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In Persona 5, after you

steal Okumura's Treasure, his Shadow is killed by an unseen assassin. This happens in the very same cutscene, literally two seconds after the Phantom Thieves have left the room.

By my understanding, this should have resulted in

an immediate mental shutdown.

And yet nothing happens until

the press conference on October 12th. Depending on how long it took you to clear the Palace, that's up to three weeks later.

Now, I understand that the out-of-universe reason for this is that if

Okumura had died the moment you cleared the Palace

it would have completely messed up the game's timeline of events. But in-universe, it doesn't make sense, especially considering that

the villains were relying on Okumura dying at exactly that moment, in order to implicate the Phantom Thieves in his death.

How should this be reconciled? In-universe, why didn't this character die immediately?

  • 3
    Is there any mention that the person dies the instant his shadow is killed? – user149305 Dec 14 '17 at 8:55
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    It's definitely mentioned that killing a person's Shadow will kill them in reality; I don't recall whether it's mentioned that the effect is immediate but that was the impression I got. – F1Krazy Dec 14 '17 at 8:59
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    I only ask because the player is also told that stealing a treasure changes the person in reality, but we see the effect isn't instantaneous. I'm not sure there's a good reason to think the effect of killing the shadow is instantaneous if everything else relating to the palace works on a delayed fuse. – user149305 Dec 14 '17 at 9:13
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    I hadn't thought of it like that. I'd say that could be a reasonable answer. – F1Krazy Dec 14 '17 at 9:14
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    As far as I can tell, the date you are given as a deadline is a date when your victim will make some major decision. If you steal victim's treasure, it will make victim doubt and, when the time comes, change his/her mind. if you kill victim's shadow, it will create some kind of "infinity loop" in the victim's mind, which will cause a brain haemorrhage. – Mr Scapegrace Dec 14 '17 at 14:02
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To my knowledge, there's nothing indicating that killing a shadow immediately kills the person, in the same way that stealing a palace's treasure doesn't immediately reform the person.

It's likely that everything done in the person's palace works on a delayed fuse, killing their shadow included. This would be internally consistent with the narrative.

  • That delay is probably to make it easy to program. That press conference will always happen on Oct 12. There's no thing of different outcomes if you do it early or late. Also, I would like to sleep for 22 days straight like Futaba did in my playthough. – Fredy31 Jan 30 at 18:56

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