Anecdotes of the Goddess 5 Strategy Edition

On November 17th, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition, a spin-off of Goddess of Anecdote 5, went live.


To be honest, if it was 5 years ago, I might have scoffed at the idea of a spin-off. After all, unlike sequels, spin-offs are a way for developers to squeeze value out of the original, which subjectively gives people the impression that it’s “bad money”.

But Goddess of Anecdote 5, and indeed the entire second trilogy of the Goddess of Anecdote series, is quite special to me.

Other JRPGs are usually stand-alone adventures that end with the protagonist slashing his way through the last demon king. The Goddess of Anecdote series is more of an immersive journey: you’re traveling to a new city for a year for some reason. During this time, you meet a few like-minded people, eat hot pot and sing songs, laugh and joke, and save the world on the side.


The end of the series is often not the moment you defeat the final boss, but the moment you finally understand that there is no such thing as an unending banquet, and are willing to muster up the courage to wave goodbye to your friends. Whether it’s the ed “Never more” of “Goddess of Anecdote 4” or “The Stars and Us” of Generation 5, the main message is one of memories and parting - as for “Your Memory” of Generation 3, it contains more complex emotions.

That’s why the spin-offs of “Goddess of Anecdote 5” are so precious, like a pot of old-fashioned soup in winter, after you finish the soup, you’ll still fondly nibble the dregs at the bottom of the pot, trying to remember the original flavor.

For example, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Phantom Attacker tells the story of the main group of characters reuniting after six months of traveling, and Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategic Edition depicts a small episode that happened before the main characters parted ways. It’s hard to tell whether these titles are simply “eating their words” or actually responding to gamers’ expectations.


As a result, nowadays I despise Atlus’ behavior while honestly getting my hands on every single spin-off of the entire “Goddess of Anecdote” series. Anecdotes of the Goddess 5 Strategy Edition is certainly one of them - even though it’s already the fifth spin-off from the fifth generation of the series.

Of course, this also dictates that Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategic Edition is destined to be a fan-oriented product. It’s more focused on telling a story that takes place after the current biography than it is on going out of the loop like the P5 proper.

The eve of the parting of the ways after the events of the current saga

Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition takes place on the eve of the parting of the ways after the events of the current saga, and the game also opens with the direct aid of character dialog that points to Joker’s impending departure from Tokyo. As such, it counts as the spin-off that is most closely connected to the plot of this saga.


The game also removes the traditional daily elements and focuses more on linear narrative content. The game basically focuses on three main scenarios: the secret base, the plot and the battlefield, and the overall system has a lot of similarities with other wargames.


However, rather than being a pure wargame, GODDESSES OF ANOMALY 5 STRATEGY EDITION is more of a “wargaming guide for P-series players.

It doesn’t go too deep into strategy, doesn’t require you to be too calculating, careful with your squares, or try to kill an opponent in a single turn, and is closer to the texture of Fire Emblem: The Wind and the Snow, which is on regular difficulty.

At the same time, I must also admit that Atlus does claim a knack for gameplay adaptations. Even with the change to wargaming, Anecdotes of the Goddesses 5 Strategy Edition is filled with the ubiquitous “P” flavor.

Anecdotes of the Goddess 5 Strategy Edition introduces the “1 more” design. In this game, when a character breaks an enemy’s weakness, he or she gets an extra turn, commonly known as “1 more”.

In the strategic version of the game, both characters and enemies can be divided into two modes: normal and defensive. Both players can trigger the “1 more” by attacking a normal opponent, and only when there is an obstacle in the way can a unit enter a defensive stance, gaining some long-range damage reduction and no longer being knocked down by most attacks.


Revolving around this core, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition also adapts many of the gameplay settings from the current biography. For example, the Nakama system, which was the centerpiece of the game, is only the icing on the cake in this installment.


In the game, Joker can’t change his personality masks like he can in the original, but instead, each character with a mask power can be equipped with an additional “sub-personality mask”. In layman’s terms, this is essentially giving each character additional attributes and two skill bars, so that the player can equip the corresponding skills according to their own needs.

As for the presence of Zhongmao himself, it’s actually infinitely close to 0, which will probably make a lot of core players feel sorry. Of course, having said that, the game does still have the sense of accomplishment that comes from finally putting together the full book of Persona Masks, as well as the satisfaction of obtaining Satan Yell.


Total attack

On top of that, this game’s strategy centers more on the “total attack”. Unlike the original, you only need to take down one of the monsters in GODDESS OF SINCERELS 5 STRATEGY EDITION to launch a total attack on the “1 more” turn, which deals a lot of damage to the triangle surrounded by the three characters - even if it’s the second one. Even on the second-highest difficulty, Hard, most monsters can be killed in seconds.

This means that if you want to maximize damage in the game, the optimal solution isn’t to form your troops and advance step by step, relying on your characters to cooperate with each other and Rush your opponents one by one, but rather to have your three characters split up into three paths, and ultimately use a Total Attack that can cover a large area of the battlefield.


If you want to go farther in a short period of time and encircle a larger area, you have to prioritize how to maximize the use of “1 more”, and determine under what circumstances you should launch the total attack, when to store power to go to the grid, and how to ensure that the characters will not be killed by the second when they are weaving in and out of the monsters. After all, the total attack is not limited by the distance, line of sight, or height difference of the character, and only needs to ensure that the knocked down monster is in the encirclement.

Therefore, in order to make it easier for players to understand and get started, the game also intersperses a variety of side quests between the main line to provide weak guidance and teaching functions.

For example, there is a quest that requires the character El to run to the end of the line within one round. In order to complete the mission, the player must use Joker to prepare for the journey, ensuring that every time Elle walks, she can trigger a “1 more” to get to the finish line in a single breath.

I have to say that these various unique subplots are more strategic than the main game. And when you apply the tactics you’ve learned in the spinoffs to the main level, you’ll often feel a sense of satisfaction that you’ve done it right.

In addition, “Anecdotes of the Goddesses 5 Strategy Edition” actually introduces a number of special features. For example, there is a height difference between the planes in the game, so if you hit an enemy high above, you can trigger a combo with a partner on the ground to gain “1 more”, thus enriching the possibilities of strategy content.

As the storyline progresses, the game also makes various adjustments to the terrain of the map, such as how to control the character in a single turn to solve the puzzle map in certain levels, or to utilize special positions to complete terrain kills, and so on.

Even for a strategy game, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition doesn’t erase the importance of skills. If you’re feeling tired and don’t want to use your brain, just take a couple of magical Big C’s all the way to Reckless, which is an equally good option.

Unfortunately, Anecdotes of the Goddess 5 Strategy Edition is really only a “wargame primer”. The gameplay is so lightweight and simple that it was hard to feel challenged, even on Hard difficulty, and the depth of character growth is quite limited. On second thought, though, as a spin-off, the game probably wasn’t intended to be too difficult or complex, otherwise it wouldn’t have been limited to three characters in a single game.


A lot of the classic elements of the original series laid out

Going back to the content itself, Anecdotes of the Goddess 5 Strategy Edition has a lot of the classic elements of the original series laid out, for example, although the game incorporates an American anime style, a bit of the “Angel in Garter Socks” feel, the standard movements of the character stand-ups are still highly recognizable.


Yusuke’s daily tantrums

Or the terse points that can make veteran players smile.


MONA’s self-introduction doubles as a flip-flop again

And a scene where he marries a character he loves ……


As for the story, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition seems to tell a more formulaic tale at first glance - the Band of Oddballs are drawn to a new world by strange forces, make new companions, and help Toshiro recover his memories and grow.

Toshiro himself, however, bears many traces of the main characters’ pasts, such as being manipulated by his family like Haru, running away from the law like Apricot, and playing the role of the “good boy” like Makoto. Therefore, in a sense, Toshiro is also a collection of the group’s past, and the “revolution” that is started along the way is the group’s attempt to reconcile with itself and reach out to Toshiro, who is also wandering on the fringes of society.


So in terms of intent, Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategy Edition and Goddess of Anecdote 5 Phantom Attacker tell a similar story, and its overall structure inevitably smacks of boilerplate. But in terms of narrative expression, I personally prefer the Strategic Edition.

The reason for this is simple: the Strategic Edition depicts a more detailed character arc and a more complete image.

The character of Toshiro is not a very likable one when he debuts; he tends to run away during the war, and he wants to surrender with both hands during the revolution, so both the players and the protagonist group initially have a tendency to “ignore” him. However, he has no ability to fight, but he is willing to follow the Bandits on every battlefield, and when people are in danger, he is able to grit his teeth and stand up for them.


What’s more, Toshiro’s changes are more realistic than the “mask ripping” rebelliousness and awakening of the members of the Oddjob Gang in the past. In the end, he finally passes the threshold of his heart and is truly reconciled with himself.

And if you look back, without the help of the Monstrous Band’s power, there was no way for Toshiro to get out of his inner prison in the end, and the two seem to complement each other. Therefore, I think “Goddess of Anecdote 5 Strategic Edition” is more of a story that visualizes the inner growth of the masses.


In contrast, reality is quite a bit harsher than the game. There may be a kingdom and a prison in everyone’s heart, but there’s no Band of Thieves in reality, and we’re all Toshiro, so we can’t just rip off our masks and yell “Sodium Meta-Aluminate” to gain power.


But I think the Band of Thieves might exist again - in the “velvet room” of each of our hearts, in the “sea of our minds”. This may sound a bit silly, but there’s no denying that GODDESSES OF STRANGE REVOLUTION 5 does help young gamers understand parting and letting go a little better. This may mean that the so-called Band of Oddballs is essentially more like the power within each person, which comes from our experiences, insights and accumulations.

That’s why I’ve never been able to say no to the Anecdotes of the Goddess series - it always brings strength to the player’s heart, proclaiming loudly that there’s always someone in the world who’s got your back.