This led to the creation of a series of Anti-Shadow Emergency Control Weapons. Aigis was the last of these, created around 1999. Her time was mostly spent in the Kirijo Group research laboratory on Yakushima Island on standby, prepped for battle in case an emergency situation arose during experimentation. The other weapons of her series were stationed at the main lab hidden within Gekkoukan High School, on Tatsumi Port Island, Iwatodai where most of the major experimentation was being carried out.
One day in late 1999, the head researcher in the Shadow experiments discovered the reason behind his research was not to create a time manipulation device, which was the cover the Kirijo Group used to hide their true motive. Instead, the Shadows were being amassed into a single entity in hopes of calling the Goddess Nyx to destroy all of mankind. The researcher, Eiichiro Takeba, took matters into his own hands and decided to put a stop to it. The result was a massive explosion that killed many of the researchers and scientists on the team, including Takeba himself and Koetsu Kirijo who headed the Kirijo Group at the time. Several students of Gekkoukan High School were also injured in the incident and had to be hospitalized. Despite the casualties the researcher’s goal was met. The great conglomeration of Shadows was broken into 13 and scattered throughout the city of Iwatodai, halting Nyx’s coming. The Dark Hour—a hidden hour that only a few can experience—came into existence and the school reformed itself into a spiraling tower known as Tartarus, taking on this shape only during the Dark Hour. In addition to the threat Shadows posed humanity, Personas could also now be manifested within anyone who showed the potential, but the Kirijo Group could not wait for a Persona user to surface while the 13 Shadows still ran free.
Aigis was the only weapon left untouched by the explosion and was sent immediately to the mainland to keep the Shadows from destroying any more of the city. Aigis was drawn to Death, the greatest of these Shadows, but was unable to destroy it. In her desperation to accomplish her mission of protecting as many people as possible Aigis did the only thing she could at the time—she sealed away the Shadow within a human child who happened to be standing nearby. Her job done and with no more strength left, Aigis lost consciousness and broke down.
Her body was recovered by the Kirijo Group and sent back to a lab on Yakushima. She continued to undergo various repairs as the years went by but Aigis never stirred from her slumber. During her years of incapacitation a small group of Persona users had appeared, taking down the sudden resurgence of Shadows that began in 2009.
In July of 2009 the Persona users took a vacation on Yakushima and Aigis awoke. Responding to a familiar pull, Aigis reactivated and left the laboratory in search of what called to her. She reached the beach but couldn’t pinpoint her goal. She was hit on by two of the Persona users, Junpei and Akihiko, but she wasn’t interested in them. When she was confronted by Minato she felt the same strange pull and decided it would be best to review her feelings at a safer distance. She then ran up a forest trail and was pursued by the boy. Her analysis complete, Aigis realized what she wanted was to remain at the boy’s side. It became her highest priority. (MOVIE! - Watch the boys fail at hitting on Aigis!)
She was then introduced to the other Persona users, all of them high schoolers at Gekkoukan High in the same “club” known as S.E.E.S., the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, whose members included Minato, Yukari Takeba, Junpei Iori, Akihiko Senada, Fuuka Yamagishi and Mitsuru Kirijo. It was decided that Aigis would join their group and help them in eliminating the Shadows since she had finally reawakened and could now fulfill her role as an anti-Shadow weapon.
Upon returning to the dorms Aigis was first placed in the command room but the next morning she was found in Minato’s room, having easily picked the lock. After a bit of debate Aigis was given her own room on the girls’ floor though she expressed a desire to stay with Minato at all times. She realized there was quite a bit she didn’t know about what was considered appropriate human behavior. Other than her unusual attachment to Minato that first day, Aigis remained fixated on destroying Shadows and talked of little else. (MOVIE! - Aigis wakes up Minato.)
The Persona users had already figured out a large and dangerous Shadow would appear in town every night the moon was full. In accordance with a recording given to them before meeting Aigis at Yakushima, they set a goal to destroy all of these large Shadows in order to bring the Dark Hour to an end.
Strangely, a normal Shadow appeared in the city near the Naganaki shrine a few weeks before the full moon. When everyone arrived at the scene Akihiko was cradling a dog, Koromaru, who had not only fought the Shadow but defeated it before Akihiko had even arrived. Aigis was able to translate Koromaru’s feelings and confirm his role in destroying the Shadow. Aigis explained that while dogs do not have speech she is able to sense “images” all living things give off and make an accurate translation of them into something humans understand. Mitsuru arranged for Koromaru to have expert veterinary care and the operation was ended.
When the August full moon arrived Aigis and all the other members of S.E.E.S. were called in for another operation. It was during this operation that S.E.E.S. first encountered Strega, another group of Persona users that oppose S.E.E.S. in their desire to get rid of the Shadows and Tartarus. Two Shadows were defeated that night, leaving S.E.E.S. with only four more large Shadows to beat.
Other than the occasional trip to Tartarus, the summer sped by and soon second semester began. After their first day of class Aigis came into the dorm lounge wearing one of the Gekkoukan winter uniforms. It was decided that she would be joining everyone at school as a junior. On her first day she immediately recognized Gekkoukan as Tartarus and while she understood no Shadows were present she remained vigilant. She was quite pleased to find her seat was right next to Minato’s as it coincided with her desire to remain near him.
Shortly after, Koromaru, Ken Amada and Shinjiro Aragaki joined their team, and as the September full moon rolled around everyone was prepared for Strega to strike back with a trap. Junpei was taken by surprise and held hostage during the entire operation. Upon their return to the dorm the members of S.E.E.S. found Chidori and Junpei. Chidori was subdued and confined. Junpei did not hold her actions against her, and continued to visit and care for her.
Later in September a typhoon hit and the school culture festival was put on hold. Minato caught a severe cold while out in the storm and was asleep for two days. Aigis was recorded checking in on him during his illness. She monitored his body temperature and confirmed that he would be well by morning. She stayed watching him until just before day break. (MOVIE! - Aigis checks on Minato during the night.)
The full moon that arrived with October brought with it a terrible tragedy. While the main force of S.E.E.S. took down two large Shadows that appeared that night, Ken and Shinjiro were no where to be found. Fuuka wasn’t able to pinpoint their location until much later, and to everyone’s horror Shinjiro had already been shot twice by Takaya, leader of Strega. No one could stop his death and a huge blow was struck to the moral of S.E.E.S.
Aigis was troubled when school began again but no one but their little group cared about Shinjiro’s passing. Life continued on, and the normalcy of exams helped many of the members regain their focus. Aigis was rewarded with incredibly low test scores. She excused this by saying her strength resides in areas that are not covered by the school curriculum. As school continued and time drew nearer to their final battle Aigis began to question what she would do once her job was finished. She expressed her interest in continuing school.
November came along with the final large Shadow. Strega stood in their way once again but after dispatching them S.E.E.S. continued on to the last Shadow. With that one taken care of everyone decided they needed to celebrate and Mitsuru agreed to arrange a party to commemorate their efforts.
The next day Aigis was taken back to a lab for maintenance. She and their adult sponsor, Chairman Ikutsuki, never returned for the party. The Dark Hour they all thought they had conquered still came and the sound of bell resounded came from Tartarus, something that had never happened before. Everyone prepared for battle and headed out for the tower, finding Ikutsuki and Aigis already at the doors. Ikutsuki explained that destroying the 12 big Shadows was not a way to save the world and instead only served to bring it closer to destruction. He used a remote control and forced Aigis to take the Persona users captive. She tied them to the top of the school astronomy tower, each hanging from a crucifix. Ikutsuki demanded that Aigis sacrifice them and bring about the Fall. Resisting his instructions, Aigis shot down their bonds, releasing them. Ikutsuki reached for his remote again, trying to force Aigis to kill the kids and Takeharu Kirijo, Mitsuru’s father. Koromaru managed to steal away the remote from Ikutsuki but both Ikutsuki and Takeharu shot one another, leaving both dead. (MOVIE! - Aigis under Ikutsuki's control! The sacrifices...)
For a while everyone just tried to return to living normally but a new gloom has settled over them. Aigis apologized for her actions and felt responsible despite being controlled. All they could do was look forward and try to figure out what their next step would be now that they were out of clues.
Meanwhile, a new student arrived at Gekkoukan from overseas. Ryoji Mochizuki seemed normal if a bit flirty, but Aigis immediately sensed something off about him and stated that he was dangerous. Ryoji quickly became good friends with Junpei and while Aigis continued to feel uneasy about him she had no proof against him.
One night Strega managed to break Chidori free from her room at the hospital but it was a trap. Junpei was shot but Chidori used her life force to revive him. Ryoji’s friendship with Junpei helped to keep him afloat when Chidori died and he began to come around the dorm more frequently. Aigis did not like it and often consulted Koromaru, trying to find an answer to why she felt so antagonistic towards him.
Chidori’s death also brought Aigis a small bit of unease. She admitted to her envy of humans for their ability to understand “life.” As a machine she understood it was impossible for her to possess a “life” but she still recognized the meaning of loss. More human emotions began to surface in her after having witness how both Shinjiro’s and Chidori’s deaths affected her friends. She vowed to do something to keep everyone from suffering more grief. (MOVIE! - Aigis worries about Ryoji and contemplates life.)
The day of the December full moon Aigis took action. As soon as the Dark Hour rolled around Aigis returned to the Moonlight Bridge where Ryoji was waiting. Her memories returned completely and she finally saw Ryoji for what he really was—Death. That same Shadow she had sealed inside the little boy Minato had now joined with the other 12 defeated Shadows and returned to full strength. Even though she knew it was futile, Aigis threw all she had at Ryoji only to suffer a crushing defeat at his hands. Even in Orgia mode Aigis could not even put a scratch on him. She extended herself too far and began to break down until she was a smoking, immobile heap on her knees before the mercy of Ryoji. For the first time ever Aigis felt completely and utterly useless, as well as unimaginably frightened. The other members of S.E.E.S. arrived just before Aigis could completely break down. She managed to give them a brief explanation of her part in creating Ryoji and apologized just before losing consciousness. (MOVIE! See the whole showdown between Aigis and Ryoji!)
She was inoperable for an entire month, undergoing major reconstruction ordered by Mitsuru. When she woke up she was told of the terrible choice that Ryoji had given them. Either they could leave all things as it was and try to fight in vain against the Goddess Nyx before she came January 31, living constantly in fear of mankind’s imminent destruction, or have Minato kill Ryoji, lose all their memories of Shadows, Personas and Nyx, and live content, normal lives until the Fall. This was the only choice they had, and they were only given this because Ryoji had some humanity left within him.
Aigis knew her answer before she even returned to the dorm. She was met warmly but felt it was undeserved. She pleaded emphatically that they kill Ryoji, wishing only that they forget their pain and suffering, and allow death to come to them unknowingly. At first she didn’t understand how they could have such hope. As a machine she was given one purpose and that was to destroy Shadows. When it became apparent that she could not destroy Ryoji she felt confused and useless. But after some encouraging words and explaining that the only one who can give an answer to her existence was she herself, Aigis regained her confidence and her Persona changed from Palladion to Athena. She realized that even without a clear purpose she still had time to figure one out for herself. (MOVIE! - Aigis pleads with everyone, then gains a resolution.)
Ryoji came the next night for their answer. When it was apparent that no one wanted to just give up he gave them instructions on how to meet with Nyx. Before he left Aigis told him she would never forget that he was her enemy and also her friend.
With a set plan in mind, the members of S.E.E.S. worked tirelessly to increase their strength and reach the top of the tower. Even amidst all the rumors about an increasingly popular Doomsday cult and Strega still at large, everyone tried their best to look forward and hold onto their faith for mankind. On the night they reached the top of Tartarus everyone returned to the dorms, waiting only for the appointed day to come. When Aigis lay down to rest that night, she never guessed that the next time she opened her eyes that she would wake up in Landel’s Institute.
I will be taking Aigis from the last month before the coming of Nyx. Therefore, Aigis will be relatively used to acting like a human, possess close bonds to her friends and have realized there is more to her life than defeating Shadows.
As far as the Aeon social link with Minato is concerned, I’ve chosen to have hers around level 5 or 6. This way she’s begun to fully realize her emotions are driving her rather than her data but she still struggles with understanding them because she is a machine. She will also feel it is a good thing to get close to people and create ties because she will have realized that’s a big part of living. I want her social links to reflect on how she views the other patients in Landel’s. It will be hard for her to completely understand everything that is happening to the people around her, the way emotions propel people into action sometimes still baffles her, but she will want to make friends and continue to ask questions and grow closer to them.