Is there any worse feeling in gaming than having a pleasant conversation with a character and accidentally saying something that completely offends them? Misleading dialogue options can be the bane of any people pleaser’s life in role-playing games, but mercifully, developer Atlus has made sure it never needs to happen again in Persona 3 Reload thanks to its new ‘Rewind’ feature.
Rewind is basically an advanced version of autosave. In each in-game day, a save state is created at key points, such as after school ends or in the evening, and you can jump back to any of the most recent five at the click of a button. It’s ideal for rectifying the small, annoying mistakes that might normally have you kicking yourself had you not saved your game recently, like forgetting to buy healing items before a fight, or forgetting to harvest your crops. However, it’s also particularly useful for save scumming when interacting with non-playable characters (NPCs) to make sure you never mess up a conversation again.
Save scumming, if you were unaware, refers to the act of saving your game before doing something important, and reloading that save if it doesn’t go the way you want. It’s a concept I’m sure many are familiar with and have used themselves, whether that’s been over key decisions in Baldur’s Gate 3, or simply saving before fighting a legendary Pokémon in case you accidentally knock it out. My quest to be a people-pleaser in Persona 3 Reload has led me to heavily rely on Rewind in a similar way during pretty much every conversation, known as social link interactions.
Let’s try that one again
Social links can be unlocked with a large number of non-playable characters (NPCs), each with a total of 10 ranks to progress through, inviting the player to learn more about them. To progress through these ranks efficiently (bearing in mind that Reload runs on an in-game calendar with a finite number of days), you must select favorable dialogue options during social links to earn more ‘social link points,’ which allow you to view each new conversation sooner. Being considerate of each character’s likes and dislikes is key to picking these options correctly, but everyone is bound to slip up at some point.
Picture this: you’re having an enjoyable chat with a classmate. He’s been contemplating what he wants to do with his life, torn between following his artistic dreams or following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a doctor. In a moment of desperation, he decides to set out on a journey to find himself and discover what he truly wants to do. Good for him, right?
That’s what I thought when my Persona 3 Reload protagonist Makoto Yuki was speaking to his buddy Keisuke Hiraga during a social link conversation, anyway. Let me ask you - what do you think he was hoping for me to tell him as he stood at the train station ready to set out on his journey of self-discovery? If, like me, you thought you should wish him well and give him your support, you’d be dead wrong.
I was baffled as the response went unappreciated and no twinkly points appeared on my screen to indicate I’d said the right thing. There I was, thinking that he’d be filled with determination to find out what his life goals are, with a steely resolve thanks to the support of his loyal friend. But no, in his eyes, I guess, I had just told him that I couldn’t care less if he left me behind. Keisuke might be a fictional character, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel awful for letting him down. Thankfully though, this didn’t have to be the outcome I was stuck with.
Simple but effective
Normally, I’d often forget to save as regularly as I’d need to if I wanted to retry every social link conversation, but with Rewind, it’s far too tempting to revisit each one multiple times to make sure that I’ve said the right thing at every possible turn. This is partly because I’ve been determined to get my hands on the game’s Platinum trophy on PlayStation 5 (which requires all social links to be maxed out), but also since I care more than I should about making all the characters happy. Even if that means being rude about my fellow students during interactions when talking to the Disciplinary Committee member, Hidetoshi Odagiri. That hurts to do.
While not exactly my style, you can also choose to use Rewind for pure evil by seeing what all of the harsher dialogue options do without having to live with the consequences. I for one could never look the innocent elementary schooler Maiko Oohashi in the eye and tell her that her parents don’t care about her, but it is an option, and Rewind means it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Rewind might be a simple feature, but it’s one of the many quality-of-life improvements that contribute to an overall buttery smooth experience playing Persona 3 Reload. Even if you are someone who remembers to save often, it’s almost definitely going to stop you from wasting your time at some point since it’s always got your back. Utility aside, it’s also incredibly amusing to me that a game called Reload introduces a whole new option that solely focuses on reloading older saves. I don’t know if that was intentional, but, as a perennial people-pleaser in games, I’m absolutely here for it.
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.