|“||Everyone... I realize now that I have friends as well. You don't have to save the world to find meaning in life... Sometimes, all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of. I'll keep on living no matter what, so that I can protect you...||„|
Aigis is one of the main protagonists and party members in the video game Persona 3. She is an anti-Shadow weapon (the last one in existence) and a member of S.E.E.S. Despite being the last of the party members to be introduced (though not the last to join), she is arguably the deuteragonist of the game, due to her role in the protagonist's origins combined with the fact that she takes over as the player character and party leader in The Answer. Her initial Persona is Palladion and her Ultimate Persona is Athena, though in The Answer, she inherits the protagonist's Wild Card ability.
Aigis appears as an android with short, blond hair and dark blue eyes. As she is an android created to fight shadows, her body is mostly mechanical, although she retains a human-esque figure with a face (presumably to facilitate better interaction with SEES and other humans).
After she transfers to Gekkoukan High, she wears the school's uniform. She is never seen without her red ribbon except during the beach excursion in Yakushima, a brief school field trip in Kyoto (in which she wears a bathrobe) and the post-New Years day when she wears a kimono at the nearby shrine.
During The Answer, her design changes: she is shown with a new metal headband and an armored army vest. She retains this design throughout The Answer.
After 2 years, during Persona 4: Arena, she returns, donning a new red tie in place of her red ribbon. She is now equipped with new advanced features on her metal headband, legs, and three weapons are behind her back. In battle before fighting awhile entering she starts off with wears like black detective coat dress with short sleeves, underneath black jacket (almost similar to school uniform with she used to wears).
It is explained by Shigenori Soejima that her colors, blue, yellow, and red are used to evoke the image of classic anime heroes while her "headphones" resemble the Antikythera mechanism. The gun barrel on her arm is modeled after the Luger P08.
|“||I am a machine, a machine who is here to "live". And the one who has given me this purpose is me.||„|
|~ Aigis's resolution|
She is shown to be able to understand Koromaru and often translates for the others, though she is shown to be able to understand dogs in general. She states that dogs don't have a language, but speech is not the only way of communication, with The Answer revealing that she can understand Koromaru's thoughts and feelings. Arena reveals that this is because it was inherited from the 5th Generation Anti-Shadow weapons, one of whom took time to communicate with a puppy named Snowy. In Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Aigis meets him, now an old dog.
In November, when Ryoji Mochizuki first transfers to Gekkoukan High, Aigis immediately becomes suspicious of him and warns the protagonist to be wary of him, saying that he is dangerous, albeit for reasons she can't quite explain. It's around this time that Aigis starts to feel some degree of human emotion; she admits to the rest of the group that she envies them, saying that they know what it means to live, while she isn't 'living' so much as 'functioning'. During the next full moon, she encounters Ryoji and realises why she was so suspicious of him; he is the Appraiser of Death, whom she sealed away ten years ago in the body of a nearby boy; that boy was the protagonist, which is why she wanted to be by his side so much. After being grievously wounded in her battle with Ryoji, Aigis feels immense grief before she ceases functioning, believing herself to be 'worthless' as she has been unable to fulfill her purpose as a machine.
Toward the end of December, after being repaired by the Kirijo Group, Aigis's simulated computer software personality (artificial intelligence) develops human emotions, and she becomes compassionate and loyal to her friends, though she struggles to fully understand her new emotions. She deeply regrets imprisoning Ryoji inside the protagonist, believing that they wouldn't be suffering if she hadn't. Initially, Aigis desires for her friends to kill Ryoji, as she can't bear to see her friends suffer and believes they are wasting their lives trying to fight Nyx. She still considers herself as a mere machine whose purpose is to destroy Shadows, and asks what her purpose is if she can't defeat them. The group replies that she's the only one who can answer that question but as long as they're alive, they have to do something. It is then that Aigis realizes that someone doesn't have to save the world in order to find meaning in life, and that more often than not, it can be simpler, such as taking care of someone or something, even a pet. She decides to live on so that she can protect her friends and fight alongside them and gains a renewed sense of purpose, which triggers the evolution of her Persona.
Aigis' Social Link revolves largely around trying to understand her new emotions; she frequently talks about things that are new to her or that she never gave any thought to before, such whether or not she likes something or the importance of a shrine. She states that she now understands that living beings are guided by feelings rather than facts, and that was what guided Koromaru to stay at his master's shrine long after his death. She also grows to view her room as unwelcoming, and can't believe she used to think it was normal. After being bitten by a dog, which ends up hurting it instead, Aigis is reminded of an important truth; while her heart may become more human, her body will forever remain mechanical. In general, the more human she becomes, the more she realises she will never truly be human herself, resulting in her having an identity crisis. Eventually, however, she realises what had pained her; as a machine, she cannot die and so she will inevitably outlive the protagonist, whom she has fallen in love with, but if that is the case, she can stay by his side until then (which, tragically, ends up being very soon after). Aigis falls for the protagonist regardless of gender, even expressing lament towards not being a male during the female protagonist Social Link, though she gets over it by the end. In Persona Q, if she's chosen as the destined partner of Yu Narukami, she will refuse, insisting that the protagonist of Persona 3 is her most important person.
After the death of the protagonist, Aigis is so devastated that she once again loses the will to live and wishes to return to being a mere machine, as she had promised to always protect him and be by his side. She apparently found herself unable to face him, as she was the only one who didn't attend his funeral. However, she is still shown to be very kind, as she warms up to Metis notably quicker than the rest of the group, even giving her permission to call her 'Sister.'
When the group are having an argument about what to do with the keys, Aigis is completely unsure about what to do, not being able to decide whether the past or the present is more important. After defeating Koromaru and Junpei, Aigis feels that fighting those precious to her is too much to bear and decides to give up her key to Yukari and Mitsuru, much to Metis's devastation as she doesn't want her to die, and she believes giving up her key will kill her. After a talk with Metis, Aigis learns something; strengthening the bonds of friendship doesn't mean the pain of living will stop, as pain is a natural part of life. She also learns she can still fulfill her promise to the protagonist. It is then that she decides not to change the past, but to bear the burden of the protagonist's death and continue living towards the future. After defeating Erebus, Aigis fuses back with Metis, and returns to the person she was after the Kirijo Group repaired her. Over The Answer, she ultimately develops into a sweet, gentle, empathetic and strong-hearted girl with a talent for leadership, and regains her will to live. Yukari even admits that out of all of SEES, Aigis cared about the protagonist the most, which is why out of all of them, she was the one who inherited his power.
- The spelling "Aegis" as appears in the original Japanese region titles is technically a misspelling of アイギス in English. The correct spelling, "Aigis" is the acceptable rendering of the original Greek. In fact, Aigis is the preferred spelling of the proper noun by contemporary academic standards.
- In Persona 3 and Persona 3: FES, Aigis' upper lip twitches when she blinks.
- In Greek mythology, Aigis is a shield worn by Pallas Athena. Pallas is an epithet taken by Athena once accidentally killing Pallas, daughter of Triton. In Pallas' memory, Athena erects Palladium, a statue in dedication of Pallas. More corporeal accounts of the Aigis describe a grotesquely ornamented mantle worn over the shoulders and breast, less common a buckler bearing a gorgon's head - or even simultaneously fulfilling both roles. One theory places the Aigis as the remains of Pallas protecting Athena after death. However an Aigis is recorded to have been worn by Zeus and various Greek heroes on occasion, even Mt. Olympus itself is said to be shrouded by the Aigis. In reality there is no central narrative or tradition, but the Aigis, whatever it specifically was, represents the protection of the gods.
- While perfectly able to understand Koromaru's thoughts at first, Aigis loses this ability little by little when she awakens to the powers of the Wild Card in The Answer. As the Wild Card makes her become more "human", she starts losing some of her mechanical traits: humans can't speak with dogs, so now that Aigis is more like a human, she can't understand dogs anymore.
- This is also reflected once she welcomes back Metis into the "sea of her soul": as she regains all her human emotions, she also regains the ability to cry and her need to sleep when tired (which is why she collapses as soon as they "combine" again).
- In the ending anime scene of Persona 3 where the protagonist sleeps on Aigis' lap, there is skin where Aigis' white suit used to be on her neck, and she has ears instead of the robotic headphone-like pieces she normally has. This could be symbolic to her having become more human.
- Palladion, Aigis' initial Persona, has a highly robotic appearance, representing Aigis' initial robotic emotions, but as she becomes more human, she eventually gains Pallas Athena in place of Palladion, who has a more human appearance than her predecessor.
- There are some audio files hidden in the DVD disc of Persona 3 FES that contains voices of the protagonist and Aigis shouting the names of the other S.E.E.S. members' Personas.
- Aigis' theme in Persona 4 Arena is a remix of Heartful Cry, first heard in The Answer when fighting the S.E.E.S. members for the keys.
- In Persona 4 Arena, Aigis, like Yu, is listed to be of the Fool Arcana, but despite this, Pallas Athena is still listed to be of the Chariot Arcana. That is because Pallas Athena is truly a Chariot Arcana Persona.
- Aigis being listed as the Fool Arcana instead of the Chariot Arcana may imply that Aigis regained Pallas Athena after the events of The Answer as one of her many Personas, rather than completely losing the Wild Card ability. Yu and Elizabeth confirm this in the game, as they frequently state that they sense the Wild Card within her. Another fact that evidences this is that similar to Yu, Aigis will also change Personas during her own Instant Kill, a feat that is exclusive only to them in Persona 4 Arena.
- One of Aigis' portraits in Persona 4 Arena is an updated version of her All Out Attack portrait from Persona 3 Portable.
- Aigis' victory pose in Persona 4 Arena is a callback to her Persona 3 victory pose.
- In Persona 3's Drama CD, Aigis is revealed to be capable of understanding French.
- In Persona 3 FES's The Answer, the sprite of Aigis with a blank expression has an extra left forearm.