is a console role-playing game
developed and published by Atlus
's PlayStation 2
, and chronologically the sixth installment in the Persona
series. Persona 4
was released in Japan on July 10 2008
and will be released in North America on December 9 2008
. Instead of the city locales of previous games in the series, Persona 4
takes place in a fictional Japanese countryside. It features a weather forecast system with events happening on misty days to replace the moon phase system (with events happening on full moons in Persona 3
) implemented in the previous games. Its story is a suspenseful countryside murder mystery with multiple twists and turns in the plot.
takes place in the same universe as Persona 3
in a rural town named Inaba. There have been mysterious murders occurring whenever there was fog after heavy rain. There were also rumors about a channel on television airing only at midnight called Mayonaka TV, during which it is said that one can see his/her "other half" when staring at the TV screen. After hearing about a recent unsolved murder which occurred during the fog, the characters—the main character, Chie, and Yōsuke—discuss how each of them had attempted to watch the mysterious TV channel and witnessed the murder victim. The protagonist later realizes that during midnight when the channel is on, his body can phase into his television set as a gateway to enter another world infested with shadows. After discovering this, they all decide to explore. When first completely entering the world, dazed and confused, the main character meets Teddie. Mayonaka TV and the town murders seem to have a connection. The murder victims may be merely victims of Mayonaka TV. Everyone decides that they will together try to solve the mysterious murders by exploring the hidden world of Mayonaka TV. After the closing events of Persona 3 on January 31, 2010, Persona 4 starts April 11, 2011, Putting the start of Persona 4 fourteen months after the end of Persona 3, this is also evident by the appearance of an older Chihiro, who is now a 3rd year student.
Persona: Izanagi of the Fool Arcanum, Izanagi Ookami of the World Arcanum
- The silent male protagonist of the game who represents the player, following the tradition of the Megami Tensei games. He has dark-gray hair with a shape close to a bowl cut. He attends Yasogami High School with Chie, Yosuke, and Yukiko. As with most protagonists of Megami Tensei games, his entire personality and name is decided and portrayed by the player's in-game actions and decisions. He wields two-handed sword type weapons. Unlike the protagonist of Persona 3, he doesn't use other alternative weapons.
- His Persona, Izanagi of the Fool Arcanum, appears to wear a long coat reminiscent of Japanese Yakuza and wields the Amenonuhoko, which in-game, is a spear with a blade resembling a scout/combat knife. There is also an Izanagi Okami, which is the only Persona of the World Arcana in the game. Izanagi is known to use Zio(electric) spells and some buffs/debuffs. The Main Character also has the ability to change personae, similar to what the characters in the first three installments of the series were able to do.
- He was given his persona by Izanami, the mastermind responsible for Mayonaka TV and everything that resulted from it, who was disguised as a gas station employee and gave it to him with a handshake at the beginning of the game. In the final battle against Izanami-no-ookami he uses his commu power to turn Izanagi into Izanagi-no-ookami and defeat her.
- In the manga, his name is .
Persona: Jiraiya, Susano-o of the Magician Arcanum
- An awkward boy with slightly unkempt reddish-brown hair who usually walks around with a music player and red/orange headphones around his neck. He uses dual blades ranging from knives to daggers in battle. He is usually very clumsy and often used as comic relief through physical comedy in situations where he either unintentionally causes himself pain, or is forced to go through Chie's angry beatings when he provokes her. When going from place to place, he is usually on his bike.
- His Persona is Jiraiya of The Magician Arcanum, whose head vaguely resembles a cartoon frog's, and wears a white disco suit and a red scarf. It also has a distinctive ' V ' on its chest. Jiraiya uses wind spells and is also able to use healing spells. Once his Social Link, The Magician Arcana, is maxed out, Jiraiya will evolve into Susano-o.
- Yosuke's Shadow takes the form of a cartoon frog with a body on top; the body and frog resemble his Persona. It is believed to represent Yosuke's fear and anxiety about growing up or that others see him as immature or childish.
Persona: Tomoe Gozen, Suzuka Gongen of the Chariot Arcanum
- An upbeat girl with short light-brown hair who usually wears a green athletic jacket decorated with buttons. Her weapon is a pair of greaves. She has an obsession with Kung fu, and even uses them in battle, similar to Lisa Silverman of Persona 2. Her obsession goes so far that she even attacks Yosuke over a Chinese Martial arts film DVD. Most of the time, she is friendly, cheerful, and energetic, but she has a short temper, especially with Yosuke. She and Yukiko and Rise are unskillful cookers, providing normally unpalatable to terribly awful dishes to the main crew several times during the story progress.
- Her Persona is Tomoe Gozen of The Chariot Arcanum, a muscular female figure wearing a yellow outfit reminiscent of Bruce Lee's Game of Death costume, wielding a double bladed naginata. Tomoe Gozen is shown to use both physical and ice spells. However Teddie will take over as the main ice caster when he comes into play, thus Tomoe will stop learning ice spells near the level the player obtains Kuma. Tomoe evolves into 鈴鹿御前 after maxing out her Social Link, the one for The Chariot Arcana.
- Chie's Shadow takes the form of a long haired, masked dominatrix supported by three pale Chies. The dominatrix has long black hair, similar to Yukiko's. Based on the shadow's dialog it seems that Chie feels like she's living in Yukiko's shadow and thus feels like all she can do is support Yukiko's popularity, like her Shadow represents; Chie supporting Yukiko.
Persona: Konohana-sakuya, Amaterasu of the Priestess Arcanum
- An elegant but introverted girl with long groomed black hair and a red hairband in it who usually wears either a red jacket or a pink kimono, carrying with her either a paper fan, which she also uses in battle, or a red umbrella. Her family hosts a famous ryokan in the city and Yukiko is always busy for training herself to succeed the business. She is branded the next owner of the ryokan but feels stress for her name.
- Her Persona is Konohana-sakuya of The Priestess Arcanum, resembling a Tokusatsu heroine and being almost completely pink in color. Like Yukiko, it appears to use its petal-like wings as fans. Konohana-sakuya is skilled with healing and fire spells. Konohana-sakuya will evolve into Amaterasu once the Priestess Social Link (her Social Link) is maxed out.
- Her Shadow takes the form of a caged phoenix with Yukiko's head that is able to summon a prince-like shadow to assist it. It represents her boundaries and limitations on living a normal teenager's life. Her Mayonaka TV dungeon is a Romanesque Castle filled with pink and medieval furniture.
Persona: Take-Mikazuchi, Rokuten-Maō of the Emperor Arcanum
- A male delinquent with a bright-blonde/silver, swept-back, crewcut who has a scar above his left eye, many piercings, metal jewelry, and wears a black sweater with a skull-and-crossbones design on it under his school uniform. He uses brute force in combat, using weapons such as steel chairs and shields. He apparently gets into a lot of fights in the streets. He also attends Yasogami High. His mother runs a dyehouse in their home with Amagi's family being their acquainted customer, Kanji is skilled with tailoring for this reason.
- His Persona is 建御雷神 of The Emperor Arcanum, which, like Kanji, is a large, imposing figure with a skeleton-like design exterior. He uses electric spells and physical attacks. Once The Emperor Social Link, the Social Link with him, is completed, Take-Mikazuchi will evolve into 第六天魔王.
- Kanji's Mayonaka TV dungeon is a men's bathhouse. His Shadow is a mostly nude version of himself surrounded in a bed of roses while holding two Mars symbols. It represents his questioning his true sexuality and being unsure of the opposite sex, as the sensitive side under his rough exterior is often gone unappreciated and even ridiculed by girls. Kanji's true sexual orientation remains debatable among fandom, but the game strongly suggests that he prefers both men and women. After he joins the protagonist's crew, his sexuality is occasionally made fun of due to the form his Shadow takes. He's also kissed by Teddie when the gang visits a club at Gekkoukan as part of the Ousama Game (kind of like a mix between Simon Says and Truth or Dare). His possible interest is in the masculine (or maybe the tomboyish attitude) Naoto Shirogane, even occasionally facing away from her due to shyness.
Persona: Himiko, Kanzeon of the Lovers Arcanum
- A cheery-looking female with bright-red hair tied in two pigtails. She was one of the most popular idols in Japan, but suddenly quit her job and transferred to Yasogami High School as a freshman out of reasons unknown. Her look is reminiscent to Alana from Revelations: Persona. She is the support character after Kuma.
- Her Persona is Himiko of The Lovers Arcanum, who wears a white gown, has a satellite dish for a face and holds an object similar to the torch wielded by the actual Himiko but in the form of a vizor. She will provide background and enemy information for the frontlines during and outside of battles. Her ultimate persona obtained when the main character maxes out the Social Link with her, the one for The Lovers Arcana, is Kanzeon.
- Rise's Shadow is a colorful pole dancer with pigtails like hers. Her Mayonaka TV dungeon is a disco amphitheater which looks more of a strip club filled with poles, stages and sexual looking Shadows. They all represent her fear of her popstar image being turned into more of a sex symbol since she is supposed to be a good girl.
Persona: Sukuna-Hikona, Yamato-Takeru of the Wheel of Fortune Arcanum
- Young and serious-looking, Naoto almost always wears an officer's cap, conveying an appearance not unlike the classical gakuran school uniforms of the late 19th century. Combined with body language and gestures, Naoto is reminiscent of Raidou Kuzunoha, combined with the protagonist of Persona 3. Similar to Takaya of Persona 3, Naoto uses a revolver in combat. A well-known detective, Naoto was dubbed the "Detective Prince" by the media, though still attending Yasogami High.
- Naoto's Persona is 少彦名神 of Wheel of Fortune Arcanum, a Persona that is smaller than its own user and wears a cape over a blue suit and shorts. It uses an energy sword longer than itself and is capable of using almighty, light, dark, & physical skills. When Naoto's Social Link, Fortune, is completed Naoto's Persona will evolve into Yamato Takeru.
- Naoto's Shadow is a robotic doppelganger, equipped with large toy like laser guns, rocket feet and a jet pack; this form represents Naoto's resentment towards being treated like a child and not taken seriously. It can also be something of a split personality, as it can talk seriously one minute, and act helpless and innocent the next, similar to how the Wheel of Fortune may act. Naoto's Mayonaka TV dungeon is like an industrial factory/laboratory or military base filled with mechanical shadows and falcon symbols.
Persona: Kintoki-Douji, Kamui of the Star Arcanum
- Kuma (known as Teddie in the North American version) is a strange stuffed-bear-like creature with blue fur and a red/white jumpsuit who resides in the world of Mayonaka TV. In the Japanese version, Kuma has a verbal tic, where he usually ends his speeches with "-kuma". He serves as outside support in battle, but is later replaced and becomes a party member during battle. When fighting, he uses knuckles and other hand-worn weapons. He is often used as comic relief. His head is safely removable, as demonstrated when Yosuke forcefully pulled it off, suspecting Kuma's appearance was merely a costume. Kuma's human form later in the game is a blonde, charming, bishonen looking teenager when he removed his costume to take a drink from the summer heat (even though Yosuke tried to keep his costume on still believing no one was actually inside).
- His Persona is Kintoki Douji of The Star Arcanum, who has the appearance of a bulbous red boiler with stubby limbs in a blue cape, carrying a tomahawk missile (the axe (tomahawk) is Kintoki's trademark) in its arms. It is capable of using ice spells. He is also the other main healer. By completing Teddie's Social Link (which is for The Star Arcana), Kamui will replace Kintoki-Dōji.
- Kuma's Shadow is a larger form of his bear costume coming out of a hole in the ground. It is believed to represent Kuma hiding the truth about his identity - that is, the fact that he is a lost, lonely Shadow. He learned to speak human language and became friendly with humans, taking his bear-like form so that people would like him upon meeting him. Kuma eventually takes a human form so that he can be with other humans. After gaining a personality and losing his Shadow mask, he receives his own Persona.Igor
- A mysterious, long-nosed gentleman who resides in the Velvet Room (which has recently taken the form of a limousine). As in the other Persona games, Igor's purpose is to assist the player in acquiring new powers and Persona.Margaret
- A mysterious woman replacing Elizabeth as Igor's assistant after Elizabeth set off on a journey.
She is the Social Link for The Empress Arcana.Elizabeth
- The previous assistant of Igor and the recent keeper of the Persona Compendium. Elizabeth left the Velvet Room to free the protagonist of Persona 3, who became a wall to block the death wish of humanity which would manifest into mythological gods such as Nyx, Erebus and Thanatos. She is also Margaret's sister.
- A detective and caretaker of the Main Character. Ryoutaro is a hard working single father of Nanako Doujima but mostly spends his time away from family due to the murders. He is Toru's partner.
He is the Social for The Hierophant Arcana.
- The young cousin of the Main Character and Ryoutaro's only daughter. Nanako is a very innocent character but is usually left at home due to her fathers work. Nanako is capable of taking care of herself and watches TV most of the time. She treats the Main Character as an older brother and tries to do whatever she can to spend time with the family members. Nanako mostly talks about the afterlife and asks where good and bad people go. Nanako however cannot summon a Persona.
- When Nanako is kidnapped and placed into Mayonaka TV, it creates a dungeon based on her thoughts. The dungeon which is formed is her interpretation of heaven mixed with innocent thoughts such as rainbows, flowers, meadows, beanstalks and gates. Her dungeon is the first to have proper vocals in the music.
She is the Social Link for The Justice Arcana.
- A young police officer in Inaba's police department, and Doujima's partner.
- The goddess Izanami, and mastermind behind everything. Claiming that it's what humans desire, she aims to cover the world in mist and turn mankind into shadows.
- Her Mayonaka dungeon is Yomotsuhirasaka. When fought her first form looks like that of a goddess, but after it is defeated and she does not die it is revealed that like in the myth, she is already dead and rotting, as she reveals her true form, that of a massive, skeletal monster. The main character defeats her by using his Commu (Social Link in North American version) power to turn Izanagi into Izanagi-no-ookami and defeat her with a single attack.
- The treasurer from Persona 3 makes a return in Persona 4. She appears to have become more confident in the two years separating Persona 3s beginning and Persona 4s.
- One of the main character's classmates. She has orange, wavy/curly hair, and a serious expression. She appears to be a perfect case of a tsundere personality. At first, she seems to be a cold hearted ice queen, and, like Yukiko, comes from a rich and influential family. She doesn't open up to many, and has a penchant for manipulating others. She is the sports team manager, but seems to possess little to none interest in sports, and is more interested in the Protagonist, rather than her duties.
She is the Social Link for The Moon Arcana.
- One of the main character's classmates. She has black, short hair in a very reserved looking style. She is extremely tall and graceful.
She is the Social Link for The Sun Arcana, if you join the Drama Club.
- One of the main character's classmates. She has black short hair, in a style similar to Fuuka. She is very young looking, with red cheeks, and is often compared to an apple. She is a very shy, but skilled musician, similar to how Fuuka was also extremely shy.
She is the Social Link for The Sun Arcana, if you join the Music ClubKitsune
- The mysterious fox of the shrine. Kitsune is the guardian of the shrine but has problems with donations. The Main Character encounters Kitsune after donating some Yen. Apparently the shrine doe not receive many donations and the only person donating to the shrine is the Main Character. Kitsune assists with helping his friends inside dungeons by restoring their HP and SP, at a heavy price of course.
Kitsune is the Social Link for The Hermit Arcana. The rank is increased by completing requests. Increasing the rank also lowers the price of HP and SP Recovery from Kitsune. After the Social Link is Maxed Out, a new area of the shrine is opened that allows the Main Character to pray to increase the relationship of the other Social Links in the game.
's gameplay and style stays similar to Persona 3
's. Persona 4
has kept the social links and dungeon crawling gameplay and it appears to be running on the same engine as its predecessor. Features such as Community
in English localization,) One More
and All-out Attack
from Persona 3
return. The glasses, given by Kuma, play an important role in the game, and allow the party to see through the heavy mist inside Mayonaka TV and decrease stamina loss. Apparently Kuma, who is basically a shadow, does not need them. The pistol-like Evokers of Persona 3
are replaced by tarot cards
, which the main characters shatter in order to summon their respective Persona. The battles also have some similarities, such as the one more system, all out attack, and the AI controlled support characters. However, characters can be set to take commands from the player, deviating from Persona 3's system.
However, several major changes have been made. The player now has 5 stats in contrast to P3's 3 and lacks the health status, enabling players to explore dungeons continuously. Only now, the constraint is SP. HP and SP will not be restored when the player goes back to the dungeon entrance, but the player can choose to restore SP by talking to the fox (who will join the group after some time into the game).
Battle-wise, P4 is more forgiving. This is partly due to a new tactic in battle enabling you to directly control the actions of the other party members. This time you can continually exploit an enemies weakness, as they will stay down instead of getting up after the second consecutive exploitation of their weakness. Battles now occur after school instead of at midnight like in P3. This gives the player less time in which to do social activities. Post battle card shuffles have been revamped with the addition of arcana chance (which can bring you good or bad status depending on the Arcana).
Social Links now have a greater effect on battle. For example, for level 1, the player's allies occasionally protect the protagonist from a deathblow (If the HP of the protagonist becomes zero, the game will be over.) For level 3, if the protagonist successfully makes the shadow knocked down, the allies will occasionally offer to have a follow- up attack which can 100% knock down and paralyzes another shadow. For the maximum level, the persona of the corresponding ally will be evolved into another persona. The biggest change is the status of the persona. Some persona retains or even lose its weakness and be immune to certain kind of magic attacks. All allies whom had their corresponding Social Link levels maxed have a chance to survive an attack that should have killed them with 1 HP.
The soundtrack was mainly composed by Shoji Meguro
with 4 tracks composed by Atsushi Kitajoh
(known for his soundtrack for Trauma Center: New Blood
) and 3 tracks by Ryota Kozuka
(1 composition and 2 arrangements). It was released as a 2-disc Original Soundtrack on July 23, 2008
by Aniplex. While Persona 3
had a more modern style and design, Persona 4
features a more retro one.
The soundtrack will also be available in the North American release.
A manga version of Persona 4 is being written by Sogabe Shuji, the artist for Persona 3's manga, and is being serialized by Dengeki Black Maoh magazine on September 19, 2008.
Soon after launch, Persona 4 began receiving foreign recognition for being an excellent gaming experience. "The story is solid, can withstand multiple playthroughs, and is backed up by quality gameplay, music, and visuals," notes Randomnpc's Derek Cavin.
"Persona 4 is a near flawless example of the perfect balance between 'falling back on what works' and 'pushing the genre forward.' That said, I wholeheartedly recommend it as one of the best RPG experiences of the year." notes RPGFan's Ryan Mattich.
| Review Site
|| Score |
|| 9 of 10 |
|| 94% of 100% |
|| 33/40 |