Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
|Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4|
The North American cover for Persona 4, depicting the game's main characters.
|Series||Megami Tensei (Main)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (Sub-series)
|Release date(s)||Persona 4
|Distribution||DVD-ROM, PlayStation Vita card, digital download|
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (ペルソナ4 Perusona Fō?) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus for Sony's PlayStation 2, and chronologically the fifth installment in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Persona 4 was released in Japan in July 2008, North America in December 2008, and Europe in March 2009, and was later re-released on the PlayStation Network in April 2014. An enhanced remake for the PlayStation Vita, Persona 4 Golden (Persona 4: The Golden in Japan), was released in Japan in July 2012, North America in November 2012, and in Europe in February 2013.
Persona 4 takes place in a fictional Japanese countryside and is indirectly related to both Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and Persona 2. The player-named main protagonist is a high-school student who moved into the countryside from the city for a year. During his year-long stay, he becomes involved in investigating mysterious murders while harnessing the power of summoning Persona. The game features a weather forecast system with events happening on foggy days to replace the moon phase system implemented in the previous games.
The plot of Persona 4 was inspired by the work of mystery novelists owing to its murder mystery premise. The rural setting was based on a town on the outskirts of Mount Fuji and intended as a "'nowhere' place" and is the central setting to have players sympathize with the daily life of the characters. The developers added many in-game events to prevent the game from becoming stale. During the localization, numerous alterations to names and cultural references were made to preserve the effect through translation, but some Japanese cultural references were altered or removed.
The release of the game in Japan was also accompanied with retail merchandise revolving around the game's theme such as character costumes and accessories. The North American package of the game was released with a CD with selected music from the game, and, unlike Persona 3, the European package also contained a soundtrack CD. The music, as with the previous game, was composed primarily by Shoji Meguro. He was joined this time by Shihoko Hirata, who performed vocals on various songs, including the theme song "Pursuing My True Self". The game was positively received by critics and developed into a full franchise. Various manga and light novel adaptations and spin-offs have been produced. A television anime adaptation by AIC ASTA, titled Persona 4: The Animation, aired in Japan between October 2011 and March 2012, with an anime adaptation of Persona 4 Golden, produced by A-1 Pictures, airing as of July 2014. The game has also spawned two fighting game sequels, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and an upcoming rhythm game, Persona 4: Dancing All Night.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Story
- 3 Development
- 4 Remake and spinoffs
- 5 Other media
- 6 Release and reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Persona 4 blends traditional RPG gameplay with simulation elements. The player controls the game's protagonist, a teenage boy who is named by the player, who comes to the town of Inaba for a year. Gameplay is divided between the real world of Inaba, where the protagonist carries out his daily life, and the mysterious "TV World", where various dungeons filled with monsters known as Shadows await. With the exception of scripted events, such as plot progression or special events, players can choose to spend their day how they like, be it participating in various real world activities, such as joining school clubs, taking part-time jobs, or reading books, or exploring the TV World's dungeons to gain experience and items. Days are broken up into various times of day, the most reoccurring being "After School/Daytime" and "Evening", with most activities causing time to move on. Certain activities are limited depending on the time of day, days of the week, and the weather, with most evening activities unavailable if the player visits the TV World that day. Furthermore, some activities and dialogue choices may be limited by the protagonist's five attributes; Understanding, Diligence, Courage, Knowledge, and Expression, which can be increased by performing certain activities that build them. Whilst the player is free to choose how to spend their time, if they fail to rescue someone who is trapped in the TV World by the time fog appears in town, which takes place after several days of consecutive rain, the game will end, forcing the player to return to a week prior. As the game progresses, the protagonist forms friendships with other characters known as "Social Links", which are each represented by one of the Major Arcana. As these bonds strengthen, the Social Links increase in Rank, which grant bonuses when creating new Personas in the Velvet Room. Additionally, strengthening Social Links with the main party members grant them additional abilities, such as the ability to perform a follow-up attack or an additional ability for their Persona.
The main focus of the game revolves around Personas, avatars projected from one's inner self that resemble mythological figures and represent the façades worn by individuals to face life's hardships. Each Persona possesses its own skills, as well as strengths and weaknesses to certain attributes. As Personas gain experience from battle and level up, that Persona can learn new skills, which include offensive or support abilities used in battle, or passive skills that grant the character benefits. Each Persona can carry up to eight skills at a time, with older skills needing to be forgotten in order to learn new ones. Whilst each of the main party members have their own unique Persona, which transforms into a stronger form after maxing out their Social Link, the protagonist has the "Wild Card" ability to wield multiple Personas, which he can switch between during battle to access different movesets. The player can earn new Personas from Shuffle Time, with the protagonist able to carry more Personas as he levels up. Outside of the dungeons, the player can visit the Velvet Room, where players can create new Personas, or summon previously acquired Personas for a fee. New Personas are created by fusing two or more monsters to create a new one, which receives some of the skills passed down from its material monsters. The level of Personas that can be created are limited by the protagonist's current level. If the player has built up a Social Link relating to a particular Arcana, then a Persona relating to that Arcana will receive a bonus upon creation.
Inside the TV World, the player assembles a party, consisting of the protagonist and up to three other characters, to explore randomly generated dungeons, each tailored around a victim who had been kidnapped. On each floor of a dungeon, the player may find roaming Shadows, as well as treasure chests containing items and equipment. Players progress through the dungeon by finding the stairs somewhere on each floor to progress to the next, eventually reaching the final floor where a boss enemy awaits. The player enters battle upon coming into contact with a Shadow. The player can gain an advantage by attacking the Shadow from behind, whilst being attacked from behind themselves will give the enemy an advantage. Similar to the Press Turn system used in other Shin Megami Tensei games, battles are turn-based with characters fighting enemies using their equipped weapons, items, or the special skills of their Personas. Aside from the protagonist, who is controlled directly, the other characters can either be given direct commands or be assigned 'Tactics' which alter their battle AI. If the protagonist loses all of his HP, the game ends, returning players to the beginning of the current floor.
Offensive abilities carry several attributes, including Physical, Fire, Ice, Wind, Electricity, Light, and Dark. As well as various enemies carrying different attributes, player characters may also have strengths or weaknesses against certain attacks depending on their Persona or equipment. By exploiting an enemy's weakness or performing a critical attack, the player can knock them over, granting the attacking character an additional move, whilst the enemy may also be granted an additional move if they target a player character's weakness. If the player knocks all of the enemies down, they may be granted the opportunity to perform an "All-Out Attack", in which all the players rush the downed enemies to inflict heavy damage. Following a battle, players gain experience points, money, and items from their battle. Sometimes after a battle, the player may participate in a mini-game known as "Shuffle Time". In the PS2 version, players select a randomly shuffled card from a roulette, which can grant the player bonuses or new Personas, or penalise the player with negative effects. In the Vita version, players manually select from a group of cards, with certain cards granting the player additional draws in exchange for certain effects, such as fewer experience points. Clearing the deck will grant a bonus, which grants the player additional draws on their next Shuffle Time.
Setting and characters
Persona 4 takes place in the fictional, rural Japanese town of Inaba, which lies among floodplains and has its own high school and shopping districts. Unexplained murders have taken place in the small town, where bodies are found dangling from television antennas and their cause of death unknown. At the same time, rumor has begun to spread that watching a switched-off television set on rainy midnights will reveal a person's soulmate. The game also follows the main characters into the TV World, a fog-shrouded realm filled with monsters called Shadows, which can only be accessed through TV sets.
The protagonist is a high school student who has recently moved from a large city to Inaba, where he is to live and attend school for a year. At school, he quickly becomes friends with Yosuke Hanamura, the somewhat-clumsy son of the manager of the local Junes megastore; Chie Satonaka, an energetic girl with a strong interest in martial arts; and Yukiko Amagi, a calm and refined girl who helps out at her family's inn. A few days into the game, the protagonist, Yosuke, and Chie follow the "Midnight Channel" rumor, which leads them to discover the TV World and meet Teddie, a friendly creature that appears as a hollow bear costume. Using Personas, the students form an Investigation Team to investigate the connection between the TV world and the murders, and possibly capture the culprit. As the game progresses, the group gains new members, including: Kanji Tatsumi, a male delinquent who has a talent for feminine hobbies; Rise Kujikawa, a former teen idol trying to find her identity who moves to Inaba as a transfer student; and Naoto Shirogane, a young female detective investigating the case with the local police who wears masculine clothing and presents herself as male due to fear of rejection.
In April 11, 2011, the protagonist arrives in Inaba to live with the Dojimas, consisting of his uncle Ryotaro and his cousin Nanako, for one year, as his parents are working abroad. Just after his arrival, a TV announcer is found dead, her body hanging from an antenna; Saki Konishi, the high school student who had discovered the body, is later found dead herself, hung upside-down from a telephone pole. After the protagonist and his friends accidentally enter the TV world, they encounter Teddie, who helps them travel freely between the TV and real worlds. They awaken their Persona abilities, realizing that the murders stem from attacks by Shadows, beings native to the TV world created from repressed emotions, and are able to rescue several would-be victims. Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji, Rise, and Teddie one by one come to accept the parts of their psyches they rejected, which manifest as giant Shadows in the TV world, allowing them to wield Personas whilst each joins the group in turn. Mitsuo Kubo, a student from another high school who disappears following the death of Kinshiro Morooka, the protagonist's foul-mouthed homeroom teacher, claims credit for the murders; it is eventually learned that Kubo only killed the teacher and played no part in the other murders. Naoto Shirogane, a nationally-renowned "Detective Prince" investigating the case, is also rescued and gains a Persona, and joins the group who learn that "he" is actually a girl who assumed a male identity to avoid the police's sexism.
Events come to a head when Ryotaro Dojima mistakenly accuses the protagonist of being involved in the murders. Nanako is kidnapped during the protagonist's interrogation, leading Ryotaro to engage in a vehicular pursuit with the culprit. The chase ends as they both crash; the kidnapper escapes with Nanako through a television set in his truck, and the gravely-injured Ryotaro entrusts her rescue to the group. The group tracks them down within the TV world; the culprit, Taro Namatame, becomes a god-like monster—Kunino-sagiri—which attacks them but is defeated, and both he and Nanako are taken to the Inaba hospital. When Nanako appears to die, the group furiously confronts Namatame; as the protagonist, the player must help the others realize that Namatame is not the killer by pointing out the lack of a proper motive, and subsequently work to determine that Ryotaro's assistant, Tohru Adachi, is the true killer. Failure to do so ends the game with the party unable to solve the case; Nanako either dying, or reviving but remaining at the hospital; and the recurring fog permanently setting in, the last of which will eventually lead to humanity's demise.
Having identified the culprit as Adachi, the party chases and locates him within the TV world. Adachi explains that his actions were out of both boredom and the belief that humanity is better off believing what it wants; his claims are dismissed by the party. After fighting Adachi, he is possessed by Ameno-sagiri, the Japanese God of Fog, who reveals that the fog is harmful to people and will eventually cause humanity to fall into a permanent state of ignorance. Upon his defeat, he agrees to lift the fog, congratulating the party on their resolve. Defeated, the wounded Adachi agrees to assume responsibility for his actions and turns himself in. The game moves forward to the day before the protagonist must travel home. If the player returns to the Dojima residence, the game ends with the party sending the protagonist off as he departs Inaba. Alternatively, should the player be able to identify the unexplained cause of the Midnight Channel and attempt to resolve this plot element, the protagonist meets with the party, and together they decide to end this case for good.
The protagonist confronts the gas station attendant encountered at the start of the game, who reveals herself to be the Japanese goddess Izanami, the "conductor" behind the game's events. The cause of the recurring fog is established as an attempt to create a world of illusion by merging the TV world with the human world, all for the "sake" of humanity. The group tracks Izanami down within the TV world and battle her, but is at first unable to win; the defeated protagonist is given strength by the bonds he has forged with those around him, and with this power awakens a new Persona—Izanagi-no-Okami—which he uses to defeat Izanami. In doing so, the fog in each world is lifted, and the TV world is restored to its original form. The game ends with the party sending the protagonist off the following day, and a post-credits scene depicts the group resolving to remain friends forever, as the protagonist examines a photo of the party.
According to the game director Katsuro Hashino, while "ideas [had been] thrown around earlier", development on Persona 4 in Japan did not begin until after the release of Persona 3. The development team consisted of the team from Persona 3 and new hires which included fans of Persona 3. Atlus intended to improve both the gameplay and story elements of Persona 3 for the new game, to ensure it was not seen as a "retread" of its predecessor. Hashino said that "to accomplish that, we tried to give the players of Persona 4 a definite goal and a sense of purpose that would keep motivating them as they played through the game. The murder mystery plot was our way of doing that." The plot of Persona 4 was "greatly inspired", according to Hashino, by mystery novelists such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Seishi Yokomizo. Persona 4 was officially unveiled in the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu in March 2008. An article in the issue detailed the game's murder mystery premise, rural setting, and new weather forecast system. The game's North American release date was announced at the 2008 Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. Atlus would not make an add-on disc or epilogue for Persona 4, as had been done with the Persona 3 FES.
The design of Inaba is based on a town on the outskirts of Mount Fuji. Its rural design was a source of conflict between Persona 4's developers, as "each staff member had their own image of a rural town", according to director Katsura Hashino. The entire staff went "location hunting" to determine Inaba's design. Inaba does not represent a "a country town that has tourist attractions", but rather a non-notable, "'nowhere' place". Hashino described the town as being "for better or for worse... a run-of-the-mill town". Unlike other role-playing games, which may have large worlds for the player to explore, Persona 4 mostly takes place in Inaba. This reduced development costs, and enabled Atlus "to expand other portions of the game" in return. A central setting also allows players to "sympathize with the daily life that passes in the game". To prevent the setting from becoming stale, the development team established a set number of in-game events to be created to "keep the game exciting".
Despite living in the countryside, Persona 4 characters were designed to look and sound "normal" and like "modern high-schoolers", according to lead editor Nich Maragos. Initially, he wrote the game's cast as being "more rural than was really called for". "The characters aren't really hicks... They just happen to live in a place that's not a major metropolitan area." While interviewing members of Persona 4's development team, 1UP.com editor Andrew Fitch noted that the characters from the city — Yosuke and the protagonist — have "more stylish" hair than the other characters. Art director Shigenori Soejima used hair styles to differentiate between characters from the city versus the country. "With Yosuke in particular, I gave him accessories, such as headphones and a bicycle, to make it more obvious that he was from the city."
During localization of the game, character's names were altered for the international audience for familiarity, including Kuma being renamed Teddie. A similar change was done for Rise Kujikawa's stage name, "Risechie" (りせちー Risechī?) in Japan to "Risette". Nanba also explained the change from "Community" (コミュニティ Komyuniti?) to "Social Link", regarding the gameplay mechanic, as "community" has a different meaning in English, whereas Igor in his speeches often refers to "society" and "bonds". Names were also altered for pun and other linguistic effect including dungeon items' names such as the Kae Rail (カエレール Kaerēru?) becoming the "Goho-M", as the item's use of returning the player to the entrance was taken to be "go home" and changing Junes's slogan from "Everyday Young Life! Junes!" (エヴリディ・ヤングライフ！ ジュネス！ Evuridei Yangu Raifu! Junesu!?, with "Junes" coming from the French Jeunesse for youth) to "Everyday's great at your Junes", and eliminating some Japanese cultural references that would not transfer, such as the reference to Kosuke Kindaichi. There were also some issues regarding the translation of the names of Yukiko, Kanji and Rise's dungeons, as the English names were made to fit the original Japanese graphics, and the "Void Quest" dungeon's graphics were specifically made to harken back to the NES. He also remarked on how popular the interpretations of Kanji's Shadow were in the west, and how it did not change how the character was seen by the other audience.
Atlus's senior project manager Masaru Nanba commented it was decided that "Shin Megami Tensei" was to be kept in the title of Persona 3 and Persona 4, as it was believed that they were part of the same series as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne; however, the "Shin Megami Tensei" title was omitted from both Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4 Arena, as it would have been much too long. Similarly, Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena and Persona 4: The Golden were shortened to the previously stated titles.
|Persona 4 Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Shoji Meguro|
|Released||July 23, 2008 (Japan)|
|Genre||Video game soundtrack|
The soundtrack was primarily composed and directed by Shoji Meguro, with vocals by Shihoko Hirata, whom Meguro felt was able to meet the range of emotion needed for the soundtrack, while the lyrics were written by Reiko Tanaka. Meguro was given a rough outline of the game's plot and worked on the music in the same manner and simultaneously with the development of the story and spoken dialog, starting with the overall shape of the songs and eventually working on the finer details. According to Meguro, the songs "Pursuing My True Self" and "Reach Out to the Truth" were composed to reflect the inner conflict that the game's main characters; the former song, used as the opening theme, helped to set an understanding of the characters' conflicts, while the latter, used in battle sequences, emphasized the "strength of these characters to work through their internal struggles." The "Aria of the Soul" theme used in the Velvet Room, a concept common to all the Persona games, remained relatively unchanged, with Meguro believing "the shape of the song had been well-defined" from previous games. Composers Atsushi Kitajoh and Ryota Koduka also contributed music for the game. Kitajoh, who had previously written music for Growlanser VI and Trauma Center: New Blood, contributed four themes to Persona 4, whilst Koduka wrote the "Theme of Junes".
Persona 4's soundtrack was released as a 2-disc Original Soundtrack on July 23, 2008, by Aniplex with the catalog number SVWC-7566/7. The soundtrack is also available in the North American release, containing a Side A and Side B. The Side A of the soundtrack is the bonus disc packaged with each game, while Side B of the soundtrack is part of the Amazon.com Exclusive Persona 4 Social Link Expansion Pack. Similarly to Persona 3, a "Reincarnation" album for the game's original soundtrack titled Never More was released on October 26, 2011, featuring full length cuts of the game's vocal tracks and extended mixes of some of the instrumental tracks. Never More made it to the top of both the Oricon Weekly Album Charts and Billboard's Japan Top Albums chart for the week of its release, selling nearly 27,000 copies.
All music composed by Shoji Meguro, unless otherwise noted.
|Persona 4 Original Soundtrack, Disc 1|
|1.||"Pursuing My True Self"||Yu Namba, RyoRca||Shihoko Hirata||1:26|
|2.||"Kioku no Katasumi" (記憶の片隅, "Corner of Memories")||1:11|
|3.||"Welcome to the Limousine"||0:26|
|4.||"Subete no Hito no Tamashii no Uta" (全ての人の魂の詩; The Poem of Everyone's Souls)||5:38|
|6.||"Signs Of Love"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||3:01|
|7.||"Mayonaka TV" (マヨナカテレビ, Mayonaka-terebi; "Midnight Channel")||1:18|
|8.||"Your Affection"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:52|
|9.||"Like a dream come true"||2:37|
|10.||"Soko ni Iru no wa Dare?" (そこにいるのは誰?; "Who's There?")||1:52|
|11.||"Reach Out To The Truth -First Battle-"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:57|
|13.||"Backside of the TV"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:54|
|14.||"Suiri" (推理; "Deduction")||3:22|
|16.||"Kyōki no Kyōkaisen" (狂気の境界線; "Border of Insanity")||2:19|
|17.||"I'll Face Myself -Battle-"||3:00|
|18.||"I'll Face Myself"||2:41|
|19.||"Muscle Blues"||Atsushi Kitajoh||1:29|
|20.||"It's SHOW TIME!"||Atsushi Kitajoh||0:51|
|21.||"Hito no Otto" (人の夫; "Someone Else's Man")||Tamari||Atsushi Kitajoh||Tamari||1:40|
|22.||"Kerorin MAGIC!" (ケロリンMAGIC!; "Quelorie Magic!")||Atsushi Kitajoh||1:04|
|24.||"Kakusei" (覚醒; "Awakening")||1:24|
|25.||"Reach Out to the Truth"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:48|
|Persona 4 Original Soundtrack, Disc 2|
|1.||"Reach Out to the Truth -Instrumental Version-"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||1:32|
|4.||"Heartbeat, Heartbreak"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:15|
|8.||"A New World Fool"||4:18|
|9.||"Kiri" (霧; "Fog")||3:56|
|11.||"JUNES no Thema" (ジュネスのテーマ, Junesu no Tēma; JUNES Theme)||Ryota Koduka||1:39|
|12.||"Kokoro no Chikara (P4ver.)" (心の力 (P4ver.); "Strength of Heart (P4 ver.)")||1:59|
|13.||"The Path is Open (P4ver.)"||1:50|
|14.||"Musōkyoku" (夢想曲; "Traumerei")||2:23|
|17.||"Heaven"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||3:00|
|19.||"Suiri -another version-" (推理-another version-; "Deduction -Another Version-")||0:44|
|22.||"Kairō" (回廊; "Corridor")||2:20|
|25.||"I'll Face Myself -Another Version-"||1:44|
|26.||"Never More"||Shigeo Komori||Shihoko Hirata||6:40|
|27.||"Electronica In Velvet Room"||4:45|
|Persona 4 Soundtrack Selection Side A|
|1.||"Pursuing My True Self"||Ryu Namba, RyoRca||Shihoko Hirata||1:27|
|2.||"Aria of the Soul"||5:38|
|4.||"Your Affection"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:52|
|6.||"Reach out to the Truth -Inst version-"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||1:32|
|8.||"Border of Insanity"||2:19|
|9.||"I'll Face Myself -Battle-"||3:01|
|10.||"Muscle Blues"||Atsushi Kitajoh||1:27|
|13.||"Heartbeat, Heartbreak"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:15|
|15.||"A New World Fool"||4:20|
|16.||"Reach out to the Truth"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:48|
|17.||"Junes Theme"||Ryota Koduka||1:42|
|20.||"Heaven"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||3:01|
|21.||"Deduction -another version-"||0:44|
|24.||"Never More"||Shigeo Komori||Shihoko Hirata||6:37|
|Persona 4 Soundtrack Selection Side B|
|1.||"Reach Out to the Truth -First Battle-"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:56|
|2.||"Strength of Heart (P4 ver.)"||1:59|
|3.||"Welcome to the Limousine"||0:26|
|4.||"Signs of Love"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||2:59|
|6.||"Like a Dream Come True"||2:36|
|8.||"I'll Face Myself"||2:40|
|9.||"It's Showtime!"||Atsushi Kitajoh||0:49|
|10.||"Someone Else's Man"||Tamari||Atsushi Kitajoh||Tamari||1:38|
|11.||"Quelorie Magic!"||Atsushi Kitajoh||1:02|
|15.||"Studio Backlot" (Shihoko Hirata)||Reiko Tanaka||2:54|
|20.||"The Path is Open (P4 ver.)"||1:50|
|26.||"I'll Face Myself -another version-"||1:44|
|27.||"Glimpse of a Memory"||1:11|
|28.||"Electronica of the Soul"||4:45|
|Never More -Reincarnation:PERSONA4-|
|1.||"Pursuing My True Self"||Yu Namba, RyoRca||Shihoko Hirata||3:05|
|2.||"Heartbeat, Heartbreak"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||4:05|
|3.||"Like a dream come true"||3:43|
|4.||"I'll Face Myself -Battle-"||5:17|
|5.||"Reach Out To The Truth"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||4:21|
|6.||"Your Affection"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||4:03|
|7.||"Musōkyoku" (夢想曲; "Traumerei")||3:16|
|9.||"Heaven"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||4:20|
|10.||"Signs Of Love"||Reiko Tanaka||Shihoko Hirata||3:09|
|12.||"Never More"||Shigeo Komori||Shihoko Hirata||6:29|
|Persona 4 Golden: Original Soundtrack|
|1.||"Shadow World"||Benjamin Franklin||Shoji Meguro||Shihoko Hirata||4:43|
|2.||"Time To Make History"||Benjamin Franklin||Shoji Meguro||Shihoko Hirata||2:31|
|3.||"Umi e Ikō ze" (海へ行こーぜ, "Let's Go to the Beach")||Atsushi Kitajoh||2:43|
|4.||"Everyday Sunshine"||Atsushi Kitajoh||3:19|
|5.||"True Story"||Yuichiro Tanaka||Shoji Meguro||Rise Kujikawa (Rie Kugimiya)||3:19|
|6.||"Mayonaka Ōdan Miracle Quiz" (マヨナカ横断ミラクルクイズ Mayonaka Ōdan Mirakuru Kuizu, "Midnight Crossing Miracle Quiz")||Atsushi Kitajoh||2:01|
|7.||"A Sky Full Of Stars"||Atsushi Kitajoh||2:46|
|8.||"Minna de Hatsumōde" (みんなで初詣, "Everyone Goes On a Hatsumōde")||Atsushi Kitajoh||0:53|
|9.||"Yukemuri Ryojō Daisakusen" (湯けむり旅情大作戦, "Hot Springs Sentiments Tactical Assault")||Atsushi Kitajoh||0:26|
|10.||"SNOWFLAKES"||Benjamin Franklin||Shoji Meguro||Shihoko Hirata||3:26|
|11.||"Utsuro no Mori no Shōjo" (虚ろの森の少女, "Girl of the Hollow Forest")||Atsushi Kitajoh||3:09|
|12.||"Kioku" (記憶, "Memory")||Shoji Meguro||3:20|
|13.||"Never More ~Okaeri~" (Never More ～おかえり～, "Never More (Return)")||Shoji Meguro||0:42|
|14.||"SNOWFLAKES -powder snow mix-"||Benjamin Franklin||Shoji Meguro||Shihoko Hirata||4:22|
|15.||"Shin Mitsuo Tensei" (真・ミツオ転生, "True Mitsuo Reincarnation")||Shoji Meguro||3:04|
Remake and spinoffs
Persona 4 Golden
Persona 4 Golden, released in Japan as Persona 4: The Golden (ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデン Perusona Fō Za Gōruden?), was announced in August 2011 as an enhanced remake of Persona 4 for the portable PlayStation Vita. It was originally planned by Atlus to be a PlayStation Portable title, similar to Persona 3 Portable, which would have required removing some of the features of the PlayStation 2 game. However, the Vita provided sufficient resources that allowed Atlus to expand the game. It is an expanded version of the PlayStation 2 title, adding new features and story elements to the game. A new character named Marie was added to the story. Additional Personas, character outfits, and expanded spoken lines and anime cutscenes are included as well as two new Social Links for Marie and Tohru Adachi. The game supports the wireless networking features of the Vita, allowing a player to call in help from other players to help in dungeon battles. Another new feature is a garden that produces items the player can use in the various dungeons. The game was released in Japan on June 14, 2012. Persona 4: The Golden is also the first Persona game to be released in traditional Chinese.
The release of Persona 4: The Golden resulted in the surge of sales of PlayStation Vitas. During its debut week, the game sold 137,076 units in Japan. Media Create stated that the game's outstanding sales that surpassed the debuts of other titles from Persona series may be due to the exposure the Persona 4 game has had in other forms of media. As of mid-July 2012, the game had sold 193,412 units in Japan. The game was the eighth most purchased digital Vita game on the Japanese PlayStation Network in 2013. As of April 2014, the game shipped 350,000 copies in Japan, and over 700,000 copies were shipped worldwide as of December 2013.
A P4G soundtrack was released on June 27, 2012, consisting of one disc of tracks composed by Shoji Meguro and Atsushi Kitajoh.
In an interview with RPGamer at E3 2012, Atlus USA revealed that in terms of bonus content in the special "TV Channel" feature, the US release will have 99.9% of the content the Japanese version has, with only one or two commercials missing. It was released for the PlayStation Vita on November 20, 2012. A special 10,000 copies were also released on November 20, 2012, as the "Solid Gold Premium Edition". NIS America released the game in Europe on February 22, 2013.
Persona 4 Arena
A fighting game sequel, Persona 4 Arena, known in Japan as Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, was developed by Arc System Works, the company known for creating the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series, and released in 2012 for arcades, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As with the anime, the protagonist is named Yu Narukami. Aigis, Mitsuru, Elizabeth, and Akihiko from Persona 3 are also featured in the game. Set two months following the True Ending of the original game, the members of the Investigation Team are pulled back into the television and enter into a fighting tournament called the "P-1 Grand Prix" hosted by Teddie. A sequel, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, is currently in development.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is a dungeon-crawler RPG developed for the Nintendo 3DS, which features characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4, as well as gameplay elements from the Etrian Odyssey series. The game was released in Japan on June 5, 2014 and will be released in North America on November 25, 2014 and in Europe in Autumn 2014.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a rhythm game co-developed by Atlus and Dingo Inc. for PlayStation Vita, featuring music from the Persona series. The game takes place half a year following the events of Persona 4, as the Investigation Team look into a mysterious "Midnight Stage", which is abducting girls from Rise's idol group. The game will be released in Japan in Fall 2014 and in North America in 2015.
|Other Persona 4 media|
|Written by||Shūji Sogabe|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Magazine||Dengeki Black Maoh|
|Original run||September 19, 2008 – ongoing|
|Persona x Detective Naoto|
|Written by||Mamiya Natsuki|
|Illustrated by||Kiyotaka Haimura|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Persona 4: The Magician|
|Written by||Shiichi Kukura|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Persona x Detective Naoto|
|Written by||Mamiya Natsuki|
|Illustrated by||Shiichi Kukura|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||November 27, 2012 – ongoing|
With the release of Persona 4, Atlus has also produced a line of merchandise, including action figures, published materials, toys and clothes. Atlus collaborated with the Japanese publishing company Enterbrain to publish the game's two strategy guides, an artbook detailing character and setting designs, as well a fan book called Persona Club P4 which included official artwork, fan art, as well as interviews with the design staff. Most items were only released in Japan, while other Japanese third-party manufacturers also produced figurines and toys. The action figures include a 1/8 scale PVC figurine of Yukiko Amagi as well as Teddie and Rise Kujikawa, produced by Alter. Licensed Atlus merchandise sold by Cospa includes Persona 4 t-shirts, tote bags, and the jacket and other accessories worn by the character Chie.
Persona 4 was also given a manga adaptation. It is written by Shūji Sogabe, the artist for Persona 3's manga, and started serialization in ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Black Maoh Volume 5 in September 2008. The first tankōbon volume was released on September 26, 2009, and six volumes have been released as of February 27, 2012.
Shiichi Kukura also authored Persona 4 The Magician (ペルソナ4 The Magician?), a manga that focuses on Yosuke Hanamura's life in Inaba before the game's start. Its only volume was released on August 27, 2012. A manga adaptation of the light novel Persona 4 x Detective Naoto, illustrated by Satoshi Shiki, began serialization in Dengeki Maoh magazine from November 27, 2012.
Mamiya Natsuki wrote a light novel titled Persona X Detective Naoto (ペルソナ×探偵NAOTO Perusona × Tantei Naoto?) that focuses on the character of Naoto Shirogane a year after the events of Persona 4. She is hired to investigate the disappearance of a childhood friend in Yagakoro City where she is partnered with Sousei Kurogami, a mechanized detective. With illustrations by Shigenori Soejima and Shuji Sogabe, the light novel was released by Dengeki Bunko on June 8, 2012 in Japan.
A 25-episode television anime adaptation of the game, produced by AIC A.S.T.A. and directed by Seiji Kishi, aired on MBS between October 6, 2011 and March 29, 2012. An additional 26th episode, featuring the story's true ending, was released in the 10th volume of Persona 4 on August 22, 2013. The series features most of the returning cast from the video game, whilst voice recordings for Igor were taken from the game as his actor, Isamu Tanonaka, passed away in January 2010. Aniplex released the series on DVD and Blu-ray Disc between November 23, 2011 and August 22, 2012, with the first volume containing a director's cut of the first episode and a bonus CD single. Sentai Filmworks licensed the series in North America, simulcasting it on Anime Network as it aired and releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray in two collective volumes on September 18, 2012 and January 15, 2013 respectively. Like the Japanese version, the English dub retains many of the original voice actors from the English version of the game, although the Blu-ray Disc release omits the Japanese audio option. Kazé and Manga Entertainment released the series in the United Kingdom in three BD/DVD combi boxsets released between December 24, 2012 and July 22, 2013. A film recap of the series, titled Persona 4 The Animation -The Factor of Hope-, was released in Japanese theaters on June 9, 2012, featuring a condensed version of the story and new scenes of animation. A second anime adaptation based on Persona 4 Golden, titled Persona 4: The Golden Animation, is being produced by A-1 Pictures and began airing on MBS' Animeism block in July 2014.
A live stage production titled VisuaLive: Persona 4 (VISUALIVE『ペルソナ4』 VisuaLive: Perusona Fo?) took place from March 15–20, 2012. Actors starring in the stage production include Toru Baba as the audience-named protagonist, Takahisa Maeyama as Yosuke Hanamura, Minami Tsukui as Chie Satonaka, Risa Yoshiki as Yukiko Amagi, Jyōji Saotome as Daisuke Nagase, Motohiro Ota as Kou Ichijo, and Masashi Taniguchi as Ryotaro Dojima, and Masami Ito as Tohru Adachi. Kappei Yamaguchi reprised his role as Teddie in voice. Following the announcement, Youichiro Omi was cast as Kanji Tatsumi on December 1, 2011. VisuaLive: Persona 4 chronicled the events of the game up until Kanji's inclusion into the party. A second stage production, titled VisuaLive: Persona 4: The Evolution (VISUALIVE『ペルソナ4 The Evolution』 VisuaLive: Perusona Fo The Evolution?), chronicled the second half of the events of the story and took place from October 3–9, 2012. Additions to the cast include Yuriya Suzuki as Rise Kujikawa, Juria Kawakami as Naoto Shirogane, Yasuhiro Roppongi as Tarou Namatame, Shotaro Mamiya as Izanami and Arisa Nakajima as Margaret. Yumi Sugimoto replaced Yoshiki as Yukiko Amagi.
Release and reception
Persona 4 was highly acclaimed by critics within and outside Japan, and remained on top of sales charts on its initial release. In Japan, the game sold 193,000 copies within a week of its release, while in North America, Persona 4 was the highest-selling PlayStation 2 game on Amazon.com for two consecutive weeks. A soundtrack disc was included in the North American and European releases of Persona 4, containing a selection of tracks from the full soundtrack released in Japan. Amazon.com exclusively sold the Persona 4 "Social Link Expansion Pack", which included an additional soundtrack disc, a t-shirt, a 2009 calendar, and a plush doll of the character Teddie. Persona 4 was awarded the "PlayStation 2 Game Prize" in the Famitsu Awards 2008, voted by readers of Famitsu. It was also recognized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association as one of the recipients for the "Games of the Year Award of Excellence" in the Japan Game Awards 2009. The game was given the award for its "high quality of work", "excellent story, automatically generated dungeons and impressive background music".
Persona 4 received critical acclaim from most game critics upon release. Famitsu pointed out that while "there isn't much new from the last game", it favored the changes over the battle system, where the pacing "is quick so it doesn't get to be a pain", and the ability to control party members "makes play that much easier". IGN on the other hand noted that "the pacing can be somewhat off", and "some things feel repurposed or unaffected from previous games", while praising the game as an "evolution of the RPG series, and an instant classic". It also noted that the soundtrack can be "a bit repetitive". RPGFan's Ryan Mattich recommended Persona 4 as "one of the best RPG experiences of the year", noting that "among the cookie-cutter sequels and half-hearted remakes", the game is "a near flawless example of the perfect balance between 'falling back on what works' and 'pushing the genre forward'." 1UP.com's Andrew Fitch summarized Persona 4 as "some of this decade's finest RPG epics", although the reviewer criticized its "slight loading issues" and the time spent "waiting for the plot to advance". GameTrailers gave the game a score of 9.3, stating it's an exception to the rule of the Japanese Role-playing genre, and that it stands out of any other JRPG, including its predecessor, Persona 3. Wired pointed out that while the graphics are not up to par with those of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, "the clever art style makes up for that". It also praised the game's soundtrack as "excellent, especially the battle music". Games Radar ranked it fifth "best videogame stories ever", saying its "greatest strength comes from pacing".
The game's setting garnered mixed reactions. IGN labeled Persona 4 as "a murder mystery set against the backdrop of familiar Persona 3 elements", and while this element adds "an interesting twist" to the dungeon crawl and social simulation gameplay, it also causes the plot to "slow down or suffer". Hyper's Tim Henderson commended the game for "willfully embellish[ing] absurd urban legends and other ideas with such assured consistency that the resulting whole is unshakabl[y] coherent". However, he criticized it for the narrative's sluggish pace and for how he felt the game is "lacking in elaborate set-pieces". 1UP.com called Persona 4 a "stylish murder mystery", the comparison given being a "small-town Scooby-Doo" adventure.
The game is also noted for its "significant portion of the story revolving around sexual themes", as quoted from RPGFan's Ryan Mattich. One of the playable characters given attention by reviewers is Kanji, who is considered to be one of the first characters in a mainstream video game to struggle with their sexual orientation, and Atlus has been commended for the inclusion of that character. Atlus USA has stated that they left Kanji's sexual preferences ambiguous and up to the player, however there has been no word from developer Atlus Japan concerning the matter. According to Dr. Antonia Levi, author of Samurai from Outer Space: Understanding Japanese Animation, the questioning of Kanji's sexuality in the script is a "comment on homosexuality in a greater Japanese social context," in which "the notion of 'coming out' is seen as undesirable ... as it necessarily involves adopting a confrontational stance against mainstream lifestyles and values". Brenda Brathwaite, author of Sex in Video Games, thought it "would have been amazing if they would have made a concrete statement that [Kanji] is gay", but was otherwise "thrilled" with the treatment of the character and the game's representation of his "inner struggles and interactions with friends".
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- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Junes - Food Court. "Chie: You're supposed to look into a TV that's switched off, alone, exactly at midnight on a rainy night. While you're staring at your own image, another person will appear on the screen. And they say that person's your soulmate."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World. "Teddie: I know that if it's foggy on your side, the fog lifts here. It's really dangerous when the fog lifts. That's when the Shadows get violent…!"
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- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Inaba - Yasogami High School Rooftop. "Yosuke: This guy and me are gonna catch the culprit ourselves! The police are out of their league in this case, but we've got Personas. / Chie: I'm helping out too! I can't believe someone would throw people into a place like that. I'm gonna sock whoever's doing this! / Yukiko: Let me help too. I want to know why this is happening…especially if someone hates me so much they want to kill me."
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- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Inaba - Junes Food Court. "Naoto: My sex doesn't fit my ideal image of a detective… Besides, the police department is a male-oriented society. If they had the slightest "concrete" reason to look down on me, no one would need me anymore."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Dojima residence. "Dojima: I guess until your parents get back next year, you're part of this household."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Yasogami High School - Ground Floor. "Rumor-loving girl: She died the same way as the announcer, right? That's so creepy! / Girl's friend: Well, last time it was from an antenna, but this time she was hanging from a telephone pole. It's gotta be a serial murder case! [...] Oh, by the way, did you hear? Someone saw a girl who looked like Saki on that Midnight Channel thingie!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World. "Teddie: I'll be waiting for you guys here. You need to come in from the same place every time. So we can meet up. [...] You could come in from somewhere else. But then you won't end up here. You could end up somewhere I can't get to you. Then, you'd be dooooomed… Got it!? / Yosuke: Well, pretty much. Now can you show us the way out? / Teddie: Roger that! One exit comin' right up!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Junes - Food Court. "Naoto: Mitsuo Kubo's only victim was Mr. Morooka. It was a copycat killing that mimicked the true culprit's method. / Yosuke: No wonder King Moron's murder broke the pattern in so many ways!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Dojima residence.
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Inaba - Junes Food Court. "Rise: Isn't that kinda odd? Would someone who thinks he's saving people by killing them write stuff like "don't rescue" [or] "kill"? […] / Kanji: Yeah…and the "will be put in and killed" part doesn't make sense, either. If the killer was writing it, wouldn't in be more like, "I'll put it and kill"? / Chie: Hey, could this mean…? […] Yeah… It's almost like…someone else wrote this letter."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Inaba - [_] Hospital. "Naoto: We know for certain that the first two murders [weren't Namatame's doing.] Someone else killed them. Adachi-san, [do you have any idea who that might be?] / Adachi: I-I have no idea what you're talking about… / Kanji: 'Cause we think…it might've been you. / Adachi: Wh-What?! That's ridiculous! We already know Namatame was the one who put 'em all in! ["!"'s go off above everyone's heads.] / Chie: [shocked] Wh-What did you just say…?! […] / Dojima: "Put them all in"… What's this "putting them in" business? [A "!!" goes off above Adachi's head.] / Dojima: [to Adachi] Do you know something about the method behind the murders? Don't tell me all this talk about TVs and whatnot from before was…"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Dojima residence - Your Room. "Narrative: The inside of your room is filled with fog... It's extremely foggy outside... […] Naoto: Th-The entire town... it's filled with Shadows... I can't...!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World - Magato Inaba. "Adachi: Honestly, we don't need our world anymore. Better to let it be swallowed up and for mankind to turn into Shadows. That's what all those people who are scared to death really want, so it's my duty to see that they get it. / Chie: Nobody wants anything like that! It's just you, dumbass! […] / Adachi: You annoying little brats are the ones who aren't wanted in the new world! / Yukiko: Speak for yourself!! Living is too painful for you, but you don't want to die… Of course no one would understand! It makes no sense! You're just throwing a tantrum like a kid who can't have his way!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World - Magato Inaba. "Ameno-sagiri: Mankind will soon become Shadows and live on in the darkness of the fog, oblivious of their reality…"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World - Magato Inaba. "Ameno-sagiri: I see… Your powers are strong. Power comes from the heart… You have proven to me human potential… Very well. I will lift the fog from the place where you will return to."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World. "Adachi: Get outta here… The Shadows will finish me off… Just leave me be… You came to kill me in the first place… didn't you…? / Kanji: No, dumbass. / Yosuke: If we leave you here dying…and a dead body eventually appears, then what? What's that accomplish for anyone…? Your stupid game's over. We're taking you back. Live and face your punishment… That's how it works in our world."
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: Inaba - Shopping District. "Yosuke: You're saying this so-called Izanami is the conductor, and she's waiting for us in the other world? [...] / Yukiko: Right! We'll defeat her and put an end to this for sure this time! / Chie: Alright, then once we're all ready, let's meet up at Junes!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World - ???. "Izanami: Everything was for your sake... to create the world mankind so wanted. Man struggles to understand one another. You can only truly know a finite number of people within your lifetime. But humans disregard this fact and try to know more people than is possible. Only by comparing yourself to others can you define yourselves. Thus your ever-present anxiety. Your anxiety causes you to see only what you want to see, and believe only what you wish to believe. As I said, your desire is for a world enshrouded in fog!"
- Atlus (December 9, 2008). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Level/area: TV World - ???. "Narrative: The hearts of those you formed the deepest bonds with become your strength... Izanagi has transfigured into Izanagi-no-Okami!"
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|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Persona 4|
- Original release
- Official websites for North America, Japan
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 at the Internet Movie Database
- Persona 4 (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Persona 4 Golden