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From Pyramids to Obscure Gods: the creation of an Egyptian world in Persona 5

Cromwell, Jennifer ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0228-1371 (2022) From Pyramids to Obscure Gods: the creation of an Egyptian world in Persona 5. thersites. Journal for Transcultural Presences & Diachronic Identities from Antiquity to Date, 14. pp. 1-40. ISSN 2364-7612

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Abstract

Within Persona 5’s modern Tokyo setting, imagined worlds are created that represent the cognitive processes of various characters. These ‘palaces’ allow the player to explore locations far removed from the game’s real-world, contemporary backdrop. One episode creates an ancient Egyptian world. This article examines how this world has been produced and the different transmedial tropes and other influences that its developers have drawn upon. Many references are recognizable to a broad audience (pyramids, gods, hieroglyphs), while others reflect Japanese pop-cultural trends (in various manga and anime), including the mention of an obscure Egyptian god, Medjed. The intentionally fictitious nature of these ‘palaces’ means that the Egypt that appears in this game is not bound by the need to replicate an ‘accurate’ landscape. Instead, the developers were free to design a gamescape that combines multiple and diverse receptions of ancient Egypt.

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