Players of Persona 3 Portable will face their toughest challenge yet with Request 53, asking you to defeat the Reaper. That’s right — the dreaded, randomly-spawning boss from every Persona title is back, and meaner than ever. If you want to fight the game’s true secret boss, you’ll have to get through this one first. Let’s get reapin’!
Before The Fight – How to Prepare for Request 53 (Persona 3 Portable)
Do not attempt this fight until you are Level 65-70+. The Reaper will use your brains to paint the walls of Tartarus if your stats aren’t up to snuff. Experienced players can likely handle it closer to 65, while first-timers should wait until 70+. Your mileage may vary. Additionally, make sure you accept the request itself in the Velvet Room! It will become available on 1/1. If you forget to take on the request, the Reaper will not drop the Bloody Button that Theodore and Elizabeth are asking for. You don’t want to fight it twice, so be prepared.
You will also want to bring one of two Personas: Odin, which can be fused once you max out the Emperor Social Link, or Michael, which can be fused after reaching Level 72. Both can learn the skill Thunder Reign (in Michael’s case, inherited from a triple fusion using Odin), which you will need to win. As for party composition, you may want to bring along Akihiko and Aigis, both of whom contribute debuffs and healing skills that are useful.
As for items, there are a few things to keep in mind — Agility, escaping, SP recovery, and immunity to insta-kills. Turn order can make or break this fight, so upgrading your Persona’s Agility is crucial. Do so for your party members’ Personas as well. The fastest ways to pump up that Ag are to buy cards from Shinshoudo Antiques and to play Mole Whackers at Game Panic on days it’s available. Both venues are located in Paulownia Mall. Having turn priority is also why you should have some Trafuri Gems on hand — if the turn order isn’t in your favor, you’ll need to escape and then retry the fight (as it is randomly generated based on stats at the start of every encounter).
Some SP recovery items (Snuff Soul, Chewing Soul, etc) will come in handy for recharging the skills you’ll need to use, should the battle drag on for too long. Be mindful of when you use them, though, because the turn order can make or break this fight. This is also why you should have some Trafuri Gems on hand, as well — if the turn order isn’t just right, you’ll need to run away and then retry the fight.
Lastly, be sure to bring along a few Homunculi, which will protect you from any of the Reaper’s RNG-based insta-kill spells. At least five is a safe bet.
The Armageddon Strategy – How to Beat the Reaper in Persona 3 Portable
If you want to insta-kill the Reaper and be done quickly, you could buy the fusion spell Armageddon from Shinshoudo Antiques at Paulownia Mall. That kind of power costs a pretty penny, though: it’ll run you 99 Malachites and 10 Rubies. Malachite drops often enough that you’ll be swimming in it, but that Ruby is an incredibly rare find, obtainable only via the following measures…
- Enemy drops in the fifth or higher blocks of Tartarus; very rare. If you want to grind ’em out, use a Persona with a high Luck stat (which can be boosted with cards from Shinshoudo Antiques). Enemies that drop Rubies include a black lion Shadow called Mighty Beast (Tartarus Floors 165 to 179), a muscular humanoid with two extra arms for nipples and a red mule called Jotun of Blood (180-190), and a cluster of floating eyeballs called Noble Seeker (245 to 261).
- Velvet Room Request #71 rewards you with 3 Rubies.
- On 11/8, Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities (accessible on Sundays via the TV in Your Room) will sell one Ruby.
- On 12/6, Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities will sell two Rubies.
The Thunder Reign Strategy
If you choose to forego the Armageddon hunt, you can fight the Reaper fair and square. Once your party is all set up and you’re raring to go, you can just idle on any one floor of Tartarus for about ten minutes to force the Reaper to spawn. You’ll know its arrival is nigh when Mitsuru/Fuuka gives you a warning message that she can “sense Death”, followed by the creepy rattling of chains. Run right into its rotting arms!
It is imperative that you check the turn order as soon as you start this fight. You can press R1 to see it; you need the Reaper to be going last or second to last, after you and at least two of your party members. If the Reaper takes a turn before you can knock it down, you’re in for a world of hurt. If the turn order isn’t right, you should use a Trafuri Gem to escape from the battle. Repeat until you have the right configuration.
Onto Thunder Reign itself: this is a skill that deals severe Electric damage to a foe, and has the bonus effect of Shocking them (guaranteed, as long as it hits). At the start of the fight, you should use this skill right away; your next party member will then be able to knock the Reaper down with a standard attack, and trigger an All-Out Attack. The next party member can then swing, knock it down, and trigger a second All-Out Attack. However, when your last party member moves right before the Reaper’s turn, you’ll need to cancel the All Out Attack — instead, hit the Reaper with a normal physical attack, which will cause it become Dizzy. Having the Dizzy status will make it skip its next turn. For some sweet extra damage, you may want Akihiko to lower the Reaper’s defense at some point, if you can manage it without getting slaughtered.
Repeat this strategy and whittle the bastard down until it dies. Act quickly and efficiently, and you’ll put the Reaper six feet under, and clear Persona 3 Portable Request 53!