- "A bond made with another person. Getting to know others is the key to strengthening your Personas."
- —Persona 3 FES Dictionary Entry
Social Links, known as Community (コミュニティ?) in the Japanese versions and often abbreviated as "Commu" (コミュ?), are an important gameplay mechanic that appears in the later Persona games. Each Social Link represents a single Arcana, and raising a particular Social Link increases the experience bonus the protagonists receive when they fuse personas of that Arcana. By completing a Social Link, it unlocks the ultimate persona of that Arcana. Social Links can, however, be reversed if players do not spend time with the respective people holding the Link, end up booking two holiday invitations on one day, or gave an improper answer during their conversations. The reverse effect will also continue to last until the protagonist reconciles with them. At some point a Social Link can even be broken, prohibiting the protagonist from fusing personas from the respective Arcana.
The Social Link system was first introduced in Persona 3. The whole purpose of the Social Link at this point was to give considerable amounts of experience to newly-fused persona and unlock new ones.
Social links in Portable function in the same manner as Persona 3 with some new additions based on the system in Persona 4. Like Persona 4, the protagonist's team members can gain special abilities, such as taking a mortal blow, follow-up attacks, and a chance to survive a fatal attack once per fight. However, unlike Persona 4, these abilities are automatically earned for all members when the player ranks up the Fool Social Link (which is automatic throughout the game), rather than from each individual party member's Social Link events.
Social Links play a larger role in Persona 4, where the protagonist's Social Links with his friends are directly related to their battle factor. For example, a level one Magician Arcana Social Link allows Yosuke Hanamura to take a mortal blow for the protagonist that would normally kill him. Maxing out the Magician Arcana Social Link evolves Yosuke's initial persona, Jiraiya to Susano-O, granting improved elemental resistances.
Margaret advises the protagonist to balance his time of venturing into the Midnight Channel with his spending time with his friends, as Social Links are what create the protagonist's 'World'. Later, the Social Links created by the protagonist with others play an important role in the "True Ending" route.
In Golden, S.Links with teammates also give new skills to the persona of that teammate when the link reaches some certain level (2,4,6 etc), and some functions of the S.Link are moved to higher levels (e.g., taking mortal blow is moved to level 7).
List of Social LinksEdit
- Italics indicate a Social Link that upgrades automatically via story progression.
- Bold indicates a Social Link with a party member.
- 0. Fool - SEES Social Link: SEES
- I. Magician - Classmate Social Link: Kenji Tomochika
- II. Priestess - Fuuka Yamagishi Social Link: Fuuka Yamagishi
- III. Empress - Mitsuru Kirijo Social Link: Mitsuru Kirijo
- IV. Emperor - Student Council Social Link: Hidetoshi Odagiri
- V. Hierophant - Old Couple Social Link: Bunkichi and Mitsuko Kitamura
- VI. Lovers - Yukari Takeba Social Link: Yukari Takeba
- VII. Chariot - (Kendo/Swim/Track) Social Link: Kazushi Miyamoto
- VIII. Justice - Treasurer Social Link: Chihiro Fushimi
- IX. Hermit - Online Game Social Link: Maya
- X. Fortune - (Art/Music/Photography) Club Social Link: Keisuke Hiraga
- XI. Strength - Team Manager Social Link: Yuko Nishiwaki
- XII. Hanged Man - Girl at the Shrine Social Link: Maiko Oohashi
- XIII. Death - Mysterious Boy Social Link: Pharos
- XIV. Temperance - Transfer Student Social Link: Andre Laurent Jean "Bebe" Geraux
- XV. Devil - Businessman Social Link: President Tanaka
- XVI. Tower - Unusual Monk Social Link: Mutatsu
- XVII. Star - Rival Athlete Social Link: Mamoru Hayase
- XVIII. Moon - Gourmet King Social Link: Nozomi Suemitsu
- XIX. Sun - Dying Young Man Social Link: Akinari Kamiki
- XX. Judgement - Nyx Annihilation Team Social Link: SEES
- XX. Aeon - Aigis Social Link: Aigis (FES and Portable only)
- 0. Fool: Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES)
- I. Magician: Junpei Iori
- II. Priestess: Fuuka Yamagishi
- III. Empress: Mitsuru Kirijo
- IV. Emperor: Hidetoshi Odagiri (Student Council)
- V. Hierophant: Bunkichi and Mitsuko Kitamura (Old Couple)
- VI. Lovers: Yukari Takeba
- VII. Chariot: Rio Iwasaki (Tennis/Volleyball)
- VIII. Justice: Ken Amada
- IX. Hermit: Saori Hasegawa (Health Committee/Librarian)
- X. Fortune: Ryoji Mochizuki
- XI. Strength: Koromaru
- XII. Hanged Man: Maiko Oohashi (Girl at the Shrine)
- XIII. Death: Pharos (Mysterious Boy)
- XIV. Temperance: Andre Laurent Jean "Bebe" Geraux (Transfer Student)
- XV. Devil: Tanaka (Businessman)
- XVI. Tower: Mutatsu (Unusual Monk)
- XVII. Star: Akihiko Sanada
- XVIII. Moon: Shinjiro Aragaki
- XIX. Sun: Akinari Kamiki (Dying Young Man)
- XX. Judgement: Nyx Annihilation Team
- XX. Aeon: Aigis
- 0. Fool: Investigation Team
- I. Magician: Yosuke Hanamura
- II. Priestess: Yukiko Amagi
- III. Empress: Margaret
- IV. Emperor: Kanji Tatsumi
- V. Hierophant: Ryotaro Dojima
- VI. Lovers: Rise Kujikawa
- VII. Chariot: Chie Satonaka
- VIII. Justice: Nanako Dojima
- IX. Hermit: Fox
- X. Fortune: Naoto Shirogane
- XI. Strength: Kou Ichijo or Daisuke Nagase (Fellow Athletes)
- XII. Hanged Man: Naoki Konishi (Saki's Brother)
- XIII. Death: Hisano Kuroda (Old Lady)
- XIV. Temperance: Eri Minami (Young Mother)
- XV. Devil: Sayoko Uehara (Nurse)
- XVI. Tower: Shu Nakajima (Tutored Student)
- XVII. Star: Teddie
- XVIII. Moon: Ai Ebihara
- XIX. Sun: Yumi Ozawa or Ayane Matsunaga
- XX. Judgement: Seekers of Truth
The Social Links in Golden remain the same, except for the addition of 2 new Links:
- The Social Links in the Persona series can be viewed as a romance mechanic for some players.
- In Tarot readings, the Death card is seen as a turning point in the deck, because all Arcana that appear after it feature celestial symbols. This superiority of the other Arcana, starting with Temperance, appears in Persona 3, where every Social Link of these Arcana can be initiated after a "flag" given by another Social Link character or by a special event revolving around another Social Link: Temperance-Hierophant, Devil-Hermit, Tower-Strength, Star-Chariot, Moon-Magician, Sun-Hanged Man.
|0. Fool Arcana - I. Magician Arcana - II. Priestess Arcana - III. Empress Arcana - IV. Emperor Arcana - V. Hierophant Arcana - VI. Lovers Arcana - VII. Chariot Arcana - VIII. Strength Arcana/Justice Arcana - IX. Hermit Arcana - X. Fortune Arcana - XI. Justice Arcana/Strength Arcana - XI(T). Hunger Arcana - XII. Hanged Man Arcana - XIII. Death Arcana - XIV. Temperance Arcana - XV. Devil Arcana - XVI. Tower Arcana - XVII. Star Arcana - XVIII. Moon Arcana - XIX. Sun Arcana - XX. Judgement Arcana - XX(T). Aeon Arcana - XXI. The World Arcana - XXI(T). The Universe Arcana|
|Suit of Coins - Suit of Cups - Suit of Swords - Suit of Wands|
|I. Arcana Magician - II. Arcana Priestess - III. Arcana Empress - IV. Arcana Emperor - V. Arcana Hierophant - VI. Arcana Lovers - VII. Arcana Chariot - VIII. Arcana Justice - IX. Arcana Hermit - X. Arcana Fortune - XI. Arcana Strength - XII. Arcana Hanged Man - XIII. Death|