RPG University: Persona Primer

This RPG University segment is brought to you by Dashing Nerds Scott & Big Brother. Wanna read more about Persona? Check out our roundtable on our favorite moments from the series right here!

Today’s RPG University guide is here just in time for the release of Persona 5! In this course, we’ll provide a handy guide to the magic nomenclature and an overview of the benefits of maximizing your social links in the Persona series!

Both the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games use a formulaic naming convention for their spells. Names include a prefix, the main body, and then a suffix that give the player information as to what it does and its effects. Unfortunately for new players, the spell names are not so simple. This means the terms may be cryptic to the untrained eye. Ex. Maragidyne = Group Fire Strong

Here, we will break down the basic prefix, suffixes, and bodies for the elemental spells and buff/debuff spells to help you get going!

Spells – PREFIX

MA = Hits a group (think of MA as standing for “Mass” to help remember!)

Elemental Spells – BODY

AGI = Fire

BUFU = Ice

ZIO = Lightning

ZAN = Force (some games have Zan be the wind spell)

GARU = Wind

HAMA = Light

MUDO = Dark

Elemental Spells – SUFFIX

DYNE = (fire, wind, ice, lightning, and force only) – Strong

ON = (light and darkness only) –  Strong

**note: The medium strength version for all the elemental spells are unique, they are Agilao, Bufula, Zionga, Zanma, and Garula)


  • Magarudyne = Group Wind, strong strength
  • Mudoon = darkness strong spell, single target
  • Mazanma = group force spell, medium strength

Buff/Debuff Spells – BODY

Taru = Attack

Raku = Defense

Suku = Hit/Evasion

Buff/Debuff Spells – SUFFIX

KAJA = Increase

UNDA = Decrease


  • Matarukaja = Group attack buff
  • Sukunda = Hit/Evasion debuff, single target
  • Marakunda = Group defense debuff

Now with just a glance, you should have an idea of what new skill your pal Beelzebub just learned!

There are plenty of additional skills and spells in these games but this being just a beginners primer should get you well on your way!  Of course, all of the spells also have descriptions you can read in game, but this will give you a good handle on how the spell names are formed, and let you get an idea of what they do at a quick glance!

Of course, the game mechanics in the Persona titles are a lot of fun, but what really make the games memorable are the characters—and not just the main cast, either! Since Persona 3, each game has featured the Social Link system, a creative way to give the game universe life through interactions with its inhabitants.

In the non-combat portions of the game, players can choose to spend their time with one of several characters available that day, including their own party members. Over time, the bonds between the player character and the character in question are strengthened, which in turn powers up newly created Personas from that Arcana, in addition to advancing some truly excellent side stories.

See all that bonus experience? You can thank your diligent attendance to drama club after school!

In Persona 4, reaching the maximum Social Link level with your party members would evolve their Persona into a more powerful form, so the creators are making it clear that they want players to immerse themselves in this system. They also created several romance options within these relationships, to appeal to a certain type of gamer.

Social Links are almost impossible to avoid finding in the Persona games, even if you aren’t trying, but there are a few obscure ones that will only be found if the player participates in certain after-school activities, and several can only be activated if the player’s personality stats have been leveled up enough through various means.

When considering which Social Links to pursue, it makes sense to focus on your party members first in order to maximize their combat utility—you’ll want to get to know them anyway if the writers have done their job—then the options that only show up once in a while, and then the ones that appear to be available most of the time. And when you appear to be making a choice that could have serious consequences on your relationship, it might be time to consult a guide (Hint: don’t be found cheating)!

There are a lot of social links in Persona 3 and 4 (and more than likely 5 too) that you can grow!


We hope you’re looking forward to Persona 5 as much as we are! Let us know if you have any questions in the Persona series in the comment section below.

With this new found knowledge at your disposal, you are now a bit more prepared to step into the world of Persona!  Check back later when class is once again in session here at the RPG Univeristy!

Hey guess what everyone, we have our very own Discord server! Come join the community and talk with us, make suggestions, and meet other nerds! https://discord.gg/BqaZNdq




Written by: Darling Otaku

Moonie. Aspires to become a unicorn. Married to Mr. Dashing himself. YA Fantasy Writing Blog: https://sanbornsmith.wordpress.com/

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