Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

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Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.png
Japanese cover art featuring the game's fighters, with Persona 4 protagonist Yu Narukami in the center.
Developer(s) Arc System Works,
Publisher(s) Atlus
Director(s) Kazuhisa Wada
Seiji Fukumoto
Takumi Iguchiya
Producer(s) Minoru Kidooka
Naoto Hiraoka
Toshimichi Mori
Katsura Hashino
Artist(s) Shigenori Soejima
(Character designer)[1]
Writer(s) Teppei Kobayashi
Composer(s) Atsushi Kitajoh
Series Megami Tensei (Main)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (Sub-series)
Platform(s) Arcade
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP November 28, 2013
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • JP August 28, 2014 (PS3-only)
  • NA September 30, 2014
  • EU November 21, 2014
Genre(s) Fighting
Visual novel[2][3][4]

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, known in Japan as Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold (ペルソナ4 ジ・アルティマックス ウルトラス―プレックスホールド Perusona Fō Ji Arutimakkusu Urutora-Sūpurekkusu Hōrudo?), is a 2013 fighting video game co-developed by Arc System Works and Atlus. It is the direct sequel to the 2012 game, Persona 4 Arena, which is itself a follow-up to the role-playing game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. The game was originally released in Japanese arcades on November 28, 2013, and was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan on August 28, 2014.[5] It was released in North America on September 30, 2014, while Sega published the game in Europe on November 21, 2014.[6][7][8][9] Unlike the previous game, it is not region locked.


Setting and characters[edit]

The game begins a day after the conclusion of Persona 4 Arena, in the fictional rural Japanese town of Inaba. Unlike in the prequel that focused on the TV World, the game's events occur in the real world. However, due to the enemies' interference, Inaba is shrouded by red fog and turns into a labyrinth that mixes with the places of Persona 3 such as Moonlight Bridge, Club Escapade, and Tartarus.

Eight new characters (five of which were introduced in console version) are added to the roster, which are Yukari Takeba, Ken Amada and his canine partner Koromaru, Junpei Iori, Rise Kujikawa, Tohru Adachi, Marie, Margaret and a brand new character, Sho Minazuki. Furthermore, many (though not all) of these characters feature a Shadow Type. Other characters, such as Fuuka Yamagishi from Persona 3, Theodore from Persona 3 Portable, and Nanako and Ryotaro Dojima from Persona 4, appear in a non-playable capacity.[10][11][12][13][14][15]


The Story Mode is divided into two stories between the Persona 3 and Persona 4 cast.

In Persona 4 Story mode, at midnight, the TV in Yu's room suddenly starts airing the P-1 Climax that shows Mitsuru, Aigis, Akihiko, and Fuuka, crucified and announces the world's end within one hour. A black out then occurs throughout Inaba and the whole town is surrounded by red fog. Yu quickly regroups with Yosuke and Chie after they defeat the Shadows that took their friends' forms and decide to go to Yasogami High following General Teddie's instruction while also looking for their friends. Meanwhile, Rise, who had just arrived in Inaba after her work, meets Elizabeth who questions her after sensing her lack of determination due to her support type Persona. Once regaining her confidence, Elizabeth engages her in a battle, and Rise's Persona, Himiko, changes form that is capable of fighting. Teddie meets with Yukiko, who is confused with two Kanjis with her. With Teddie's help, they able to tell which is the real Kanji and they defeat the Shadow. Naoto, who has been contacted by Labyrs for help prior to the black out, meets up with the Shadow Operatives to rescue Mitsuru and the others. Yu, Yosuke, and Chie, who have reached Yasogami High, are approached by Sho who reveals that he is the culprit. They are also surprisingly approached by Adachi, who was supposed to be imprisoned, and give cryptic clues regarding Sho's intention to them. At Tartarus, they once again encounter Sho and defeats him, but are overpowered by his other-self, Minazuki. They are saved by Labrys and Naoto. Having gathered enough Persona fragments to summon a malevolent entity that will destroy the world. On their way to the top of Tartarus, a huge group of Shadows prevent them to go, leaving them no choice but to let Yu go confront Sho alone. At the top of the tower, Yu stops Sho from killing Adachi, and fights Minazuki, in which he emerges victorious. General Teddie, revealing himself to be Hi-no-Kagutsuchi, possesses Sho's body and fights Yu. With Adachi's help, they are able to kill Kagutsuchi for good. As Tartarus collapses, Margaret transports him and his friends to the TV World where Yu reunites with his friends. Afterwards, the ending shows the aftermath of each character: Yosuke goes to Okina City for cram school to prepare for college, Teddie continues his work at Junes, Chie studying hard to become a police officer, Yukiko learning how to cook for her inn, Kanji studying hard to take over his family business, Naoto decides to investigate more about Shadows and Kirijo Group-related incidents and remnants, and Yu returns to his town and officially disbands the Investigation Team for good.

In Persona 3 Story Mode, Mitsuru, Aigis, Akihiko, and Fuuka, while discussing the culprit behind the previous P-1 Grand Prix, have the car they were riding in is hijacked and they all get captured. Labrys, who had heard the news, quickly informs and pick up Yukari, Ken, and Koromaru to go to Inaba via helicopter. Meanwhile, Junpei, who missed his stop because he overslept, by a chance ends up at Inaba. Yukari informs him to meet at the station, but the blackout occurs throughout Inaba, and the town is shrouded by red fog and Shadows appearing. The team decides to split up to look for their captured comrades. After separately meeting the members of Investigation Team and rescue their captured friends, they encounter Sho, the culprit behind Labrys' hijacking who goads them into fighting Shadows in order to gather their Persona fragments to summon a malevolent entity. It is also revealed that Sho used to be one of Ikutsuki's test subjects who lived an isolated life and grew to resent the entire world after the latter abandoned him. During one of the experiments to make him a Persona user like Strega by using Plume of Dusk that's similar to Aigis and Labrys, another personality was born within Sho, which he refers to as Minazuki, who claims to have been born to grant Sho's wish to create a world without bonds. Chasing after Sho to the top of Tartarus, they are surrounded by a huge group of Shadows that prevent them from reaching the tower. They nearly succumb until Adachi saves them. While Mitsuru and the others fends off the Shadows, Labrys reaches the top of the tower to fight Sho. After defeating Sho, General Teddie reveals himself to be the very entity that Sho tried to awaken, Hi-no-Kagutsuchi, and proceeds to possesses Sho's body. With mental support from her friends, Labrys is able to emerge victorious against Kagutsuchi. As Tartarus collapses, Elizabeth transports everyone into TV World. Sho, who is also transported, asks if she really did defeat Kagutsuchi, which she confirms, and Sho acknowledges her strength. Labrys then tries to convince Sho to join the Shadow Operatives, but Sho refuses and threatens her to leave him alone before he leaves. Labrys then reunites with her friends. Afterwards, the ending shows the aftermath of each character: Mitsuru continues her next step for Shadow Operatives, Akihiko quits being a member to become a police under Kurosawa's guidance, Ken and Koromaru tries to live out their lives normally, Yukari and Aigis visit the ruins of the lab where Labyrs was born and decided to let it be instead of destroying it after seeing the nature that grows after its abandonment, Junpei makes progress with his position in his baseball team, Fuuka continues her engineering work, and Labrys wondering about her 'mother'.

After finishing the two stories, the player can take the True Ending route. This route shows after Yu and Adachi defeated Kagutsuchi. Sho, who reveals himself to be alive, unable to sense Minazuki within him and then reveals that he was awakened in the hospital with his payment paid by Ikutsuki. Afterwards, he travels around the world until he ended up in Inaba, where he observed Yu and his friends solving the case. He is then confronted by Hinokagutsuchi, who asks him if he wants to destroy the world, and he agreed. Yu convinced Sho not to be afraid bonding with people, but Sho replies that he can only understand people by fighting them. Understanding this, Yu challenges Sho to one last fight and once again emerges as the victor. Inspired by Yu's bonds, Sho insists that he will kill Yu one day and he should be prepared, which Yu accepts as long as the others won't get involved. Yu reunites with his friends at Junes where they all celebrate their victory. Yu has a heart-to-heart talk with Labrys who is wondering about Sho, and both are confident that they will meet him again one day after Sho finished his own journey.

If the player has the Tohru Adachi DLC, the player can access a special story mode called Episode Adachi, that will tell the event of the game through Adachi's point of view. In the first chapter of his storyline, with the police still questioning his methods for the two murders in Inaba, which they still do not believe Adachi's words on the matter. However, in a twist of irony of being physically assaulted by a brainwashed police officer in an interrogation room, Adachi finds himself in the TV world once more, investigate on his own and get along with Sho's evil plan to stop his plan from destroying the world completely. With the Persona fragment are collected, Adachi finally made his move betraying Sho and defeat him. However, he got brutally beaten by Sho because of his Minazuki half's dangerous pressure weakened him. While being beaten brutally, Adachi marks that Sho still have a chance to redeem himself like Adachi is until Yu arrived at the scene. In the final event of his chapter, Instead of Yu fought Kagutsuchi in Persona 4 story, Adachi is the one who will fought the fiery entity. At the end of his chapter, he returned to his prison cell and then visited by his old friend, Dojima on the next day.

If the player has Persona 4 Arena storyline DLC, the player can access a retold of the previous game's stories.


Like the previous title, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a fighting game in which characters from both Persona 4 and Persona 3 battle each other using a variety of special moves, combos, and Persona abilities. Along with balance adjustments and new moves added to the returning characters, a new S-Hold system allows players to charge up their attacks. Also new to Ultimax is the ability to choose "Shadow Types" for many of the game's characters. These Shadow versions differ by being largely skill-based variants of their counterparts, employing a high-risk high-reward play style thanks to reduced normal attack damage and an altered move set with lacking defensive options. They also keep their SP over multiple rounds instead of resetting each time and possess an exclusive Shadow Rampage ability, which replaces the Burst command, giving the characters infinite SP for a limited time.[16]

The game's Story Mode is now split into two separate campaigns for the Persona 4 and Persona 3 casts, as opposed to a campaign for each character. Two additional story campaigns are available: one allows players to replay the character campaigns from Persona 4 Arena, while the other is included with the Tohru Adachi downloadable content and focuses on his actions during the story.[17] Golden Arena is a dungeon-based survival mode, in which players travel through various dungeons to increase the fighter's stats. Players can build Social Links with a navigator character, giving them skills that can aid the player in battle.[18][19] Online play now features a new lobby area, resembling an arcade, where players can interact with each other.[20]

Playable characters[edit]

Along with all thirteen returning characters from the previous game, eight new characters (five of which are exclusive to the console version) are added to the roster, including a brand new character, Sho Minazuki. Furthermore, many (though not all) of these characters feature a Shadow Type. Other characters, such as Fuuka Yamagishi and Theodore from Persona 3 appear in a non-playable capacity.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

^a - First appearance console version/pre-2.00 arcade version
^b - Downloadable character
^c - Sho Minazuki has two different character slots; one possessing a Persona and the other without. These are distinguished as "Minazuki" and "Sho" respectively in the English version.
^d - Does not have a Shadow Type


A manga adaptation of the game was announced on February 25, 2015, via Persona Official Magazine issue #2015 February. It will premier in Dengeki Maoh magazine in spring 2015, and will be illustrated by manga artist Rokuro Saito.[29]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84.47% (30 reviews)[38]
Metacritic 84/100 (38 reviews)[39]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.0/10[31]
GameTrailers 8.8/10[32]
IGN 9.1/10[30]
Slant 4.5/5[33]
Hardcore Gamer 4/5[34]
Destructoid 9.0/10[35]
GameInformer 8.5/10[36]
PlayStation Universe 10/10[37]

The game sold a total of 89,000 units in Japan during its first week of release, topping charts.[40]

Ultimax has received generally favorable reviews, maintaining an average of 84% on MetaCritic and GameRankings.

IGN complimented the changes to the fighting system, graphics, rebalanced characters, and declared that there was "even more nuance for intermediate and advanced players" and that Ultimax was "100% the sequel that Persona 4 Arena deserved."[30] Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4/5, saying "In terms of fighting mechanics, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax doesn’t go leaps and bounds past its predecessor, but allows for growth that helps strengthen the experience."[34] Ben Moore at GameTrailers stated that "practically everything new in Ultimax is outstanding and the core it’s built on is just as robust and exhilarating as it was two years ago."[41] Slant Magazine wrote that Ultimax "not only refines (and sometimes rebalances) the gameplay from Persona 4 Arena, but vastly expands it" and that the Shadow versions of the characters add "new layers without upsetting or unbalancing any of the foundational gameplay."[33]


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