- Lyn Inaizumi Guide: The Heart of Persona 5’s Musical Style Explained - September 17, 2022
- Lotus Juice Persona Guide - September 3, 2022
- Raidou Kuzunoha Guide: Most Famous Devil Summoner Explained - September 1, 2022
The Persona series has been around for a very long time, back to the very beginnings of the PlayStation consoles in the 1990s. Long before there ever was a Teddie, social links, or the Phantom Thieves, there was the original trilogy of Persona games.
I myself only got into them about ten years ago, playing each of the three games on the PSP. Through these titles, I was interested in Persona characters like the one in this Persona Tatsuya Suou guide.
Tatsuya Suou is a strange protagonist, but the main character that you play in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Not only is the whole scenario surrounding the two Persona 2 games confusing, but then there is the situation with him as the lead character in only one of the games.
I hope to shed some light on Tatsuya and why I’m honestly not a fan of his character all that much in this Persona Tatsuya Suou guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Persona 2 was split into two games originally on the first PlayStation console. Innocent Sin came out first and featured Tatsuya Suou as the main character of that game. He is an almost entirely silent protagonist, following in the footsteps of his predecessor and the other Persona heroes later on.
Represented by the Sun Arcana, he is a strange hero who gets a voice and personality in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. He is intrinsically connected to the events in both Persona 2 games, and I am not a massive fan of his character due to his underwhelming personality and lame appearance.
Tatsuya Suou Overview
Let me make it clear from the start of this guide that I have some beef with Tatsuya Suou. The guy isn’t a great person at all, and I am not a massive fan of his personality and storyline. Overall, if I were to rank the seven Persona protagonists (yes, it goes up to Persona 5, but there are seven protagonists), I would put him in dead last.
He is not that great of a person, both in his writing and in general. Tatsuya Suou is the star of Persona 2: Innocent Sin and the second most important character in the follow-up game, Eternal Punishment. One of the odd parts about Tatsuya is that he is a silent protagonist.
This is not inherently weird on its own since this is a common point across all of the mainline Persona games. None of the protagonists have any real personality to them, even in the case of Joker in Persona 5. But what is strange about this fact is what happens in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
Tatsuya goes from someone with no speaking parts or personality at all in Innocent Sin to someone with lines and an entire wordy storyline in the follow-up game. It is a little bit jarring and strange, contrary to Maya Amano, the other protagonist, who has a more natural progression in her character, in my opinion.
To make matters worse, Tatsuya is unlike other protagonists in that he is generally not a great guy. He makes some foolish decisions and is pretty selfish, all things considered.
But he is one of the stars of the Persona games, making him an essential part of one of my favorite video game series of all time. As such, every Persona fan should at least know about him.
Being that Tatsuya shows up in two different Persona 2 games, it should come as no surprise that Atlus gave him two distinct looks. His general body and design remain the same, but he changes up his clothing in order to better fit the game that he is in.
Innocent Sin comes first and is the game in that Tatsuya is the main character. Tatsuya is a high school student at Seven Sisters High for this title. Due to this fact, he wears his school uniform for the majority of the game. There isn’t anything too special about his outfit for this title.
It is a basic school uniform for high schools in Japan during the 1990s, being that of a full suit. He has his dress pants on the bottom that are paired, interestingly enough, with some matching sneakers. He wears a school blazer embroidered with the school emblem on his top half.
He has a tucked-in white undershirt underneath and a purple tie that is regal and a nice touch. The only significant part of the entire clothing is the white stripe that goes down the side of everything, including the pants and blazer.
Overall, I don’t dislike the outfit that he wears, but I am not a massive fan of his specific design. His hair is pretty bad, like trying to be like a member of the Beatles but poorly done, kind of bad. I can respect his decently long hair, but the part right down the middle of his bangs is awful.
Not to mention the reddish-brown color does not work for me, which does not look right with his way too serious Shin Megami Tensei-style face. To make matters worse, Eternal Punishment takes away the at least solid suit that Tatsuya wears and replaces it with a terrible outfit.
His hair and face remain the same in this game, but the outfit changes to an all-red zipped-up tracksuit from top to bottom. The only significant part of this is the black X that goes across the tracksuit jacket.
Tatsuya looks ridiculous in this jumpsuit, only adding to the nonsense style of his character. The color of the outfit he wears just clashes so much with his hair color and overall look. He has the worst character design out of the Persona protagonists, too.
Tatsuya is a main character in both Persona 2 games, so his key moments are stretched evenly between the two lengthy JRPGs. Before I dive too deep into everything about Joker and the events of these two games, be sure to keep in mind that some serious spoilers are incoming.
If you haven’t played these two games before, I’m not sure if I’d recommend them today. I just finished Eternal Punishment in time for this guide as I was putting it off for so long. The gameplay, especially in the walking around and battles, is pretty redundant, repetitive, and not very fun these days.
That said, the story of the games is great and shouldn’t be missed out on. I recommend just watching the dialogue scenes online in a compilation on YouTube or something, honestly. The gameplay does not hold up that well and honestly; it didn’t even ten years ago when I first played Innocent Sin, which was a trudge to get through.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin
At the start of Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Tatsuya seems like a normal high school student. He’s famous but anti-social, loved and known by many, though I’m not sure why. He and his friend Lisa Silverman find out about a sinister rumor that is happening in his town.
The rumor is that, well, rumors are coming true in the town. It becomes real if a rumor spreads enough and everyone talks about it. These rumors center around Joker, a mysterious figure who is the main villain of this game and seemingly the source of the strange rumor power.
Eventually, Tatsuya and his friends track down Joker, who he learns the truth of and about his past. It turns out, of course, like always, that much of the darkness in his town stems from his childhood. He and his friends committed an “innocent sin” that turned out to be nothing.
But that sin ballooned into the enormous situation he then has to deal with. Tatsuya can fight back against the rumors that spread in his city, including, horrifically, the fact that Hitler comes back to life. At the game’s end, he finds the real mastermind behind everything.
Tatsuya can defeat the mastermind and stop the rumors but loses Maya in the process. As such, he travels to a new world where she lives, but everyone else around him loses their memories of the previous world.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
In the new world where Maya is alive, Tatsuya begins his second chance at making up for his past sins. This time, his goal is to keep everyone from remembering the other world and stop the mastermind behind everything.
To this point, he has little connection to the main cast in this game, opting to be a lone wolf for most of the story. However, he eventually intersects with the main group led by Maya and joins them for the game’s conclusion.
He eventually succeeds in stopping the mastermind and creating a world where Maya can live. In exchange, he returns to his original timeline where she is not alive. The Tatsuya that remains in the Eternal Punishment world is the one that is hinted at in later Persona games, becoming a police officer like his older brother.
Special Abilities Explained
If you are an existing Persona fan, you already know what kind of abilities Tatsuya Suou has up his sleeves. He is, after all, one of the protagonists of the series in the same vein as someone like Joker from Persona 5 or Yu Narukami from Persona 4.
As such, it should come as no surprise that Tatsuya is possibly a wild card character. Oddly enough, this is never confirmed but is likely to be the case. After all, he can access the Velvet Room, where demons gather and collect new Personas over the course of his journey.
In this way, he is considered a wild card. But beyond this, there are even more special abilities that Tatsuya has. For one, he can stop time itself. This is something that comes from his ultimate Persona, Apollo, and plays a large role at the end of the first of the two games he is in.
And last but not least, Tatsuya can take full advantage of the rumors system. With the power of words alone, he can spread rumors and make something come to be like a dungeon appearing or going on a particular path in the story with his friends. Or, ya know, creating an entirely new world where the person he cares about is alive. No biggie!
Some might find it interesting that the Persona series did have voice acting prior to the onslaught of it in Persona 3. It’s just that the Persona 2 games held back most of the time when it came to the voice acting. Oddly enough, I find that it is hilarious that the voice acting was mostly saved for the battles.
Of course, as you might expect, there were lines of dialogue that are voiced in the fights themselves for special attacks but also for random lines and monologues that happen within the fights themselves. These are few and far between, but there is a little bit of voice acting to give some flavor to the overall Persona 2 package.
Better yet, Atlus had voice acting in both English and Japanese. On the English side, there are, technically, two voice actors for Tatsuya. This is due to the fact that Innocent Sin received a PSP remake in the West and Japan that included revamped graphics and the like.
The new voice actor that took the reins of Tatsuya in this remake was Keith Silverstein. My fellow Genshin fans will know him as the voice of Zhongli, while he has other iconic roles out there like Char Aznable in the Gundam series.
Personally, the notable roles that I would like to point out include Johan Liebert in Monster and Hisoka in Hunter x Hunter.
Monster is a manga and anime series that is so underrated, despite being a literal masterpiece. On the other hand, Hisoka is one of the most incredible and unforgettable pseudo-villains/anti-heroes. Hisoka is the best role that Silverstein has ever done, and it is because of him, that I prefer the English dub.
Meanwhile, the Japanese voice for Tatsuya is Takehito Koyasu. The number of roles that this man has is insane. However, there are a few that I would like to point out expressly. He recently voiced Zeke in the Attack on Titan anime, which he did a fantastic job doing.
On the video game side, he voiced Olivier, who is one of the most hilarious characters in the criminally underappreciated The Legend of Heroes series. Seriously, go play these games if you love the character-driven nature of the Persona games!
At the end of the day, as I just teased a moment ago, Persona is all about the characters. The relationships they have with one another and the bonds that drive the entire storylines of these games. Though Persona 2 lacks the social links of Confidants of later games, Tatsuya’s relationships are no less meaningful.
He is, after all, the central part of the entire cast, bringing everyone together with the same goals and purpose. Of the cast members, though, some relationships are more important than others. These include the three love interests that he can have.
The first of these is Lisa Silverman, the first party member you meet as Tatsuya. She is a classmate of Tatsuya’s who is obsessed with him. It appears that Tatsuya is mostly annoyed by Lisa from the little interactions where we can see his personality, but he can fall for her over time if he chooses.
The next is Jun, one of his other childhood friends and the only gay romance option for males in all of the Persona series. Jun’s entire existence is based on his hatred and anger towards Tatsuya for what he did when they were kids. Their relationship is one of the more complicated that shifts and changes as the story goes on.
The third romantic option is the other protagonist of the Persona 2 games, Maya Amano. The journalist reporter is a much better and more interesting character than Tatsuya, bringing life to the party.
She is emotionally driven and is the definition of opposites attract for Tatsuya. Tatsuya follows her lead and what happens with Maya is at the core of every decision he makes.
Some of the other relationships that he has include characters like Katsuya Suou, Tatsuya’s older brother, whom he looks up to. There is also his relationship with Joker and his connection to the poorly similarly named Tatsuya Sudou. Don’t get the two mixed up!
Connection to Joker Explained
Some fans of the series may be confused by the entire Joker thing. I’ve played both games, and I am still sort of iffy on the identity of Joker and the whole story surrounding him in Persona 2. But let me at least make this clear: the Joker from the Persona 2 games and the Joker that you know and love from Persona 5 are entirely different.
No, I have no clue why Atlus decided to make a main character named Joker in two games in the same series with no relation to one another. In fact, the Joker in the Persona 2 duology is the main villain of those games, while the Joker from Persona 5 is the hero. It’s all so very confusing and strange.
But that is not what I want to talk about here. Instead, I would like to go over the specific connection that Tatsuya has to Joker, spoilers and all. Again, I mean the Joker from Persona 2, just in case you were wondering. Throughout the two games, it appears that Joker knows Tatsuya and is hunting him down.
Well, the spoiler answer is that the two know each other. In the original Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Joker is none other than Jun. Jun hates Tatsuya and is hunting him down to get revenge for what he believes that Tatsuya did when they were kids, which was killing Maya. Except that didn’t happen.
Then, again in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, there is another Joker. This time around, it is Tatsuya Sudou, the poorly named character who is not the same person as Tatsuya Suou. I know, the subtlety is quite impressive, indeed, in these games.
Sudou is the real person behind the supposed murder of Maya when they were kids but is unsuccessful. He also seems to be a deranged killer who is perhaps jealous of Tatsuya and wishes nothing more than to torment him.
Appearances in Other Games and Media
Sadly, Tatsuya Suou does not appear in much else beyond his main two games in the Persona series. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I like the guy that I would like to see him appear in more games but the fact that he is an example of how little Atlus has shown love for the Persona 2 games over the years.
An anime adaptation or something would be a great way to experience the story of the Persona 2 duology without having to trudge through the outdated and uninteresting gameplay. That said, there are some later appearances for Tatsuya in other Atlus games.
The DemiKids spin-off game features Tatsuya as one of the bosses you can fight. He is also in Persona 3 during one of the Who’s Who TV segments. We know there that he is trying to become a police officer, but this is most likely not the Tatsuya that we play as in the Persona 2 games.
Lastly, Tatsuya is a costume DLC-inspired outfit in Persona 5 to help keep some of him around.
Fun Facts about Tatsuya Suou
Here are some fun facts about Tatsuya Suou that you may not have known about before:
- Tatsuya is the only protagonist in the Persona series to be represented by the Sun Arcana. Most other characters are optional social links and the like or even villains in the case of Sho Minazuki from Persona 4 Arena.
- As mentioned, Tatsuya is the first and only male protagonist in the series to have a gay romance option. The Persona 3 female main character has a couple of these options, but her male counterpart does not.
- Also unique to Tatsuya is the fact that he is the only main character in a Persona game to date to be a third-year student, aka senior. The other main characters are always in their second year of high school, outside of Maya. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the Persona 6 protagonist is also a senior or becomes one in the game itself (taking place across two total years). Just a hunch.
- Lastly, it appears that Tatsuya would have used or at least sometimes used his school uniform in Eternal Punishment along with the signature red tracksuit. We can see this in some of the early images of the game, though it was inevitably changed before release.
Question: What is Tatsuya’s Persona?
Answer: There are three possible Personas that Tatsuya can have in the Persona 2 games. There is Vulcanus that he starts out with, then Vulcanus Prime that he upgrades to, and finally Apollo which is his ultimate Persona as the herald of the Sun Arcana.
Question: What Happened to Tatsuya Suou?
Answer: Major spoiler warning! At the end of Eternal Punishment, Tatsuya succeeds in stopping the evil mastermind. As such, he returns to his original world, where Maya Amano is dead, and leaves his other self to enjoy this better life. His other version of himself ends up becoming a police officer like his older brother.
Question: Does Maya Like Tatsuya?
Answer: This is a pretty subjective answer, I would say. There are some materials that suggest that the two do not like each other, but I’d like to think otherwise. I think there are some romantic feelings between the two, for sure. There are elements on both sides that hint at this, but that does not mean they will end up together.
Question: Can You Romance in Persona 2?
Answer: Yes, you can! But not necessarily in the way, you might think from the later Persona games. In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Tatsuya gets some dialogue options towards the end of the game that allows him to choose who he wishes to romance.
There are three possible romance options, including Jun, who is the first and only gay option for a male in the series to date.
Tatsuya Suou is one of the weirdest Persona protagonists. He is not charming nor compelling like some of the others are. He even has a lame character design, unlike the first Persona hero, who at least looked cool. With all of that said, though, the story surrounding Tatsuya is interesting, at least.
I may not be a massive fan of Tatsuya, but I appreciate the storyline of the Persona 2 games, especially when it comes to the people who gather around him. I think the story is at least worth experiencing once for anyone who likes the modern trilogy of Persona titles.
If that is you, perhaps you should check out my general breakdown of the Persona 2 games so that you know exactly what you are getting into ahead of time.