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You could save Shinjiro in Persona 3 Portable, can you in Reload?

persona 3 reload shinjiro critical hit

Shinjiro’s death in Persona 3 is a major turning point in the story, but is there any way to save him in Reload?

Most modern Persona fans got introduced to the series through Persona 4 or Persona 5. But before things ventured into Scooby Doo murder mystery territory, the series was decidedly somber both aesthetically and thematically. Persona 3 is a true middle-ground between these two eras, and that’s reflected in the deaths of two major characters, most notably the party member Shinjiro.

This fact is a bit awkward to wrestle with today because while he dies in the base version of Persona 3, he can be saved in Portable and is shown as being alive and totally fine in numerous spin-off games including Dancing in Moonlight and Persona Q. So can players save him in Persona 3 Reload? 

Is there any way to save Shinjiro in Persona 3 Reload?

There is no way to save Shinjiro in the base version of Persona 3 Reload.

Shinjiro couldn’t be saved in the original version of Persona 3 or FES, but this wasn’t the case across every release. In Persona 3 Portable, players were able to save Shinjiro by raising his social link and completing a fetch quest that gave him his pocketwatch before a certain date. Those playing as the female main character even had him as a romance option.

shinjiro ending persona 3 portable

Persona 3 Reload incorporates bits and pieces of the content that was added to FES and Portable, but that specific addition doesn’t return. While players have the chance to hang out with Shinjiro and get to know him a bit better in Reload thanks to the new linked episodes, seeing them through doesn’t actually change his fate.

As such, he is effectively doomed in Persona 3 Reload unless a curveball gets thrown in the upcoming DLC. While that’s likely a bit disappointing for Persona 3 Reload players, saving Shinjiro didn’t actually make much of a difference in Portable. Instead of dying, Shinjiro conveniently winds up in a coma that doesn’t necessitate any changes to the story or extra dialog to be written.

The only hope for Shinjiro being saved would be the addition of more Persona 3 Portable-related content being added to Reload via DLC. That’s not currently in the cards, though.

The good news is that players who desperately want to keep Shinjiro alive can pick up Persona 3 Reload on any modern platform, or play any of the spin-off games. There’s actually more Shinjiro outside of Persona 3 than there actually is in the game.

Is Shinjiro dying canon in the Persona series?

Shinjiro dying is probably a canonical event in the Persona series, but there’s no way to be completely certain.

Persona series all protagonists
Promotional materials for the Persona series have maintained P3P’s legitimacy.

Atlus and P Studio have made moves to maintain the legitimacy of Persona 3 Portable, and will often show both the original male protagonist Makoto Yuki and the female main character Kotone Shiomi side-by-side in promotional materials for series. Combine this fact with Shinjiro’s inclusion in spin-off games makes it bit unclear whether he canonically dies, as seen in Persona 3 Reload, or if the ability to save him in Portable allows him to escape this fate.

Though Shinjiro’s survival is shown in most of the spin-offs, that’s not the case in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax which is arguably the “most canonical” follow-up title. The game is a definitive sequel to Persona 4, references events from Persona 3 FES’s The Answer epilogue expansion, and doesn’t include Shinjiro.

Atlus could hypothetically declare that Shinjiro was canonically saved, but guaranteeing his death in Persona 3 Reload doesn’t help the argument that he actually lived.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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