6, 2010|
|April 29, 2011|
The game allows the player to choose the gender of the protagonist, which possibly opens up new routes and scenarios in the story. The theme of the game revolves around the "", reflecting the changes that happen should the player pursue the path of one protagonist over the other, and the Latin phrase "Memento Mori" which translates as "Remember your mortality. Remember you must/will die", as shown in the opening sequences.
The setting takes place during main portion of Persona 3 (known in FES as "The Journey" in the English version and "Episode Yourself" in the Japanese version). The storyline of the female protagonist features many differences from that of the male protagonist, such as new social interactions as well as Social Links. The Persona of the female protagonist is a more feminine Orpheus. In the female protagonist's path, players have the choice of selecting Elizabeth or a male-equivalent named Theo to be Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room.
"The Answer," known as "Episode Aegis" in the Japanese version, is a story exclusive to Persona 3 FES, and is not available in P3P, due to limited storage space on the UMD. The Desert of Doors will still appear, however, in an extra feature known as the Vision Quest. In this mode, the party can fight stronger incarnations of the Full Moon shadow bosses — save for Arcana Magician — and partake in special battles that test the party's abilities. When all of the battles have been successfully met, a second optional boss can be fought: Margaret, Igor's assistant in Persona 4 and guardian of the Desert of Doors in P3P.
Another new addition is the ability to pick who the player spends the last moments of the game with. This feature is only accessible on a New Cycle, and the player can only select members of SEES with whom they have maxed social links and are romantically involved with. Both male and female protagonists have 4 choices to choose from; 1 is the default Aigis Ending, and 3 from the others. The male endings include Yukari, Fuuka and Mitsuru, and the female endings include Akihiko, Shinjiro, and Ken.
Navigation in P3P overworld is menu-based. Players cannot walk around as in the PlayStation 2 version, although interactions still retain the "visual novel" feel. Overworld characters are rendered in sprites.
The facilities in town where the player can increase the protagonist's social stats still function the same way, but some of them now offer part-time jobs on certain days, rewarding the player with money, which can increase if the player repeatedly works part-time at a specific store or restaurant. It also bestows higher boosts to the player's conditional stats, than if the player simply attended the store as a customer.
In Paulownia Mall, the Police Station is now the only place where the player can buy equipment and sell items. Aohige Pharmacy is now a buy-only store, and Be Blue V is just a part-time work site and hangout to improve the main character's condition.
Perhaps the most notable and well-known difference between this game and Persona 3 / FES is the fact that party members can now be controlled in battle (like in Persona 4). This has received high praise and makes the game easier. Other features from Persona 4 have been introduced, such as the Guard (now called "Defense") command which will decrease the damage and any knockdown effects of the next attack the user suffers, and the game also will grant "1 More" to a combatant who attacks multiple enemies not knocking all of them down (like in Persona 4; the original Persona 3 required all hit enemies to be knocked down for a 1 more).
A new feature of the game features five difficulty settings from easiest to hardest — Beginner, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Maniac. Easy and Normal were in the original P3, and Hard was included in FES. The former and latter most options are exclusives.
- Beginner: Enemy damage is significantly toned down, and the player is given 30 Plumes Of Dusk to continue in case of a game over.
- Easy: Enemy damage is toned down, and the player is given 10 Plumes Of Dusk to continue in case of a game over.
- Normal: Standard difficulty. Enemies deal average damage.
- Hard: Enemies deal 1.5 times more damage than normal and can gain a higher chance of Enemy Advantage when not taken by surprise.
- Maniac: Enemies deal 2 times more damage than normal, can gain a higher chance of Enemy Advantage when not taken by surprise, and certain weapon fusions cannot be performed. Moreover, when starting a New Cycle from any difficulty level to Maniac, no data from the prior game carries over to the new one (character level and social stats start at 1, the Persona Compendium will reset, and the doors for Vision Quest and Monad will not be present early in the game).
New battle costumes have been added: Butler Costumes for the male party members, and Santa Costumes for the female party members. However, there are no variations of the aforementioned costumes for either of the protagonists. Battles have now adopted the Persona 4 approach; the "Guard" command is added to the battle menu, and other party members now can be controlled by selecting the "Direct Command" in the Tactics option. Party members who have been knocked down no longer spend the turn by getting up and can act as soon as they stand. Upon landing a critical hit or striking an enemy's weakness, party members will follow up with a co-op attack. Additionally, Fusion Spells from the original Persona 3 have been removed. Instead, the player is able to acquire expendable items that perform various Fusion Spells.
In Tartarus, returning to the main lobby no longer automatically restores the HP and SP of party members. Healing can be availed via the Save Point, and now costs money — the amount varies between the date and current status deficits. Also, when leaving a block via a one-time access point, the team can return to the last floor they escaped from by using the entrance. There is no longer a stamina limit for explorations, but exiting Tartarus after spending enough time will automatically inflict "Tired" status on all involved party members. An exception to this would be when the protagonist's condition is at Great (when leaving Tartarus after a short exploration, the protagonist's condition will only drop to"Good") or when leaving the night before a Full Moon Operation. When sending party members to explore floors on their own, they will now give any money they find to the protagonist.
Persona Development, New Skills and the Skill Card SystemEdit
Some Personas from P4 have been added to the original P3 lineup with altered levels and arcana affinities. The system of fusion remains relatively the same, and Heart Items released by specific Persona are still intact. However, all Personas now have the ability to produce a Skill Card when raised to a specific level. Each card can be used on any Persona to teach them a skill (for example, the Agi Skill card will teach any Persona the skill "Agi," regardless of if that Persona is naturally able to learn or inherit Agi or not). Aside from Personas, Skill Cards can also be obtained by trading gems in Shinshoudo Antiques, purchasing them through mail-order in Jika Net Tanaka , completing Elizabeth/Theodore's requests, topping exams (rewarded by Mitsuru along with minor arcana stat-booster cards) and as rewards for finding certain people trapped in Tartarus (given by Officer Kurosawa).
In P3P, the protagonists only have access to one weapon type (instead of having access to all weapon types like in P3 and FES); the male protagonist wields one-handed swords, and the female protagonist wields . As a result, the Skills "Fist Master", "Bow Master", "1hdSwdMaster" and similar skills have all been combined into a single skill called "Weapons Master". Its skill card is called "Phys Boost", and all Personas which had learned a "master" ability (like Cybele with Bow Master) now learn "Weapons Master".
In addition to "Weapons Master," the new skill "Magic Skill Up" has been added in P3P. It can only be learned by Messiah, and strengthens any Magic skills used, including Almighty skills.
The Inari Sushi in Naganaki Shrine no longer grants random bonuses for item gaining and Tartarus explorations. Instead, it offers to duplicate Skill Cards, which will take 5 days to complete.
Almost all abilities can be learned through Skill Cards, with the following exceptions:
- Thunder Reign
- Panta Rhei
- Die For Me!
- Morning Star
- Black Viper
- Main article: Persona 3 Portable Original Soundtrack
Music is written by Shōji Meguro, with lyrics by Reiko Tanaka, and Lotus Juice. Performed by Mayumi Fujita, Lotus Juice, and Shuhei Kita. The official soundtrack was released on November 25, 2009. New tracks have been composed for the female protagonist's path.
- Soul Phrase - New opening theme
- A Way of Life - Played during Port Island's overworld
- 放課後 (Hōkago, lit. After School) - Played during select Social Link events
- Time - Played during the First Semester
- Wiping All Out - New battle theme
- Sun - Played during the Second Semester
- Easy Feelings - Played during select Social Link events
- Danger Zone - Played during Tartarus boss battles
- Soul Phrase -long ver.-
- A Way of Life -Deep inside my mind Remix-
- Some players argue it is not the definitive version because it lacks 3D environments and character models (outside of Tartarus), anime cutscenes and The Answer.