The cult classic game, Persona 3, has tons of features that you can explore whether it’s your first time playing or not. And if you want to immerse yourself in the experience totally, this Ken Amada guide should come in handy. It’ll give you a deeper understanding of the character, so you can better enjoy the game.
Cause at first look, it may seem that the little boy isn’t on par with the other characters since he’s just a kid and comes in pretty late to the team. It also doesn’t help that his storyline negatively impacts Shinjiro Aragaki, the fan favorite of the title, making Ken one of the least liked characters in the game.
In spite of all that, though, I recognize the importance that Ken brings to the table. For one, his interactions with the Protagonist and Shinjiro gave Persona 3’s story a certain depth and wisdom that wouldn’t exist if he wasn’t included.
This is why I think if you give Ken a chance, you’ll get to see that he’s actually a valuable ingredient that’s necessary to create the masterpiece that is Persona 3. Find out more about Ken’s strengths and weaknesses in this guide about the ‘shota’ of Persona 3.
Key Details Up Front
Here are Ken’s basic details:
- Full name: Ken Amada
- Birthday: June 24 ( A Cancer Sign)
- Age: 10 years old in Persona 3/Persona 3 Portable/Persona Q1 & Persona Q2/Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, 11 years old in Persona 3 FES, and 13 years old in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
- Arcana: Justice
- Weapon: Spear
- Persona: Nemesis
- Persona Final Form: Kala-Nemi
- Element: Light
- Weak against: Dark
I’ll be talking about Ken’s participation in the main Persona 3 game and its PS Vita version, Persona 3 Portable. In short, this guide may contain spoilers for the games connected to it, namely Persona Q1, Persona Q2, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.
Even if he’s just an elementary student at Gekkoukan Elementary, Ken is a young boy who’s already wise beyond his years. He manages to carry his weight throughout the entire game regardless of his age and trauma.
From the moment he shows up in the story in the second week of July, Ken presents a calm demeanor that makes him stand out from most children. You won’t hear or see him fussing over anything, as he doesn’t want to make life difficult for anyone.
In addition, he’s also quick to pick up on how things work and is always polite towards others, especially to those who are older than him. His maturity has even been noted by other Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad or SEES members.
Unfortunately, Ken is so mature due to the sudden death of his mother 2 years prior to the start of Persona 3’s story. This tragedy in his life changed him from a normal cheerful kid to an aloof and serious child.
At first glance, Ken looks like the typical good kid you see in most games. He has brown eyes and short light brown hair that curls outward at the tips.
And since he’s only 10 years old in Persona 3, he’s naturally the shortest member of the group as he stands at 4’7 tall. You’ll notice him in various attires in the game as well cause the characters have different outfits for every season.
When Ken initially becomes part of SEES, he wears his summer school uniform, an orange vest on a white short-sleeved button-down top, and black shorts. Meanwhile, his casual outfit during this time consists of a brown turtle neck shirt under an orange and dark brown top, black shorts, and a red belt.
The moment winter rolls in, Ken puts on a zipped-up orange hoodie paired with the Gekkoukan Elementary winter uniform, a white button-up shirt, a black blazer with the school’s emblem, and black shorts.
He also wears white knee-high socks and white sneakers with green details. As for his winter outfit, it’s made up of a high collared knitted cream sweater with orange sleeves and beige shorts.
You’ll get to see an older version of Ken in the game Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. This time, Ken is now a 13-year-old middle school student at Gekkoukan High School, as the story takes place 3 years after the ending of Persona 3.
The teen Ken is taller at 5’1 and has longer hair than before since his new hairstyle reaches the nape of his neck. And just like in Persona 3, he still uses a spear but pairs it with a new uniform. It’s composed of a long-sleeved buttoned shirt, black blazer, black slacks with a white belt, and brown leather shoes.
Although Ken’s official admittance to SEES in August by its founder Shuji Ikutsuki is relatively uneventful, this is the first time you’ll get to take a glimpse of the boy’s determination and maturity. Cause even though Mitsuru Kirijo and Akihiko Sanada voiced their concerns and reservations about the new member, Ken proudly states in front of everyone that he willingly asked to join the team. He even says,
I believe I can be of some assistance… Now, I finally know why I was given this power.
Ken’s True Feelings About Featherman R
After spending time with the Protagonist and other SEES members, Ken slowly softens up a bit and displays his childlike side every now and then. To be specific, He tends to drop his guard and act like a regular kid whenever he talks about the Featherman R TV show.
In fact, he becomes so engrossed in the topic that he instantly turns talkative. He goes on and on about it with whoever he’s talking to. You can experience this side of Ken firsthand should you choose to play as the Female Protagonist in Persona 3 Portable and level up the Justice Socal Link.
For example, when you rank up the Justice Arcana Social Link to 3, Ken opens up about Featherman R when talking about what’s popular at his school. He answers that the TV show is liked by his classmates and friends.
Then without missing a beat, he explains what the show is and gushes about the most recent episode before he stops and tries to drop the topic. If you encourage him to be honest with his interests and thoughts, you’ll quickly be able to max out his Social Link.
Ken’s True Goal
Just 2 months in as a SEES member, it’s revealed after October’s boss fight that Ken is actually a vengeful individual. He leaves the others in the middle of a mission without telling them anything.
He secretly meets up with Shinjiro at the spot where his mother died. This is where the kid lays it all out and explains that his sole goal in joining SEES was to seek revenge against the person behind the accident that took his mother’s life – which turned out to be Shinjiro.
.. That’s why I decided that I had to find her killer-YOU!
At this point, Ken unveils that ever since he was left alone, all that he wanted was to find and kill his mother’s murderer. Everything he did for the past two years was to get closer to his target, Shinjiro, and fulfill his dream.
I’ll make you remember what you did to her! I’m gonna kill you!!
Ken steadies himself to end Shinjiro’s life with his spear. But as Shinjiro warns him of the consequences of staining his hands, they are suddenly intruded upon by Takaya. Strega’s leader shoots the older of the two as he explains that Shinjiro was already dying cause of the suppressors he was taking, and Ken would commit suicide once he had avenged his mother.
Ken then tries to get Takaya to shoot him, only for Shinjiro to take two more bullets to protect Ken. The rest of SEES finally arrive just to witness Shinjiro’s last words to Ken and die from his bullet wounds.
It’s alright, give yourself time. Let your anger be your strength. Come on, kid, you’re just a kid. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, so don’t waste it. Make it your own, okay?
Acceptance and Forgiveness
Shinjiro’s death haunts Ken badly, and he becomes conflicted about the choices he made, which led to the current situation. The other members try to comfort and help him.
But Ken questions his reason for living and tries to escape the consequences of his bloodthirsty path by running away. Akihiko ultimately makes the kid realize that he’ll get nowhere being stuck in the past.
The dead are never coming back. You have to accept that.
Instead of forcing Ken to come back to the dorm, Akihiko leaves the choice up to Ken, telling him,
I’m not here to drag you back… You can stay in this play until you die, if that’s what you want… But if you still have the will to fight, come back and stand on your own two feet.
This talk finally pushes the young Persona user to come to terms with reality and the futility of his hatred. Ken acknowledges that Shinjiro wasn’t the monster he made him out to be and promises him to see things through the end.
He ultimately accepts that the former SEES member never intended to kill his mother and lets go of his anger. Ken forgives Shinjiro and becomes grateful for saving his life from Takaya. He comes back to the dorm and decides to fight with SEES again.
Perks of Raising the Justice Arcana Social Link
You can’t have Ken as one of the Social Links in Persona 3 or when you pick the Male Protagonist in Persona 3 Portable. He only becomes the Social Link for the Justice Arcana when you go with the Female Protagonist’s route. Otherwise, the said Arcana will be represented by the student council treasurer of Gekkoukan High School, Chihiro Fushimi.
In addition, since the Social Links were just introduced to the Persona gameplay in Persona 3, you won’t be getting the same bonuses and perks that come with raising their levels like in Persona 4 and 5.
What you will gain in Persona 3 are the following:
- Rank 1 gives you bonus experiences when fusing Personas of the Justice Arcana
- Rank 2 to 9 gives you the power to create more higher-level Personas of the Justice Arcana
- At Rank 10, Ken will give you a silver key item, which will give you the ability to create Melchizedek, the ultimate form of the Justice Arcana
How to Unlock Ken Amada as the Justice Arcana Social Link
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re playing Persona 3 or selected the Male Protagonist in Persona 3 Portable, you won’t be able to have Ken as a Social Link. So you first have to pick the Female Route to open up Ken’s path.
But similar to Mitsuru’s Social Link, there’s a requirement you first must meet to get Ken to hang out with you. The thing is, since he’s a young boy, he’s too shy to interact with a teenage girl. This is why you’ll need to have the max level of courage, Badass, to get anywhere with him.
To raise the status of your courage in the game, you’ll have to do any of the following:
- Go to Iwatodai Strip Mall and eat at Wild Duck Burger
- Go to Iwatodai Strip Mall, enter Game Panic, and play Horror House
- Go to Iwatodai Strip Mall, and sing Karaoke at Mandragora
- Go to Iwatodai Strip Mall and watch a movie on Tuesdays
- Work part-time at Chagal Cafe on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday
- When the Protagonist is tired, go to Gekkoukan High School Clinic and drink the Medicine
I actually enjoy having Ken in my party cause he could be considered a jack of all trades in Persona 3 due to the various skills he possesses. Sure, his attacks aren’t as powerful as Akihiko or Shinjiro’s, yet his skills still pack a solid punch.
His spear can trigger shadows’ pierce weaknesses and weaken shadows with light and electric attacks. On top of that, Ken also can heal and revive allies. In other words, he works well whether you put him in an offensive or supportive role in the party. Considering this, Ken is a useful character that you can bring along instead of Yukari or Junpei.
These are the first set of skills that Nemesis has when Ken joins your party:
- Hama – a light attack with a 30% chance for an instant kill
- Cruel Attack – a pierce type attack that deals medium damage
- Zionga – an electric attack that causes medium damage
Here are the additional skills that Nemesis acquires as Ken’s level increases:
- Diarama – learns at level 37, moderately heals an ally’s HP
- Hamaon – learns at level 41, a light attack with a 40% chance to instantly kill an enemy
- Recarm – learns at level 41, revives an ally, and restores half of their HP
When you’ve gained Nemesis’ last skill, Recarm, the Persona won’t be able to get new skills until it evolves, even if you keep on leveling up Ken.
After Ken sorts out his feelings about his mother and Shinjiro’s death on October 6, Nemesis transforms into Kala-Nemi.
Reaching the final form of Ken’s Persona will allow him to acquire the last set of skills:
- Mediarama – learns at level 51, moderately heals the HP of your party members
- Hama Boost – learns at level 54, a passive skill that increases by 50% the effectiveness of Ken’s light attacks
- Ziodyne – learns at level 55, attack that causes heavy electric damage
- Vile Assault – learns at level 59, pierce attack that causes heavy damage
- Diarahan – learns at level 62, completely heals an ally’s HP
- Spear Master – learns at level 65, a passive skill that doubles spear damage
- Samarecarm – learns at level 73, completely revives and restores an ally’s HP
- Mediarahan – learns at level 78, completely heals the entire party’s HP
Ken’s connection with the Male Protagonist is more or less the same as with the majority of the other SEES members. However, when you pick the Female Protagonist, you’ll be able to have a deeper relationship with him.
Being a young boy, Ken is extremely shy around girls and won’t initiate any interaction on his own with the opposite gender. But once you’ve leveled up the Main Character’s courage and start talking to him, you’ll have the option to be friends or become lovers when you reach rank 7 of his Social Link.
From the way he’s been acting in previous interactions, it’s obvious that Ken has developed a small crush on the Female Protagonist. After eating a meal prepared for him, Ken will confess. How you handle his feelings will determine which direction your bond will go.
D-Do you… cook for other people like this, too? Um.. like, for your boyfriend? .. Do you have one? Oh, um, well! I saw on TV that all high school girls have a boyfriend, so… um… I was wondering… if you had one too. It’s that.. If you did have one… I don’t think I’d like that..
If you pick the reactions that lead to the friends path, you basically act as an understanding big sister figure to Ken, who he can be honest with. He’ll hesitantly show you bits of his childish side and indirectly seek validation for his actions. By rank 10, it’s clear from his words that the Protagonist is as good as a real sister to him.
Meanwhile, when you choose the lovers path, the conversations with Ken will take a sweeter turn. They’ll be longer and have a romantic tone starting at rank 8. In this route, he’ll be trying his best to appear mature and behave like a proper man to make up for the age gap. The Protagonist essentially becomes a pillar for Ken and gives him hope about his future. And since he’s just a kid, the skinship with him is restricted to just holding hands.
You can also choose to spend the Female Protagonist’s final moments with him on the rooftop if his Social Link has been maxed at the end.
Ken has a deep and complicated connection with Shinjiro. Cause from the moment his mother died, he had been on a quest to discover the root of his only family’s demise. Once he figured out that Shinjiro caused it, Ken immediately joined SEES to put his revenge plan in motion.
Of course, since Shinjiro was burdened by guilt, he couldn’t simply leave Ken alone and joined the team, too, even though he wanted to quit everything related to Personas.
They don’t talk much inside or outside the dorm, as Shiinjiro clammed up whenever the boy is around. On the other hand, Ken discreetly dropped hints of his hostility every now and then. But aside from this, the two guys practically have no relationship. This goes on for the 2 months that they live in the same building.
It’s not until their confrontation in October that Ken unleashed all the loathing he’s bottled up in his heart. He blamed the older boy for taking away his mother and ruining his life. Shinjiro simply accepted the hatred and gave Ken permission to kill him as an atonement for his crime.
It’s my fault… This is what I deserve
But before Ken could lay a hand on him, Shinjiro gave a warning that reflects his remorse over what he did to the boy’s mother.
If you decide to take my life, you’ll end up like me. Just remember that. Even if all you have now is hatred, one day you’ll regret it.
Takaya then popped up out of nowhere, and as I talked about earlier, in the Acceptance and Forgiveness section of this guide, Shinjiro saved Ken but died as a result.
This event completely messed up Ken’s feelings about his mother’s death and the deceased Persona user. Ironically, Shinjiro’s death pushed Ken to his breaking point instead of relieving him. It turned out that Ken was just avoiding the truth of the accident and refused to acknowledge that it was really no one’s fault.
Ken finally understands that he has to move on and stop pinning all his suffering on others. 2 days after Shinji’s passing, Ken returns to the dorm on his own. Now that he’s forgiven Shinjiro, he no longer wants to die and is actually looking forward to living his life.
While they don’t spend much time by themselves, Ken grows to respect Akihiko for his physical and mental strength as a person. He aspires to be like the boxer and be someone who can stand on his own. Akihiko, meanwhile, feels guilty about the boy’s situation since he was present when the accident happened to Ken’s mother.
Even with the weight of the past, Akihiko does his best to help out Ken whenever he notices the kid struggling. Not to mention, it’s Akihiko who goes after Ken and makes him confront his feelings when the latter runs away after Shinjiro’s death.
The two can have more interactions in Persona 3 Portable when you select the Female Protagonist. This is cause if you romance Ken and Akihiko at the same time, they’ll bicker with each other when they’re both in your party as you explore Tartarus. They’ll get jealous of each other and fight for the Protagonist’s attention.
Ken generally likes to keep his distance from most folks, yet he’s pretty friendly when it comes to animals. So out of all the characters, the one he gets close to on his own is Koromaru. You could even say that Koromaru reminds Ken of himself, as both of their loved ones died and left them behind.
They get closer in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, as Koromaru has moved in with Ken at that time.
“Don’t underestimate me because of my age!” – Ken says this when he summons his Persona
“This is what my power is meant to be used for!” – When you trigger an enemy’s weakness or land a critical attack on them
“I… want to hurry and become an adult” – Rank 3 of Ken’s Social Link
“It’s… hard to live, isn’t it? Living… is painful…” – Rank 6 of Ken’s Social Link
“I began to think about what it means to be “left behind…” – Rank 9 of Ken’s Social Link, Romantic route
“I know I’m much younger than you. I’ve been hating that this whole time. But, there’s some good things about it… I’m not gonna die before you. I’ll always be by your side. I’ll never leave you behind. So please… smile for me. Please live for me. Please… let me into your life.” – Rank 9 of Ken’s Social Link, Romantic route
Question: Is Ken Amada a Minor?
Answer: Yes. Ken is the sole underage member of SEES in Persona 3 who’s a pre-teen at 10 years old. All the other members are aged 17 or above.
Question: Can You Have A Romantic Relationship with Ken in Persona 3 Portable or P3P?
Answer: Yes, you can romance Ken, but only if you choose to play the route of the Female Protagonist. However, unlike the scenarios in Akihiko or Shinjiro’s Social Links, the interaction with Ken is much tamer since he’s still a kid. The Female Protagonist can only mildly flirt with Ken, and they can’t be officially together.
Question: Does Ken Ever Grow Up?
Answer: Ken’s appearance remains unchanged from the start until the end of Persona 3 and Persona 3 Portable. But you’ll be able to view an older version of Ken at 13 years old when you play Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, as he’s part of the story.
Many fans of Persona 3 detest Ken with a passion because the young boy played a significant role in Shinji’s death. I get it cause I felt the same way about him since I adore Shinjiro. The gloomy guy’s my favorite character and best husbando, so I was frustrated and devasted when he passed away shortly after becoming part of the team.
However, once the despair was out of my system, I realized that everything that happened in the game had to go the way it did. Otherwise, Persona 3 wouldn’t have such a gripping storyline and characters.
Had Ken never entered the scene or was the usual goody two shoes that forgave every transgression, the game wouldn’t be as incredible and thought-provoking.
Just imagine Persona 3 without Ken at all. Maybe Shinjiro never would’ve left SEES and made it to the end. But his overall role would just be the same as Akihiko’s. The game wouldn’t be as dark nor as shocking.
Would it still be the cult classic that it is to this day? I don’t think so. Because of Ken, the story realistically tackles grief, revenge, and a genuine sense of loss. With that said, I believe Ken’s existence in the story is one of the factors that make Persona 3 great.