Before I talk about the subject of this post, a spoiler warning: I’ll be talking about the big twist in Persona 5. If you’ve played it, you already know what I mean. If you’ve not, stop reading now unless you don’t care. And if you don’t care, why are you reading this? Now, onto the subject.
There are twists that come completely out of nowhere and are so utterly nonsensical and poorly set up that it’s hard to believe a real person actually wrote them. You know the sort of thing; your Star Ocean 3s, your Mass Effect 3s, your God of War 3s (… there seems to be something about the number 3…).
And then there are twists that are so good in so many ways that I still can’t believe a real person actually wrote them, just for wholly different reasons. Twists are pretty hard to pull off well, and it’s often a case that they’ll present themselves to a writer mid-way through drafting, or at the end, or while editing and polishing, necessitating entire rewrites to incorporate the new ideas.
At the other end of the spectrum you get stories where it’s abundantly clear that the writer had the idea for a twist first, then wrote the narrative around it. For a good (bad?) example of this type, go play Fallout 4. It’s a terrible twist basically everyone saw coming months before release, and is so ineptly handled that I’m not sure how Emil Pagliarulo can even show his face in public after coming up with it.
Anyway, I just wanted to talk a bit about Persona 5’s big twist towards the end of the game, and how it actually managed to take me completely by surprise. The reason for this is both because I wasn’t expecting it (insert Star Wars joke about subverting expectations here), but also because Atlus played with my expectations of Igor himself. Allow me to explain. (more…)