The most fascinating part about the Persona series is the titular Personas themselves. They make up the majority of the gameplay in the game, involving using them in battle for skills and fusing them together in the Velvet Room. Most of the Personas you meet in the series are taken directly from the Shin Megami Tensei series, including Hua Po. That particular Persona is the star of this Hua Po Persona guide.
Hua Po is one of the more iconic Personas in the series. This is one that I immediately think of when I think of the various Personas in the series. This is due to her cute and memorable signature design and the fact that she is generally one of the better early Personas you can get in the games. Featured in nearly every single Persona game since Persona 3, here’s all you need to know about this tree spirit in our Hua Po Persona guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Hua Po is a tree spirit from Chinese literature that is quite morbid in reality when you find out the truth about her origins. She looks like a fairy or the like, but in reality, she is a spirit taking the form of a young girl.
She first appeared in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne as one of the demons there. Afterward, she joined the Persona series in Persona 3 FES and has been a staple in the franchise ever since, appearing in nearly every Persona game from that point forward.
Hua Po Persona Overview
The Persona series is full of hundreds of different demons, spirits, and legends from across the world. With so many to keep up, it can be daunting trying to remember all of the niche and higher-level Personas that you rarely see. That said, there are some core Personas that are the most memorable in the series.
When I think of Personas, one of the first ones to come to mind is Hua Po. Up there with the Jack Frosts and Angels of the Persona world, she has an unforgettable look and role in the series as one of the first Personas that you encounter in most games.
In a way, she reminds me of a fiery version of Pixie, which is also one of the starter Personas that players get in a lot of games. Hua Po appears like a fairy but is actually a tree spirit from Chinese lore.
If you’ve ever wanted to know everything that you need to know about this Persona, including what she is and how to acquire her in the Persona games, you’re in the right place.
Starting with her appearance, this is where Hua Po is able to stay in my memories as one of the faces of the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. This is due to the fact that she isn’t like most demons and Personas that change up their looks every few games.
No, she has a primarily consistent appearance that has remained generally the same since her debut in the franchise. Hua Po looks like a cute red spirit girl who is wearing some traditional white Chinese garb. This dress is adorable and one of the more intricate parts of her character.
She also has bright yellow hair that flows down from her face that matches nicely with the sparkling and colorful wings she has. These wings almost have a mosaic feel to them with the various colors that are throughout. Her design makes her seem like a tiny fairy, but more recent iterations have made it appear that she is much larger than she looks.
Hua Po comes from the literature that was found during the Qing Dynasty in China. The idea is that she is a tree spirit that came together after some dark events happened to her. This is honestly some horrifying information, so heavy trigger warning for this next section, but the idea is that she was once a tree in a forest.
What happened was that at least three people had to have hung themselves from her tree. Their spirits came together and formed Hua Po, who is the representation of them in the spiritual realm. This is why her appearance is that of a cute young lady with a standard white dress to show both her origins and the people who formed her.
It is worth noting that she is slightly smaller than most humans and resembles humans in everything but her wings. However, what you should know is that she is unable to speak. The background behind this is not known, but it could have to do with her tragic origins.
Key Moments in the Persona Series
The first Persona game that Hua Po appeared in was Persona 3 FES. Since then, she has been featured in every game in the series. While she isn’t one of the primary Personas for the party members in these games, she has had a couple of notable moments throughout the series worth mentioning.
For one, she wasn’t that easy to get in Persona 3 FES. Players had to complete one of the many requests that Elizabeth gave the player in this game before they could even unlock the right to fuse her together in the Velvet Room. This gave her a little bit of a story background that is unique for this type of Persona.
Then, again, she had a similar situation that popped up in Persona 5 Strikers, the sequel to the original Persona 5. In this game, instead of unlocking her through a request, she was involved in being the solution to one of the earlier side quests in the game. She is necessary for creating the Archangel that is requested in that game.
Despite Hua Po being one of the more memorable Personas in the series, she isn’t that old. Her first appearance was in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, where she made her debut.
However, her memorable nature comes from being present in nearly every mainline game in the SMT and Persona series since then, plus some spin-offs. Here are all of the games that Hua Po is featured in:
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
- Persona 3 FES and Portable
- Digital Devil Saga 2
- Persona 4 and Golden
- SMT Imagine
- SMT Strange Journey
- SMT IV
- SMT IV: Apocalypse
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
- Persona 5 and Royal
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
- Persona 5 Strikers
- SMT Liberation Dx2
- SMT V
Since she arrived in SMT III, which was in my introduction to the series, she was one of the more memorable demons there. This was reinforced in the last three mainline Persona games that I have played multiple times each.
She is also available in most of the spin-off games in recent memory, except, oddly enough, Soul Hackers 2, which is a game that is pretty much a Persona title in everything but name. This exclusion is an odd one.
How to Acquire Hua Po in the Persona Series
The ways that you get Hua Po in the Persona series will depend on the game. It varies from title to title, with even the fusion requirements in some of them varying wildly. In fact, some of the games even have prerequisites that you have to meet first before you can even summon her in the first place.
To make this entire situation a little bit more simple and digestible for you, I have broken down how to acquire Hua Po in each Persona game she is featured in. This even includes the spin-off titles. Let’s get started.
Persona 3 FES and Portable
What should be noted, first and foremost, about Persona 3 is that Hua Po is not present in the base game. Now, it is unlikely that anyone is playing the original Persona 3 these days, but this should be mentioned nonetheless.
She was first brought into the Persona series in Persona 3 FES, the expanded version of the base game that is vastly superior. She is also featured in Persona 3 Portable, the other expanded version that came later on and was for the PSP.
Hua Po had an odd situation in Persona 3 FES. To fuse her together in the first place, players had first to complete the request from Elizabeth that had the player head to Paulownia Mall. Once you complete this request, you will get the Small Cheongsam item that allows you to fuse Hua Po.
Persona 3 Portable follows a mostly similar structure. Go on a date to the mall, receive the item, and then you need to reach level 20 at the least. Once you have, you’ll be able to fuse together this creature. The goal here is to have a Gurr and Naga on your team that you can fuse for her.
Persona 4 and Golden
Persona 4 and its expanded version, Golden, changed up Hua Po a little bit by making her more accessible than in the previous game. You don’t have to worry about some particular item or anything like that, as Hua Po is just treated like every other usual Persona in that game.
I should note that it is a slightly higher level than the previous game at level 25, so keep that in mind. You want to head to the Marukyu Striptease dungeon in the game, and you’ll be able to find her there during the typical Shuffle Time moments after battle. Of course, this chance-based system might be annoying to you.
If that is the case, the other option in Persona 4 and Golden is to fuse for Hua Po in the Velvet Room. Just make sure that Yu Narukami is level 25 or higher, or else you won’t be able to perform the fusion properly.
Persona 5 and Royal
Hua Po changes up its gameplay status considerably in Persona 5 and Royal, going from one of the early to mid-game Personas to an entirely early one. She is one of the first Personas you’ll encounter in the game, typically in the second Palace of the main story.
There are two main ways to get Hua Po, the first being negotiating with her in battle in Madarame’s Palace, which is the second one in the story. If that isn’t the way you wish to go, you can alternatively fuse her together in the Velvet Room. All you need to do is make sure you are level nine or higher, which should be simple enough at this point in the story.
Persona Q and Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
Like the core Persona series, the spin-off first-person dungeon-crawling adventures of Persona Q and Q2 have Hua Po in them. This is done through the fusion process once you have reached the third floor of You in Wonderland. That is when you’ll get access to the fusion feature in these spin-off games.
Persona 5 Strikers
Despite changing the gameplay entirely to an action RPG, Persona 5 Strikers also features Hua Po as a summonable companion. She has a similar situation to the main games: all you need to do is head to the Velvet Room and fuse for her there, and you’ll be good to go.
Best Hua Po Fusion Recipes
Now, fusion is a massive part of Hua Po in the Persona series. To help you out, I’ve come up with some of the best fusion recipes you can use to add her to your team. Head to the Velvet Room, gather up the required Personas and make sure you’re at the correct level to fuse.
Note that these fusion recipes are based on the Persona 5 Royal version of the game since this is the most recent mainline entry in the series. However, some games like Persona 5 Strikers and others use similar recipes, so you’ll already be on the right track. Let’s get started:
- Berith and Incubus: Highly recommended since this is one of only two ways to get Hua Po prior to the second dungeon in the game
- Mandrake and Genbu: This is the other option for acquiring Hua Po in the first dungeon of Persona 5. They are both quite a low level, but Genbu is fusion only, so keep that in mind
Hua Po Stats
For players trying to use Hua Po in battle, here are her stats you need to know about. Again, this is all based on the recent Persona 5 Royal version of the game:
- Level: 9
- Strength: 4
- Magic: 10
- Endurance: 4
- Agility: 8
- Luck: 8
- Hanged Man Arcana
You should note here that her strength and endurance are awful, even for an early Persona. Thankfully, her Magic is one of the best in these early parts of the game, so she can be a solid ally when you are using her magical skills.
The main issue with Hua Po is that she has a whopping two weaknesses, which is quite detrimental in the early parts of a Persona title. The two weaknesses are gun and ice. While the former isn’t super common early in the game, it should still be something to keep in mind, especially with boss battles.
On the other hand, she has one resistance that is of note. She will not only not take any damage from elemental fire attacks as a fire user herself, but she will reflect the damage sent to her back against the user who used it. That user might have fire resistance, too, but it’s at least worth the chance to deal minor damage.
Hua Po is an early Persona, so she only learns a few skills in total before running her course. Here are the skills that she learns over the course of leveling up:
- Agi: Deals light fire elemental damage to a single enemy. This is an automatic skill she has when you fuse her.
- Dormina: This skill has a chance of putting one enemy to sleep. This is another default skill.
- Tarunda: This skill will lower the attack of a single enemy for three turns. This skill is learned at level 11.
- Maragi: This skill lets you deal light fire elemental damage to all enemies in battle. Learned at level 12.
- Burn Boost: This is a newer skill in Persona 5 that increases the chance of inflicting the burn status on the enemy when using fire attacks. That burn status is excellent for dealing extra damage to enemies on each turn. This is learned at level 13 and is a passive skill that is permanently active.
Question: How do you get Hua Po in Persona 5?
Answer: You can get Hua Po through one of two methods. The first is to find her in Madarame’s Palace using negotiation. Otherwise, you can fuse for her in the Velvet Room, which can happen earlier than the second dungeon.
Question: Where to find Apsaras in Persona 5?
Answer: There are two ways to get Apsaras in Persona 5. The first is to negotiate with her in Madarame’s Palace or fuse for her in the Velvet Room with at least a level 11 Joker.
Question: How to fuse Lamia P5R?
Answer: There are a few possible fusion options for Lamia in Persona 5 Royal. The one I recommend to you is to be at least level 26 and fuse together Ame no Uzume and Suzaku to make Lamia.
Which Persona to Fuse Next
Hua Po is one of the more powerful magical Personas in the early stages of games like Persona 5 and Royal. However, the tragic tree spirit has her limitations in the form of having two weaknesses that she has to deal with that balance out the strong magic damage that she deals with this early in the game.
If you want a Persona that is not nearly as weak to elements as Hua Po but still something that is glorious in her design, be sure to check Ame no Uzume. This is one of my favorite designed Personas in the series, especially in her more recent iterations. She is also confusing for players since she has a request that involves her in Persona 5. Thankfully, we’ve already covered how to get Ame no Uzume with Frei in the past.
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