Welcome to the Velvet Room


The title's phrase is constantly uttered in every game by the master of the room to its guests. The Velvet Room is a recurring gameplay and story feature in the Persona series and remains to be one of the most important aspects of the series.

Warning. Major Spoilers of Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5 ahead.

Elizabeth
The Velvet Room's design varies from title to title but keeps a few common elements. One of the most obvious things is the colour. Regardless of the thematic colour of the game, the Velvet Room is always blue. One can analyse this much like colour psychology but I believe that blue is the softest of any 'velvet' colour (red and blue are usually the most common) and so is the most easily acceptable shade to the player. Of course, there may be an actual reason behind it but I'm basing this just on the games I've played (3,4,5) and the things I've read and watched.

Margaret
Igor is always the master of the room and the player is always the guest but that's less of a common feature and more of a necessity to even gain access to the Velvet Room. The other commonality lies in the attendants. Igor is always helped by at least one assistant in every iteration of the Velvet Room. This, in turn, varies from different versions of the game. Elizabeth was the original attendant in Persona 3 but with Theodore in place if playing as a female in P3P. Margaret is the attendant in Persona 4 with Marie added as an additional member in Golden. In Persona 5, the twins, Caroline and Justine, were believed to be twin attendants to the place only to be revealed that they both are actually two parts of a singular form, Lavenza.

Caroline and Justine
The Velvet Room attendants are perhaps the most interesting aspect. Since I've not played P3P or Golden, I'm going to ignore Theodore and Marie and only talk about the original attendants. The attendants are always dressed in uniform, always have yellow eyes, always have white hair, and always carry a grimoire. The attendants' personalities can vary from one spectrum to the other but all are well-informed, intelligent and loyal to Igor. Elizabeth is a special case in which she left to free Makoto Yuki from his fate but that doesn't necessarily mean she isn't loyal. Margaret's disappearance in Persona 5 is a mystery too but again, doesn't mean she isn't loyal. She proved that much in Persona 4. The attendants also share a relationship in that they are all siblings. This relationship however is not made clear in Persona 5. Lavenza is not mentioned to be a sister of the others. For me, personally, she can be either or. An imouto of Margaret and Elizabeth is a nice thought but a standalone attendant is fresh and enticing too. 

Lavenza
The attendants are usually there to serve as a medium between the unfeeling Igor and the protagonist. In every game, you can even forge an Arcana with them and they each tell their own stories, however simple or small it may be. They're all interesting characters and I honestly enjoy their addition to the game.


As we transitioned from Velvet Room commonalities to differences, I should also mention that each Velvet Room from each game differs in appearance. This, as Igor have said before, is due to the guest. The rooms take different forms based on the guests that enter. In Persona 3, it was an elevator, climbing ever so high. This is in representation of scaling Tartarus into the unknown. In Persona 4, it was a limousine, travelling through a blinding fog. This is in representation of discovering the truth behind the murders. In Persona 5, it was a prison, keeping the guest locked in to proceed with rehabilitation. This is in representation of being sealed behind society's rules and stigma.


In all iterations, near the end of the game, the Velvet Room changes to reflect the coming of the final battle. To reflect the resolve the protagonist has gone through to see things through to the end. P3 has the room stop the ascend as Tartarus' top has been reached, P4 has the limousine stop the travel as the truth has already been revealed, P5 has the prison door open as the societal shackles have already been broken.


This is as thematic as it gets, as on the nose with symbolism as it gets. There's nothing subtle about it but in that same way, it's impact is powerful. It's not supposed to be hard to understand. It's supposed to be a visualisation of your journey through the games as well. I really enjoy it and while it can always be predicted, it's never a thing that needs to be changed.

It's also funny how the Velvet Room takes the form of a disco in Persona 4: Dancing All Night

The whole point of this post is to simply break down the design and concept of the Velvet Room. Of course, I can get into the nitty grity like the Room's location in the space-time continuum, the meaning of the Room, the origin and end, etc. But at the end of the day, the two things that stick out the most is the space and the attendant. After all, one cannot simply create a Persona game without a waifu bait as an attendant.

Oh, and how can we forget about the blessed music. Praise be to the Aria of the Soul.

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