Persona 3 Reload is getting the DLC it needs, but not the one it deserves

 A lineup of characters about to perform an all-out attack in Persona 3 Reload.
A lineup of characters about to perform an all-out attack in Persona 3 Reload.

It was pretty much inevitable. Ever since Persona 3 Reload hit store shelves, the hints that it would get The Answer—the epilogue Atlus bolted onto original Persona 3's 2007 re-release—have been, well, too direct to call "hints".

First up, there was a datamine that suggested the game had six upcoming DLC packages planned, and then people started beating the game on its hardest difficulty, which gave you a special item whose description read "The answer illuminates my path." It was not subtle.

Well, Atlus officially announced The Answer is coming during yesterday's Xbox Partner Preview, alongside additional background music and costumes as part of the new Persona 3 Reload: Expansion Pass.

But it's The Answer that matters. In the original epilogue, you play as Aigis—your shadow-slaying android party member from the base game—as she attempts to uncover the truth ("the answer," geddit?) behind just what the heck happened at the end of the main story. It wasn't especially well-liked originally—there wasn't much of the social sim stuff that makes Persona Persona—but it's a key element of the P3 story, and its exclusion made P3R feel like a less-than-definitive remake.

Now it's coming this September, which is great. P3R will officially become the definitive telling of protagonist Makoto Yuki's story. There's still one glaring absence, though: Persona 3's other protagonist, the female player character (FeMC) Kotone Shiomi. Shiomi was only playable as part of Persona 3 Portable—the game's visual novel adaptation for the PSP—but she's a fan favourite, and has even cropped up in other Persona stuff like the 3DS game Persona Q2.

Alas, it seems more and more likely that Shiomi is doomed to stay where she is, and that the release of P3P on modern platforms last year is all Atlus will do to keep her alive. On some level, I get it. Putting Shiomi in P3R would mean all-new animations, UI, voice acting, and completely new social links: a whole other version of an already huge game. It'd be a big deal, in other words, and probably beyond the scope of a DLC.

I can't help but feel disappointed, though. I liked playing as Shiomi a lot, and some of her social links are straight-up better than her male counterpart's (some are, ah, decidedly worse, and yes I'm talking about Ken). I suppose I'll have to content myself with the fact that P3R's PC release means modders can at least do her justice.