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The Persona 3 Evoker weapon is one of the distinct parts of the fourth mainline Persona title, representing the method in which the users are able to summon their Personas. It is also a bit strange and confusing, which is why we are creating a Persona 3 Evoker guide.
Tied for my favorite game in the series, the controversial nature of the Persona 3 Evoker does dampen some of my appreciation for the game but is ultimately not enough to stop it from being among my favorite games of all time. To help you understand it, I’m going to explain what this weapon is, why the main characters use it, and the controversy surrounding it.
Bottom Line Up Front
The Persona 3 Evoker is a gun that the main characters in the game use to summon their Personas. They symbolically and controversially shoot themselves in the head each time to summon their Persona in battle.
Persona 3 Evoker Explained
Soon after starting Persona 3, players will come across the Evoker, which is a weapon that is highly important to the story of the game. As the new protagonist who just moved into the dorms at Gekkoukan High School, you soon run into Yukari, one of the other main characters.
During one of the early moments, Yukari is faced with fighting against a shadow, which is one of the demon-like Personas that the are main enemies of the series. It is at this point that she is unable to use the Evoker, and it falls into the hands of the protagonist temporarily.
It is at this point that the main hero of the story uses the Evoker and proves that they are fit to be a Persona user. Given their own Evoker, the protagonist of the series then uses it from that point as the means of summoning the various Personas that they are able to wield.
The Evoker is in the shape of a pistol and is pointed towards the head of the character, and the trigger is pulled in order to summon their Persona. This is something that is seen in many of the members of the SEES group, including the aforementioned Yukari, best buddy Junpei Iori, and others.
This is essentially the summoning item that is used to call forth the Personas, or representations of the other-self, in order to fight against the denizens of the Dark Hour. Without the Evoker, it would not be possible for most of the characters to accomplish this task.
Given that it is in the form of a gun, too, there are some characters that may possibly use it as their weapon of choice for the pierce skill attacks against enemies. That said, not all of the characters use a pistol for piercing attacks in the game.
Why the Evoker Is Necessary for Summoning Personas
One of the strangest parts about the Evoker, besides the bizarre method in which the main characters in Persona 3 use it to bring out their Persona, is the fact that it is even being used at all in the first place.
It may have some wondering why this gun is necessary for summoning Personas in the first place. Well, the reason behind this is that the Evoker is not just limited to guns but other possible items as well.
It just so happens that most of the characters in Persona 3 use a gun-shaped Evoker in order to summon their Persona partners. An Evoker at its core is a device that was created by the Kirijo Group who was founded by the family of the main party member, Mitsuru Kirijo, and a company she will inherit someday.
With the group’s investigations into the Dark Hour and shadows, they found that they were quite dangerous and came up with the Evoker device to help users who are attuned to the Dark Hour summon their inner selves to fight back against them and save the world.
The Evoker is basically a summoning device that was created for the sole purpose of helping to awaken the Persona within. That is why it is so necessary in this game for the members of SEES to all use it in battle.
That said, it may be puzzling to some who are wondering why it has to be in the shape of a gun and why it is being used in such a manner where the users are literally acting as if they are shooting themselves in the head.
One of the more controversial design choices in the game, the Evoker, was chosen as the means by which the user is able to summon their Persona as it apparently puts them in a situation that is most lucrative for allowing the Persona to come forth.
Is the Evoker Featured in Other Games?
Given the importance of the Evoker in Persona 3, it would make sense if it were featured in the other games in the series, but this is not the case at all. It makes sense that it was not featured in the first three titles prior to Persona 3 since those games came before and had their own way of handling summoning.
However, it would also make sense if the following games after Persona 3 kept this idea of having these summoning devices and brought them to Persona 4 and 5, but that is not the case.
The members of Persona 4 and 5 are able to summon their inner selves without the help of an Evoker item. As such, the users in Persona 3 are the only ones who are shown using these devices in their game.
This only makes the situation even more puzzling as to why they are using them in the first place since there are other users throughout the series who are shown to be able to summon without the need for such a device.
There is the chance that it could have to do with the Dark Hour itself. This is a place that is not really shown in the other Persona games, so it could be something that the Evoker can help the user with.
Or, it could be the opposite: the Persona 3 users themselves are attuned to this Dark Hour place and, therefore, need the Evoker in order to bring forth their Personas. On the other hand, the users in the other games may not be able to access that location, and so they do not need an Evoker.
What makes matters even more interesting is the fact that the Persona 3 users are seen in other games where they are using their Evokers. For instance, Persona 4 Arena and its sequel, Arena Ultimax, might be named after Persona 4, but it contains characters from 3, too.
There are characters that appear in that game, so it is like a pseudo-sequel to Persona 3. In that title, some of the users can be seen still using their Evoker device to summon their Personas for the fighting gameplay. This is intriguing since they are in the confines of the Midnight Channel, which is the setting for Persona 4.
As mentioned, much of the controversy surrounding the Persona 3 Evoker is the method in which the users summon their Personas. It is one thing that the item is in the shape of a gun for most users, but it is another thing the way that they use it.
Many of the party members, including the protagonist themselves, is shown pointing the gun to their own head and pulling the trigger. The gun does not actually shoot out any bullets and kill the user, but it is problematic nonetheless.
This act of pretending to kill themselves is the only way that some of the characters are shown to be summoning their Personas. There is a huge issue with casually introducing suicidal elements into a game, let alone what could be seen by some as making light of or faking it.
This controversy has not helped the reception and feelings that some players have had with Persona 3, and for a good reason. Even as one of my favorite games in the series, the Evoker was a clear misstep on the part of Atlus and one that was, thankfully, never replicated in later games.
It does not help, either, that there are character reactions to this movement that makes it even more like the actual act of the player killing themselves. The protagonist’s head, in particular, can be seen moving sideways in reaction to the metaphorical and fake bullet that is “shot.”
The lore reason for this action of shooting the Evoker at one’s self in order to summon the Persona is supposedly because the user needs to feel like they are in trouble for their other self to activate.
Acting like they are going to shoot themselves is one way that the user is able to artificially create this sense of fear and emotion that helps their Persona to come out and help them in battle. That said, this reasoning does little to justify this highly controversial method of summoning Personas or fulfill the “dark and edgy” style that they were likely going for.
It does not help, either, that the Persona 3 Evoker weapon has actually been sold as a collector’s item in the past as well. This was done in celebration of one of the animated film adaptations for Persona 3, which only further glorified what has been a widely criticized part of what is otherwise a fantastic gameplay experience.
The origins of the Persona 3 Evoker are fairly dark and mysterious, helping to match the chilling nature in which the main characters use it. Created by the Kirijo Group as an experimental way of summoning Personas, it had some tragic beginnings.
To go into more details would spoil some of the plot points from Persona 3 itself, but what is fascinating are some of the other elements of the origins of this item. For one, there is the fact that the Kirijo Group developed Evokers that were not in the shape of a pistol.
There are a couple of exceptions to the rule of having to use a gun in a suicidal manner, even within the members of SEES itself. For one, there is Aigis, the robot companion who was also designed by the Kirijo Group.
Her Evoker device is found within her and enables her to summon Personas without the need to do what the other main characters do. The same goes for Koromaru, the dog who, well, can’t exactly shoot a gun with his paws anyways, so his collar acts as the special Evoker item for him.
Also fascinating is that behind-the-scenes development tidbits have revealed that the gun-based Evoker system is one that almost did not even happen in Persona 3.
Instead of the pistols that are used by most of the main characters, there would have been a summoning item that would have been based on the Tarot cards, similar to how other Persona games handled their systems.
However, this original idea was not used in the end, and we were left with the Evoker guns as we see them in the final product. This is somewhat unfortunate, even if it was meant to give off a specific tone of the story since it could have avoided much of the criticisms surrounding the Persona title.
Question: How do you summon your Persona?
Answer: The general idea for summoning a Persona is the same across all of the games. The requirement for doing so, from what we have heard in other games and forms of Persona media, is that the user must feel fear and like their life is in danger.
This allows them to summon their other self, which can then assist in preserving their lives. This is also why they are almost exclusively summoned in battles where the user’s life is literally in danger.
However, the actual method of how someone summons a Persona in the games differs with each entry, like how the Evoker is used in Persona 3.
Question: Why do they use an Evoker in Persona 3?
Answer: As mentioned, the Evoker is the symbolic gun that allows the users in Persona 3 to instantly feel fear and like their lives are in danger to activate the Persona inside of them. It was also created by the Kirijo Group, which is why this is the item that they use.
Question: How does Aigis have Persona?
Answer: What some players may have already noticed is that Aigis is a robot designed to use Persona and fight back against the Dark Hour in Persona 3. That said, her method of summoning her Persona is different from the other members of the group.
As you will notice in combat, when she fights, she does not do the usual shoot herself in the head movement that the other characters do to summon their Persona. This is actually because her Evoker works differently.
She does have an Evoker like the other members of the group, but hers is built into her mechanical body rather than being in the form of a gun. The same is seen with the group’s animal companion, Koromaru, who has a collar on him that is his Evoker for summoning.
They are not the only ones that are unique in this regard, though. One of the primary villainous groups in the game is Strega, the trio of villains who fight against the SEES members throughout the story.
Within Strega, the leader, Takaya Sakaki is another exception. Perhaps the only exception in the entire game, he is able to summon his Persona without ever using an Evoker at all, from what we can tell.
This does indicate that the cast of Persona 3 could summon their Personas without the use of an Evoker, which would make them a little bit more similar to the heroes from the other titles that do not necessarily rely on this form of summoning.
Question: What level is Thanatos Persona 3?
Answer: Thanatos is one of the main bosses that players can fight in Persona 3 and use their Evoker against. As such, it is not surprising that many players are wondering what level he is and what they should be in order to fight him.
Thanatos is level 64 when you fight him and one of the most powerful Shadows bosses in the game. Our quick tip for taking him out is to watch out for the fear-based attacks that he has. If anyone gets the fear status on them, be sure to remove it immediately as he has a follow-up attack that instantly kills them.
Furthermore, he reflects dark-based attacks, so you need to make sure not to use any dark elemental attacks at all. Thanatos is at least weak to light-based attacks, so be sure to focus on those at least.
Question: How does the Evoker work in Persona 3?
Answer: The Evoker works differently in the game, depending on the main character. Aigis and Koromaru are the exceptions with unique Evoker items that allow them to summon their Personas without the usual stances.
However, for the rest of the group, the Evoker is in the shape of a gun that they point to their head and act as if they shoot themselves in order to summon their Personas.
Another interesting point about this, though, is that Fuuka is sort of an exception to this rule as well. She does use the gun like everyone else the very first time that she summons her Persona in the game, but the support character does not ever do that again afterward. It appears that her powers do not require her to do that for some odd reason.
Question: Why do they shoot themselves in Persona 3?
Answer: As answered in the other questions, they shoot themselves in order to instill fear into themselves and make it seem like a situation in which their lives are immediately in danger. Doing these actions allow them to summon their Personas with ease.
The Persona 3 Evoker guide is but one part of the overall equation that makes up this particular game as well as the overall series. Be sure to check out what our site, Persona Fans, is all about to get a feel for the general overview that we are going to give for the series through other guides like this one.