The Persona 4 Arena wiki last edited by Deusoma on 06/21/14 11:56PM View full history

Overview

Persona 4 Arena was a collaborative effort between Atlus and Arc System Works.

Persona 4 Arena is a fighting game released in arcades as well as on PS3 and Xbox 360. The game features characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4 on the roster accompanied by their respective Persona. It was developed together by Atlus (the creators of the Persona series) and Arc System Works, whose fighting game credits include the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series. The story was written by members of Atlus's Persona team and is meant as a canon follow-up to the events of Persona 4.

According to Famitsu, Atlus producer Katsura Hashino first approached producer Toshimichi Mori with the idea for the game because he was impressed with the quality of their BlazBlue series, which shocked him. Arc System Works discovered Atlus's request from a general inquiry e-mail, which ASW president Minoru Kidooka describes as "rare but not completely unusual." Because the BlazBlue development team contains many fans of the Persona series, their willingness to develop this game were very high. The Persona team didn't want to relinquish all development work to Arc Systems, however, instead opting for a joint development project between the two. The game's director, Takumi Iguchiya (who is the lead programmer for the BlazBlue series) worked closely with the Persona team.

The Atlus Persona team focused on the story and dialogue aspects of the development process, and also supervised all of the graphic/animation work done by the BlazBlue team. The core gameplay system was solely the work of the BlazBlue team.

The arcade system is based upon Taito Type X2 hardware and supports NESiCAxLive, an online system that provides patches and leader boards.

Region Lock

Persona 4 Arena has the dubious distinction of being the first PlayStation 3 title to be region locked. The decision was made by Atlus's Japanese office, which was concerned that the lower price of the North American version (based on Yen to Dollar conversion) and the close proximity of the game's release in both regions might spark a greater than average cannibalization of local sales through imports of the North American version of the game, as it contains Japanese language voice and text options. Thus, Atlus has locked all copies of Persona 4 Arena to their respective regions.

Story

General Teddie, host of the P-1 Grand Prix.

Two months after the events of Persona 4, the members of the Investigation Team are looking forward to the return of their friend, the protagonist of Persona 4 (given the name "Yu Narukami" for this game), who is returning to Inaba for the Golden Week holiday. However, the day before the scheduled reunion, several odd events take place. Rise Kujikawa, Kanji Tatsumi, and Teddie go missing, and a new rumor begins to spread across Inaba that the Midnight Channel has returned, but with a twist: it is now a promo advertising a fighting tournament.

The remaining members of the team check the Midnight Channel that night, and discover that the new broadcast is an advertisement for an event called the "P-1 Grand Prix." Even more surprising, all of the Investigation Team members except Rise and Teddie are named as competitors in the tournament, and each is referred to by an unflattering nickname (Yu's being "The Sister-Complex Kingpin of Steel," for instance) and are quoted saying things out of character for each of them. Further, Teddie appears to be the tournament's host, and has dressed himself like a comical version of a general.

Returning to the Junes TV.

Intent on solving this new mystery, what was to be a happy reunion becomes the reinstatement of the Investigation Team, and Yu, Yosuke Hanamura, Chie Satonaka, and Yukiko Amagi enter the TV world to find out what's going on. Upon entering the TV world, however, something goes wrong and the four are separated. They each come to their senses in a Midnight Channel incarnation of Yasogami High School, which serves as the staging ground for the tournament. Though none of the team want to participate, they find that when trying to communicate, their words and actions become muddled by some sort of effect and are misinterpreted as antagonizing. The only way to clear their minds of the effect is to engage in a fight.

Mitsuru and Aigis readying to enter the TV world.

Meanwhile, Mitsuru Kirijo, Akihiko Sanada, and Aigis (now part of the Government sanctioned "Shadow Operatives") arrive in Inaba on the trail of Labrys, an android similar to Aigis designed to combat Shadows. When they determine that Labrys has somehow entered the TV world, they choose to follow, and as a result unwittingly become participants in "General Teddie's" tournament. Naoto Shirogane, who had been hired to investigate the actions of Mitsuru's team, follows them inside. Meanwhile, the real Teddie awakens in the TV world, having chosen to investigate when he sensed someone unfamiliar had apparently entered it, only to become trapped in the school and forced to contend with his impostor. Kanji finds himself involved as well when he falls into the TV in his living room while half-asleep, and is confused into thinking that the tournament is just a dream he's having. Finally, the former Velvet Room attendant Elizabeth steps into to the proceedings for her own purposes.

Teddie meets the student council president.

As the numerous Persona users are forced into General Teddie's game, they also run across a mysterious girl that claims she's the student council president of Yasogami High School, operating under the belief that she's in the real world. It soon becomes evident that there are holes in her story, and she is revealed to in actuality be Labrys, the android that Mitsuru's team was searching for. After she was stolen during transit and thrown into the TV world, Labrys awoke with her memories locked away, and the true nature of her android body was hidden by a self-imposed illusion to make her look like a normal Yasogami High School student. Believing herself to be the student council president, she attempts to stop the P-1 Grand Prix and General Teddie, unaware that General Teddie is in fact her own shadow in disguise.

In the Story Mode, each character has their own separate story path, with most concluding on a cliffhanger before the final parts become accessible after fulfilling certain requirements. Some stories also contain branching points that lead to alternate joke endings. During Yu's story, he is frequently summoned to the Velvet Room by Elizabeth's older sister Margaret, the room's current attendant from Persona 4.

The Past of Labrys

Unit #024

The story campaign of Labrys is unique, as it takes place thirteen years before the events of Persona 4 Arena. Labrys is first activated by Kirijo Group researchers in 1999. Designated Unit #031, she is embedded with a "Plume of Dusk," the researchers' method of giving their robots an "ego" in order to potentially awaken a Persona. #031's piece is larger than the average unit, and she displays rudimentary aspects of emotions, along with an accent, upon being booted up for the first time. #031's daily routine involves combat training by destroying fellow units in order to absorb their memories and tactics and communication training in order to develop its ego to a point sufficient to awaken a Persona. During this time, #031 befriends Unit #024 (and Snowy the Dog), who has a much more developed ego than the rest of the units and is able to hold a conversation and display emotions as well as a human.

A Kirijo Researcher overseeing Labrys

As time passes and #031's personality develops, she begins to question destroying her fellow units for the fear of one day facing Unit #024, and theorizes regarding acting on personal motives versus obeying commands by using #024's example of wanting to meet a certain someone one day. Impressed by #031's adaptation in battle to focus on merely disabling the movement and weapons of units, keeping the Plumes of Dusk intact, the researchers declare #031 to be the superior model of the 5th generation, naming her the "5th Generation Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapon - Labrys." Labrys is happy that she won't have to fight her fellow units anymore but is confused when #024 transfers an archive file to her, only to be opened in the event that something happens to her.

In time Labrys begins to seek out Unit #024 whenever possible.

Labrys is horrified to learn of Stage 2 of her development; being forced into death matches with the remaining units, which according to the researchers will allow her to undergo the stress needed to awaken a Persona. Labrys's distraught pleas with the researchers to end the violence are met with only amusement on their part, who respond by making Unit #024 her opponent. After #024 dies with a smile on her face by Labrys's hand, Labrys collapses from the mental stress caused. When she awakens, #024's data and memories are uploaded into her, and she experiences the memory of a young girl, the one #024 wanted to meet, who in fact was the base of the fifth generation (as at this point in time, personalities like that of Aigis couldn't be made from scratch). The girl states that she wanted the units created from her to be happy and #024 based the meaning of her birth on it, despite living a life of destroying her fellow units in battle.

Pushed over the edge by those who only thought of her as a tool.

Immediately opening the archive file, Labrys found a message from #024, telling her not to feel guilt over killing her and as their mother had done for them, #024 wished for Labrys to be happy. This drives Labrys to tears, to which the researchers, oblivious to what Labrys had downloaded and was experiencing inside, agreed to deleting her memories, citing a machine has no need to be sentimental. This proved to be the final straw, as an enraged Labrys broke free of the lab and proceeded to escape from the compound, partially awakening her Persona. Only after escaping the compound does Labrys find out where she is; Yakushima Island. With one final wish to her descendants that they may meet someone precious to them where she stands, the beach of Yakushima, Labrys hands herself over to the laboratory's forces.

Labrys

Upon returning, it becomes apparent that the equipment for dealing with memories was ruined, leaving the researchers no choice but to seal Labrys away indefinitely. Labrys dreams of her life and of the young girl, who is unable to leave her hospital bed (and who's accent Labrys shares), wanting to become school president, not aware that her memories are being tampered with as images of the Persona 4 cast enter her mind. The one adding these images of school-life at Yasogami High convinces Labrys that forgetting her life up to this point and pretending to be a human would make her happy, to which Labrys complies. The scene cuts to present day, with Labrys in the TV world under the false presumption that she is human, as well as the student council president of Yasogami High School.

Labrys's story campaign ends with a short battle with Elizabeth in which she undoes the illusion cast over Labrys and reveals her true form, only to revert to the illusion when Elizabeth leaves. Passing it off as a dream yet experiencing familiar memories of a beach, Labrys goes to put a stop to the P-1 Grand Prix.

Epilogue

Elizabeth hanging out in space

Elizabeth leaves the TV world before the end of the day's events. She resolves herself to acquire "the power of not being alone" after witnessing the shared power of the Investigation Team through Yu's Wild Card. With this, an arcana card of The Fool appears before her in the shape of a butterfly. Becoming a Wild Card user in her own right, Elizabeth sets off on a journey of her own.

In the TV world, Labrys is confronted by both her Shadow and her true form of an android. The Shadow goes berserk but is defeated by the player's chosen character. Accepting her shadow, her true form, and her memories from thirteen years ago, Labrys awakens her persona, Ariadne. She is then embraced by the Investigation Team and her sister Aigis, much to the approval of Mitsuru and Akihiko. With the Investigation Team and Mitsuru's team united on the roof of the TV world's Yasogami High (which has reverted to the familiar studio area from Persona 4), they exchange pleasantries and theories about how this had all happened.

Mitsuru places herself between Labrys and Shadow Labrys

Questioning Labrys about her knowledge of the TV world and the Investigation Team leads to Labrys to be taken control of by an unseen enemy. The masterminds behind this incident are revealed to be a duo consisting of an mysterious human incapable of using a Persona with ties to the Kirijo Group and a shape-shifting Malevolent Entity of unknown origins. Though they have separate goals, experimentation and obtaining "the true vessel," respectively, they work together in order to recruit powerful Shadows, specifically those of of powerful Persona users, by darkening their hearts in order to force their Personae to revert into Shadows.

Fuuka Yamagishi, three years on from Persona 3

Through the intervention of Fuuka Yamagishi, Labrys is freed of their control and the enemies depart stating that this is only the beginning of a bigger scheme to come. Before the Investigation Team can make plans against their new foes, they are warned not to take action by Mitsuru and Akihiko, who tell them that it is their duty to protect everyone from this threat and that the students should live their normal lives while they can. Everyone leaves the TV world through Teddie's Teddievision TV portal and emerge in the normal world. Following an embarrassing escape from Junes for Mitsuru, Akihiko, and the two androids, all of whom bearing appearances that make them easily stand out in the rural town of Inaba, the Shadow Operatives and the Investigation Team go their separate ways.

The Investigation Team

Before leaving Inaba, Labrys meets the Investigation Team the following morning in order to say good-bye. She explains that she intends to join Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Aigis as part of the Shadow Operatives to prevent further harm to them, and that they'll see her again. Aigis is happy to be able to work with her sister and reveals to Labrys that her wish came true; on the very beach on Yakushima where Labrys had made her wish, Aigis eventually met the Persona 3 Protagonist. Meanwhile, Akihiko reveals his intention leave the Shadow Operatives and become a police officer and Fuuka jokes over what a reunion their meeting has become.

Mitsuru suspects that the Investigation Team will involve themselves in the coming events, regardless of her warning. And it is in fact during their proper reunion at Junes later that day that Yu and Yosuke inform the others that they're going to see this new mystery through.

Playable Roster

The full move lists for each character can be found on their respective character pages.

CharacterPersona/ShadowFirst Appearance
"Yu Narukami"IzanagiPersona 4
Yosuke HanamuraJiraiyaPersona 4
Chie SatonakaTomoe GozenPersona 4
Yukiko AmagiKonohana SakuyaPersona 4
Kanji TatsumiTake-MikazuchiPersona 4
Naoto ShiroganeSukuna-HikonaPersona 4
TeddieKintoki DoujiPersona 4
AigisPallas AthenaPersona 3
Mitsuru KirijoArtemisiaPersona 3
Akihiko SanadaCaesarPersona 3
ElizabethThanatosPersona 3
LabrysAriadne*Persona 3 Drama CD Volume 2 - "Moonlight"
Shadow LabrysAsteriusPersona 4 Arena

* In Arcade and Story Mode, it is possible to fight against a CPU-controlled Labrys that does not yet have a Persona and thus will not attack with Persona abilities.

Stages

The stages in Persona 4 Arena are all set within the Midnight Channel, and most are set within a replica of Yasogami High School. Common elements found in the stages include shadowy figures that wander through the backgrounds and the occasional distortion that resembles TV noise or the dropping of a facade.

School Lobby

School Lobby

Representing the area at the very entrance of the Yasogami High School, this stage has school lockers at its center with various stickers such as an upside down smiley face. Next to the lockers is an area reserved for umbrella placement. Two large plants and a broom lie at the right side of the stage as well as a sign indicating an exit. At the left side of the stage is a small chalkboard with "P-1," the name of the game's tournament, written upon it. From the left side, a long hallway is also visible as well as large window frames that occasionally display television color bar test signals.

Entrance

Entrance

This stage has an overt yellow hue and represents the area where the Persona 4 characters usually find themselves in when they enter the television at Junes. In its center lies a large pile of CRT televisions that are either turned off, display noise or display spinning tarot cards. There are plenty of large flat panel televisions that surround the stage that intermittently show moments of Persona 4's opening cinematic. Several TV cameras lie on the stage and are connected to erratically placed cables.

Music Room

Music Room

This stage is a replica of Yasogami High School's music room. It contains several instruments including drums and a large piano at its center, the latter of which is ominously surrounded by several pairs of dress shoes. Portraits of famous musicians such as Beethoven are displayed on the wall and they all have yellow, glowing eyes. At the very top of the stage, there are several recording studio lights.

Convenience Store

Convenience Store

Aside from the Midnight Channel Entrance, this stage is the only one that is not set on the grounds of the Midnight Channel's Yasogami High School. It is a street in a shopping district located near a convenience store and is only seen in the story mode in Chie's joke ending path. Signs that appear in the stage will periodically become blocks of television noise. Several TV antennas can be seen across the stage, as well.

Gym

Gym

A replica of the Yasogami High School gymnasium. The background is filled with mountains of stacked folding chairs with crime scene tape wrapped around them. Color bar test signals appear intermittently in the windows. At the far right of the stage, the stage used to give school-wide announcements can be seen.

School Gate

School Gate

This stage is a replica of Yasogami High's front gates. A large cherry blossom tree is present towards the left side of the stage and televisions displaying yellow backgrounds will intermittently appear throughout the stage, replacing elements such as the large plant in the center of the schoolyard.

Classroom

Classroom

A classroom within the fake Yasogami High School; possibly Room 2-2, the homeroom of several of the party members in Persona 4. Paper airplanes can be seen flying in the background as well as books having their pages rapidly flipped. On the left side of the stage there is a chalkboard with an image of Teddie as well as "P-1" elaborately drawn.

Announcement Room/Announcement Room (Post-Transformation)

Announcement Room (Post-Transformation)

This stage is the Midnight Channel incarnation of Yasogami High School's Announcement Room, which Shadow Labrys uses as her command center. Through the window in the back, the Midnight Channel Entrance can be seen. However, when Shadow Labrys is rejected by Labrys and awakens to her full power, the exterior scenery warps and turn turns into a giant furnace used to burn disembodied and mutilated robotic shells.

Gameplay Mechanics

Basic Controls

Basic Controls

The arcade controls consist of an eight-way joystick as well as four buttons: Weak Attack (A), Strong Attack (B), Persona Attack (C) and Persona Rush (D). The game's special attacks are initiated through quarter-circle motions and charge motions and refrain from using more complex directional inputs.

Combos

When successive attacks are landed quickly, a combo counter appears like in most fighting games. A blue gauge appears below the big red number that displays the number of hits in the combo and it displays the time remaining until the opponent will recover from hitstun. It serves to show the attacker and the opponent how much time the attacker will be able to continue his combo before the opponent can recover. If the opponent gets hit after the blue gauge empties because they did not decide to Ukemi, the combo counter becomes yellow which indicates an "invalid combo", which brings increased hit stun and damage to a continued combo.

Auto Combo

By pressing the A button repeatedly in a character's neutral stance, an automatic combo will be engaged that varies between characters which will connect a skill to normal moves and finally end with an SP Skill if a character has the 50 SP required. These combos are helpful for new players, but advanced players will either forego them completely or adapt a character's auto combo sequence in exchange for more powerful combos.

P Combo

A magic series (similar to Marvel vs. Capcom 3) performed by pressing A > B > C > D.

Maneuvers

Air Turn

Executed by pressing A + C when the character is in the air. It turns the character in midair to face the opposite direction and can be used to perform a forward air dash away from your opponent.

Hop

Executed by pressing 2A + C. It is a small hop; a shorter variation of the normal jump. It is used to perform quick overhead attacks or to avoid an opponent's throws or low attacks. During a Mini Jump, players are unable to double jump or air dash, but air turns can still be performed.

Double Jump

Double jumps are performed by either pressing up while already in the air and having not executed a double jump beforehand, or by pressing the direction opposite of a wall that the player jumps onto.

Super Jump

A super jump is executed by holding the analog stick down and pressing up immediately afterwards. Super jumps allow the user to jump higher than normal jumps.

Quick Escape

Executed by pressing A + C. It dodges opponents' attacks and projectiles with a few frames of invincibility to escape pressure given by opponents. It will not evade throws.

Ukemi

When falling to the ground or hitting it, recover by pressing a button. Has invincibility frames during recovery.

Common Techniques

Throw

Executed by pressing C + D. It executes an unblockable throw and can be done in midair. It can be cancelled by the opponent by pressing C + D. There are three types of throws: forward throws, back throws and air throws. Each are executed by directing the analog stick in the corresponding direction while throwing.

Sweep

Executed by pressing 2A + B. It knocks the opponent down.

Furious Action

Executed by pressing B + D. It is an invincible move unique to each character that is mainly used to bring an opponent's offense to a halt. These moves transform 5% of a character's health into blue health and they cannot be One More! Canceled or One More! Burst canceled, but they can be SP Skill canceled.

All-Out Attack

Started by pressing A + B. This launches an overhead attack with super armor (meaning it automatically guards against an opponent's attacks but not throws or SP Skills) and, when it connects, the opponent is sent violently spinning away from the attacking player. Mashing A or B afterwards sends the player in a dash towards the opponent to continue the combo for a maximum of 15 subsequent hits and, finally, two options are available to the attacker: hitting C or D. C launches the opponent up in a cloud of smoke resembling a skull who can then be chased by the player executing the move (All-Out Rush) while D knocks the opponent away and causes wall bounce (All-Out Finish).

Burst

Executed by pressing A + C + D. It acts similar to BlazBlue's "Barrier Burst": it blows opponents away as they are attacking. After it is used, it appears as a black "B" on screen. Any increase to the SP Gauge fills this "B" progressively, and when it is full the Burst indicator is recovered. A "Defensive Burst" (or Blue/Green Burst) stops an opponent's attack during blocking or getting hit and pushes them away. The Burst gauge after Defensive Bursts takes about 60 seconds to refill. A "Max Burst" (or Gold Burst) is done in a neutral state and only consumes 75% of the Burst gauge, pushing the opponent and fully restoring one's SP gauge if the offensive Burst lands. The Burst gauge after Max Bursts takes about 45 seconds to refill. A "One More! Burst" is a Burst done while landing a hit on an opponent; it cancels an attack, pushes the opponent in the air for combos and upscales damage scaling, making for an increased level of damage to further hits in the combo than normal. One More! Bursts empty the Burst gauge, making the Burst gauge take 60 seconds to refill.

Counters

Counters occur when a player hits the opponent while the opponent is in the process of attacking, essentially cancelling an opponent's attack animation. It allows the player to gain longer hit stun, making for potentially longer combos, and it increases the damage of the first move in a combo by 10%. Fatal Counters can only be performed by certain moves and can cause even more hit stun and a higher damage multiplier than regular counters.

Cancels

Guard Cancel Attack

Executed by pressing 6A + B while guarding. It costs 50 SP and is an invincible counter that pushes the opponent away.

One More! Cancel

Executed by pressing A + B + C. It takes 50 SP and acts like a Roman Cancel in Guilty Gear, meaning it will cancel the animation of any move the player is currently performing and return the character to their neutral state. This can be used to perform longer combos.

Super Cancel

Certain SP Skills can be buffered during a skill. To cancel these skills into that SP Skill is a "Super Cancel". Cancelling a move into an SP Skill transforms some health into blue health.

Specials

Awakening

The game's comeback mechanic, 'Awakening' activates when the player's Life Bar is low (at around 35%) and its activation is indicated when a close-up image of the character's eyes appears on the screen. Players' SP Gauge's max becomes 150 SP instead of 100 and they gain 50 SP when 'Awakening' activates. This also enables 'Awakened' SP Skills which require 50 SP to perform. Furthermore, players take less damage from attacks (damage is reduced by 62.5%) when in this state.

Skills

Skills are attacks with unique properties that vary from character to character with inputs that usually begin with 236 or 214. Most skills cause blue damage when an opponent blocks.

SP Skills

SP Skills (also known as supers) are damaging moves unique to each character. SP Skills require 50 SP to use.

Skill Boost Attacks

Similar to many other 2D fighting games, most of the characters' skills have EX variations that require 25 SP to be executed. They are done by either pressing both A + B or C + D depending on the skill's input. When performed, characters are enveloped in a blue aura.

Instant Kill

By inputting 222 + C + D, characters perform a unique move that instantly kills an opponent if it lands. The requirements to perform an instant kill are the following: it must be the match point for the one performing it, the character's Persona must be available and the character must have at least 100 SP. The character's portrait will flash white when an instant kill can be performed. These moves may be unique to each character, but they generally have a lot of invincibility frames upon start-up.

Status Effects

Certain attacks have the ability to inflict negative status effects on the opponent. A character can only recover from these status effects by either successfully hitting an opponent while the status effect is active, or to wait a certain amount of time (about 4 in-game seconds) for the status effect to disappear on its own. A character can be affected by multiple status effects at the same time.

Status EffectDescription
PoisonThe character's HP gradually decreases. The status change is accompanied by a heartbeat sound effect that pulses each time health is lost.
PanicThe character's left and right directional controls are temporarily reversed.
FearAny first hit of a combo that hits a character afflicted with fear automatically becomes a fatal counter. Afflicted characters are also unable to break throws.
RageEnraged characters cannot block, but their attack power increases by 20%. The effect does not end when the afflicted character strikes the opponent and only vanishes with time.
MuteMute characters cannot use their Persona. C and D moves are disabled, as are moves such as Bursts.
ShockThe character cannot move normally and can only use techniques such as Quick Escapes, Hops, Air Turns, and Ukemis.
CharmCharmed characters slowly suffer SP drain, which is given to their opponent in 4 SP chunks. The opponent will still gain SP even if the afflicted character has 0 SP.
FreezeThe character is encased in ice and cannot move. The status effect ends upon being hit, or by rapidly inputting left and right on the joystick/D-pad.
Negative PenaltyInflicted upon characters that run away from the opponent for too long. An exclamation point will flash above a character's head as a warning that they are about to be given this penalty. Characters under the effect suffer a penalty to defense. The penalty can only be removed by becoming more aggressive (i.e.: Moving toward the opponent and attacking).

HUD Elements

Life Gauge / HP

Life Gauge

Yellow bar that displays characters' available health. It decreases with damage received. Red displays an amount of health removed from a recent attack. When blue appears in the Life Gauge, it indicates damage received during an R Action or a skill that was blocked that removed a percentage of the user's health. The blue section means that health is temporarily removed and will slowly recover over time (blue health has a 5 second start-up to recover), becoming yellow progressively, but if the player receives a hit when blue is present in the gauge, that temporary health will disappear permanently.

Spirit Point Gauge

SP Gauge

Blue bar with numerical indicator that indicates how much SP a character has available. SP is gained when a character inflicts or sustains damage and SP is used to perform skills such as EX moves. Each character starts the round with this gauge completely empty and the maximum amount this gauge can reach is 100. After Awakening is achieved, however, the maximum amount for this gauge increases to 150 SP.

Persona Gauge

Persona Gauge
Persona Gauge Half Empty

This is the gauge directly below the Life Bar. It represents the Persona's health and is composed of four stocks. One stock is emptied when either a character or their Persona receives damage while the Persona is still on the screen. Once it is empty, characters enter "Persona Break" and are unable to use their Persona, meaning skills that require the Persona are disabled as well as the "BURST" move. The gauge will then take about 10 seconds to recover. Persona break is demonstrated by a grayed out Persona portrait with a black background next to the character portrait.

Burst Gauge

BURST Gauge
Half Empty Burst Gauge

The BURST gauge is lit up and complete when the move is available to perform. Once the move is used, only a blackened "B" of the gauge will appear and the gauge's color will progressively return as the gauge's letters return. A crossed out "BURST" means that the move may not be used due to certain conditions (such as being thrown or being hit by an SP Skill). The condition of one's Burst gauge transitions between rounds, meaning that an empty Burst gauge at the end of a first round will remain empty at the beginning of a second.

Round Timer

Round Timer

This indicates the remaining time left in a round. Once it reaches zero, the player with the most health wins that round.

Win Counter

One Round Won

This indicates the number of rounds a player has won or needs to win to win the match.

Game Modes

Lesson Mode

The game's tutorial mode that teaches fundamental mechanics.

Story Mode

The story of Persona 4 Arena, as told from the perspectives of the individual characters. All characters except Shadow Labrys are playable in this mode.

Arcade Mode

The original arcade mode, replicated from the arcade version of the game.

Score Attack Mode

A challening mode in which players battle through a series of opponents with the goal of achieving a high score.

Training Mode

A standard training mode that allows players to freely practice against a dummy AI opponent.

Challenge Mode

This mode presents the player with character-specific challenges, such as performing special attacks and combos.

Versus Mode

An offline mode that pits the player against either a human or CPU opponent.

Network Mode

The online multiplayer component, in which players can battle others across PSN or Xbox Live.

Online Shop

Connects the player to the PlayStation Store/Xbox Live Marketplace in order to purchase downloadable content for Persona 4 Arena.

Theater

A mode in which the player may watch saved replays of online matches.

Gallery Mode

A gallery containing character art, story still images and movies, the arcade mode endings, character voice samples, and music from the game.

Character Customization

On the character selection screen, players may choose to change the following aspects of their chosen characters:

Character Select Screen

Color Preset

Option that changes the color palette of the chosen character as well as attributing a matching color scheme to that character's Persona. There are a total of fourteen alternate colors for both character and Persona. There are also options to adjust the color of the character and the Persona separately.

Glasses

Option that lets players enable or disable glasses worn by their character. Glasses are turned off by default and can be purchased as downloadable content.

Navigation

Options that allows the player to select a navigator.

Navigators

Navigators are secondary characters that provide commentary and encouragement to the player during battle and can be selected in either local versus or online mode. The following characters can be selected as the player's navigator during battle.

Initially, only Rise is available by default. The other navigators can be unlocked either by accomplishing specific gameplay requirements or by purchasing them as downloadable content.

Soundtrack

Original Soundtrack

  1. Best Friends
  2. The Ultimate
  3. Best Friends – Instrumental –
  4. The Fighter
  5. Sparks Fly
  6. Reach Out To The Truth – in Mayonaka Arena –
  7. The Junes Hero
  8. Like The Dragon
  9. Princess Amagi
  10. A Pure-Hearted Beast
  11. Kuma Kuma Circus!
  12. Seeker of Truth
  13. Heartful Cry – in Mayonaka Arena –
  14. Missions For The Brilliant Executor
  15. The Wandering Wolf
  16. Spirited Girl
  17. The Ultimate – Stage Edit –
  18. Shadows Of The Labyrinth
  19. Who Goes?
  20. Don't Give Up!
  21. The Winner
  22. 全ての人の魂の詩 – TV Sign-Off –
  23. NOW I KNOW

Arrange Soundtrack

  1. The Ultimate – Naked mix –
  2. The Junes Hero – Electro mix –
  3. Like The Dragon – Girl Pop mix –
  4. Princess Amagi – Traditional Taste mix –
  5. The Wandering Wolf – Straight mix –
  6. Missions For The Brilliant Executor – 2K mix –

The arrange soundtrack was produced by Atsushi Kitajo and Toshiki Konishi.

Trivia

  • The story of the game takes place in spring of 2012, the same date as the Japanese arcade release of Persona 4 Arena.
  • All Persona 3 characters battle using the ultimate versions of their Personae instead of their original ones, but all Persona 4 characters battle with their initial Personae. Yu Narukami's ultimate Persona, Izanagi-no-Okami, appears in his Instant Kill move.
  • The Velvet Room from Persona 3 is the backdrop for the character select screen and not the Velvet Room from Persona 4. Electronica in Velvet Room is the music that accompanies the screen.
  • When a mirror match occurs between two Persona 4 characters, the song Reach Out to the Truth plays. And when a mirror match occurs between two Persona 3 characters, Mass Destruction is played.
  • During E3 2012, Atlus USA representative Aram Jabbari stated that Persona 4 Arena was the most expensive localization that the U.S. subsidiary had ever produced.
  • A manga adaptation of Persona 4 Arena began running on August 7, 2012 in Persona Magazine #10. The artist is Kyu Aiya, who is responsible for the series Antimagia.
  • In Chie's joke ending, a brief mention of a girl named Aika is made. Aika Nakamura is a character that was introduced in Persona 4: The Animation. She is a fellow Yasogami High School student and an employee of Aiya's, a beef-bowl diner.
  • The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena launched with a Famitsu Deluxe Pack. For 9,480 yen, the package includes the game, a P-1 Grand Prix visual pamphlet with artwork from Shigenori Soejima, a rubber card case featuring Teddie, a microfiber cloth and a P4A Arrange Soundtrack on CD.
  • North American preorders of Persona 4 Arena came with the Arrange Soundtrack on CD as an added bonus.
  • Most European preorders also came with the Original Arrange Soundtrack on CD, while preorders from retailer GAME came with the Original Arrange Soundtrack on 12" yellow vinyl. The Limited Edition version included a tote bag, a keychain, a set of three pins similar to those worn by Chie Satonaka, a jigsaw puzzle, and the Original Arrange Soundtrack on CD.
  • The name of the tournament, the "P-1 Grand Prix," is likely a reference to K-1, a Japanese kickboxing promotion.

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