[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/p4u2_1722.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Summon the Fighter Within]]

''Persona 4 Arena'', known as ''Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena'' in Japan, is a fighting game spinoff and canon sequel of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' and, to a lesser extent, ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''. Developed by Creator/ArcSystemWorks under the supervision of Creator/{{Atlus}}' [[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Team Persona]], the game combines the gameplay of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' with the writing of the ''Persona'' series.

Three months after the conclusion of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', the Midnight Channel makes an unexpected return when Teddie, now dressed in a general's hat and cape, shows up on the screen to announce the ''P-1 Grand Prix'', a [[TournamentArc bombastic fighting tournament]] created to discover who is the strongest Persona user in the world.

Noting Teddie's suspicious new attitude and attire, the Investigation Team from ''Persona 4'' decides to check it out just to make sure that it ''is'' nothing more than a friendly competition. Meanwhile, three [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} former members of S.E.E.S.]] (Aigis, Mitsuru Kirijo, and Akihiko Sanada) come across the tournament whilst tracking a dangerous "item" stolen from the Kirijo Group, and decide to investigate as well. And just who is Labrys, the [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot mysteriously-robotic]] StudentCouncilPresident of Yasogami High School who can freely traverse the Midnight Channel despite not possessing a Persona?

The game hit Japanese arcades in March of 2012, with a [[PlayStation3 console]] [[XBox360 release]] of July 26 and August 7 in Japan and America, respectively. The European release date [[ScheduleSlip was eventually confirmed for May 10 2013]], being published by [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Zen United]].

The Arcade build of the game began with 10 characters, but 3 more were added through timed releases (Labrys, Elizabeth and Shadow Labrys). The complete roster is as follows:

* From ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'': [[KatanasAreJustBetter Yu Narukami]], [[KnifeNut Yosuke Hanamura]], [[KickChick Chie Satonaka]], [[CombatHandFan Yukiko Amagi]], [[ChairmanOfTheBrawl Kanji Tatsumi]], [[WolverineClaws Teddie]], [[GunFu Naoto Shirogane]]
* From ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'': [[RoyalRapier Mitsuru Kirijo]], [[BareFistedMonk Akihiko Sanada]], [[MoreDakka Aigis]], [[ThrowTheBookAtThem Elizabeth]], [[AnAxeToGrind Labrys]][[note]]originally appeared in the ''Persona 3'' drama CD ''Moonlight''[[/note]]
* OriginalGeneration: [[ALoadOfBull Shadow Labrys]]

A sequel, ''Persona 4: Arena Ultimax'', or ''Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold'' in Japan, was released as a [[NoExportForYou Japanese arcade location test]] in August 2013. A console port for {{PlayStation 3}} and {{Xbox 360}} is slated for release in Japan on August 28, 2014, with an international release soon afterward. New playable characters include:

* From ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'': [[BatterUp Junpei Iori]], [[TheStraightAndArrowPath Yukari Takeba]], [[BladeOnAStick Ken Amada]] [[TheDividual and]] [[CutlassBetweenTheTeeth Koromaru]]
* From ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'': [[InstrumentOfMurder Rise Kujikawa]], [[PistolWhipping Tohru Adachi]], [[HandbagOfHurt Marie]]
* OriginalGeneration: [[DualWielding Sho Minazuki]] ([[DemonicPossession with]] and [[EmpoweredBadassNormal without]] Persona)

The sequel also introduces "[[EnemyWithout Shadow]]" versions of most of the cast, such as [[IJustWantToHaveFriends Shadow Yu]] (who previously [[CanonImmigrant only appeared]] in ''Anime/Persona4TheAnimation''), a Shadow Labrys who uses Ariadne instead of Asterius, and [[AmbiguouslyGay Shadow]] [[RefugeInAudacity Kanji]]. These versions have tweaked stats and use a new mechanic called "[[SuperMode Shadow Frenzy]]" in place of the ability to [[ComboBreaker Burst]]. Furthermore, new stages such as [[TheMall Junes]] and [[EvilTowerOfOminousness Tartarus]] have been added.

This page contains spoilers from both ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned!
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!!This game provides examples of:
* AccentAdaptation: Labrys's original Kansai dialect is presented as a Brooklyn accent in English.
* ActionPrologue: The Shadow Operatives are introduced defusing a hostage situation (Aigis), Saving a government official from Shadows (Mitsuru), and defeating a couple of muggers barehanded (Akihiko) in their respective prologues.
** Elizabeth's story begin with her battling [[spoiler: Erebus]] and easily winning.
* ActorExistenceFailure: As with ''Anime/Persona4TheAnimation'', Igor's role in ''Arena'' was severely reduced compared to the previous games given the death of Igor's Japanese voice actor in 2010. In fact, Igor's only lines in ''Arena'' are reused audio from ''Persona 3'' and ''Persona 4''.
** The dub carries this on as well, as the dialogue from Creator/DanWoren was also reused (although he's not dead) to prevent problems with the audio.
* AerithAndBob: The majority of the characters have pretty standard Japanese and Western names, but there's also Aigis and Labrys. Of course, they are {{Robot Girl}}s, so it's fairly [[JustifiedTrope justified]].
* AlienLunch: In Chie's joke ending, [[spoiler:after defeating Akihiko over a Beef Bowl from Aiya, she happily digs into it... and passes out. When she comes to, the case is solved and everyone's at the food court, and she wonders where her Beef Bowl is. Yu berates her for eating something she found ''in the TV World''.]]
* AmbidextrousSprite: Zigzagged. Akihiko has different scars on both arms and a different bandage on each side of his head, so he has two portraits depending on which side he's facing. Mitsuru, who has PeekABangs, only has one. The actual sprites for battle are ambidextrous as well.
* AnAxeToGrind: Labrys and her Shadow wield big, rocket powered ones.
* AnIcePerson: Interestingly, despite three ice-based Persona-users, only Mitsuru has any actual ice skills. Elizabeth also has an ice skill, along with every other element. Ultimax bumps it up to two, as Chie gains a new ice-themed move.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: For pretty much the entire cast, setting the stage for a sequel.
** [[spoiler:Labrys and Aigis decide to look for the girl Unit #024 wanted to meet, the "mother" of the anti-shadow weapon series.]]
** [[spoiler:Elizabeth awakens to the Fool Arcana, signifying the true beginning of her journey, and sets off to find companions who would join the former elevator attendant on her quest.]]
** [[spoiler:Misturu and the other Shadow Operatives decide to continue their investigation into the Malevolent Entity and the circumstances of Labrys' kidnapping.]]
** [[spoiler:Despite being ordered by Mitsuru to not get involved any further, Yu and the Investigation Team promise each other they'll visit Tatsumi Port Island again soon and begin their own investigation into the new mysteries.]]
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: ''Ultimax's'' story mode will offer players three different sides of the story based on the viewpoints of [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} the Investigation Team]] (Yu, Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kanji, Teddie, Rise, and Naoto), [[{{Persona3}} S.E.E.S/the Shadow Operatives]] (Aigis, Yukari, Junpei, Mitsuru, Akihiko, Ken, Koromaru, and Labrys), and [[DownloadableContent Adachi]].
* AscendedExtra: Labrys, who debuted in a ''{{VideoGame/Persona 3}}'' [[AllThereInTheManual Drama]] [[NoExportForYou CD]].
* BadassCape: Akihiko wears one, complete with a [[InTheHood hood]]. Both Chie and Mitsuru consider it ridiculous, for different reasons.
* BagOfSpilling: Only Yu, [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} Aigis, Akihiko, and Mitsuru]] still have their Ultimate Persona, and Yu only gets to unleash Izanagi-no-Ookami for his finishing move. No one in the game addresses this fact, though it was stated back in ''Persona 2'' that Persona revert to their initial forms if not used often. Also, while Yu uses Izanagi as his standard Persona and Izanagi-no-Okami for his finishing move, Aigis does the exact opposite: she uses Pallas Athena as her standard Persona, which she devolves into Palladion for her finishing move.
** And if the previews for ''Ultimax'' are any indication, the rest of the former members of SEES (Junpei, Yukari and Ken) also have their ultimate Personas. Koromaru (a dog) is the only exception, but his never transmogrified in the first place.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler: [[MissionControl Fuuka]] of all people gets one, breaking the Malevolent Entity's control of Labrys from outside the TV. Even the villain is impressed.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Labrys is saved, the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives have become friends, and Elizabeth takes another major step on her quest... but the Malevolent Entity is still out there, and promises [[WeWillMeetAgain he'll be back soon]].]]
* BlackComedyRape: [[HeterosexualLifePartners Yu]] is not above joking at [[ButtMonkey Yosuke]] expected encounter with Kanji (even if he remains [[DeadpanSnarker seemingly stoic]] about it), cracking jokes such as "Though if you lose against [[ManlyGay Beefcake Emperor]]... you might be in [[BlackComedyRape some]] [[DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale trouble]]."
** But this might go into YMMV territory since Yosuke, being, well, [[HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday Yosuke]] and Yu being [[WarriorTherapist Yu]], may be actually hinting [[TransparentCloset something else]].
* BloodlessCarnage: Unsurprisingly, given everyone has a GuardianEntity. Still, the game features characters with swords, knives, steel chairs, metal claws, axes and ''guns'' fighting each other.
* BossRemix:
** Yu's ''Reach Out To The Truth (P4 Arena ver.)''
** Aigis' ''Heartful Cry (P4 Arena ver.)''
* BossRush: Score Attack mode, which pits you against the main roster, with special buffs (Yosuke in eternal Sukukaja, Naoto lowering your Fate Gauge with even normal attacks, etc.) and a final battle against Elizabeth.
* BrandX: Japan Airline Network instead of Japan Airlines.
** The laptop Naoto is typing on in her ending has [[{{Sony}} Xaio]] written on it.
* BreakTheCutie: Labrys's story.
* BrickJoke: Yosuke comments early on in the story that he had Teddie leave the exit from the TV world out in case anyone on the team ever accidentally fell into their TV while sleeping. [[spoiler:It later turns out this is exactly what happened to Kanji.]]
--> '''Yosuke''': I mean, think about it. What if we were half-asleep and fell into a TV when Teddie wasn't over there...? Isn't that a scary thought?
--> '''Chie''': Like anyone would be that clumsy!
* BridalCarry: Aigis picks up Kanji this way after defeating him in her storyline, much to his embarrassment. She is also much shorter than he is.
* TheBusCameBack: Despite having moved back to the city as planned at the end of the original game, Yu returns to Inaba during the Golden Week break to investigate the ''P-1 Grand Prix'' with the rest of his friends. He even puts back on his old Yasogami High uniform for investigating inside the Midnight Channel.
* ButtonMashing: Borrowed from ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'', rapidly hitting the A button will execute a basic character-specific combo ending in a super if you have the meter for it. You also need to keep tapping both attack buttons after a successful All-Out Attack for more hits and damage, and you need to do at least 15 hits (17 hits in Ultimax) this way for the knockback finisher to slam the enemy into a wall for additional combo opportunities instead of just knocking them back.
* CallingYourAttacks: The Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives went native for the fighting game world; they call out their attack names or a CatchPhrase while performing one.
* CallBack:
** Many of the characters' attacks and win poses are call backs to their original games.
** One of Nanako Dojima's voice clips as a CombatCommentator, used if the character she's supporting gets [[StandardStatusEffects poisoned]], harkens back to the beginning of ''4'' after Yu gains his power to enter [=TVs=] from [[spoiler:Izanami posing as a gas station attendant]].
--->'''Nanako''': Did you get carsick? You don't look good.
* CameraAbuse: In keeping with the TV motif, one of Shadow Labrys's supers has Asterius smashing its fist into the TV screen, and one of her win poses has Asterius break through the screen completely.
** One of Kanji's {{Victory Pose}}s has him throw his folding chair at the screen.
** The game over screen is another example.
* CanonImmigrant: Labrys from the ''Persona 3'' Drama [=CDs=], making her way to the main series in this game.
** Aika from ''Anime/Persona4TheAnimation'', but she was only mentioned in one line in Chie's joke ending.
* CanonName: The protagonist's name was chosen by the player in the original ''Persona 4'', but in ''The Arena'' he's officially called [[TheAnimeOfTheGame Yu Narukami]].
* CharacterTics: Some of the P4 Characters have a habit of repeatedly checking the time whenever it rains at night. Old habits die hard, it seems.
* CherryBlossoms: The scenery effect for Yukiko's Instant Kill.
* ClassicalMythology: Labrys makes use of these motifs to fit with the rest of the ''Persona 3'' cast, and it's just as symbolic as ever.
** Labrys's Persona is Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete and half-sister of the Minotaur. In the myth, when Theseus came to end Minos' tradition of sacrificing seven men and women to the Minotaur every seven years, Ariadne gave the hero a sword for combat and a ball of string so he could find his way out of the Labyrinth later. [[{{Irony}} Ironically]], [[spoiler:when Labrys is thrown into the TV, she creates a Labyrinth and Minotaur of her own.]]
** Shadow Labrys's berserk form is Asterius, better known as the aforementioned [[ALoadOfBull Minotaur]]. [[spoiler:Likewise, Shadow Labrys is the monster inside her own version of the Labrynth, Labrys's dungeon, being brought sacrifices in the form of the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives]].
* ClassRepresentative: What Labrys claims to be, despite being a [[RobotGirl robot]].
* ClassifiedInformation: The Shadow Operatives refuse to disclose their mission objectives to the Investigation Team because they don't want to get them involved (er... well, more than they already are). Mitsuru actually says this at one point in her story in a conversation with Rise [[spoiler: regarding Labrys after she was kidnapped by her Shadow]]. It never works as the Investigation Team know a few things that the Operatives don't (such as how shadows behave in the TV world) which they use as leverage to get answers.
** [[FridgeBrilliance Well, the P4 cast are Seekers of Truth after all]]; kinda hard to deter them from finding answers. They're [[{{Determinator}} Plucky]] like that.
* CliffHanger: Each of the "true" routes in story mode will stop on a "To Be Continued" cliffhanger the first time through, and can only be completed after unlocking and then clearing Labrys's route.
* ColorMotif: ''Arena'' has the fourth game's yellow while ''Ultimax'' changes it to the third game's blue.
* CombatCommentator: [[MissionControl Rise]] serves as the default one. Fuuka, Teddie, Mitsuru, Aigis, Yosuke, and Nanako are all unlockable options.
** To a smaller extent, finishing Arcade Mode with a character allows them to do the "Round X, fight!" announcement instead of the normal guy.
** Meanwhile, Margaret serves as announcer for the Character Select screen, giving info on the cast.
* ComebackMechanic: Awakening, which happens when a character is nearing the end of their vitality gauge. They become more resistant to attacks, fill their super meter by 50 points ''and'' increase the maximum to 150 (which means they can execute up to three supers consecutively), and can use their "Awakening" supers. In Ultimax, only Normal-type characters can enter Awakening.
* ContinuityNod:
** Elizabeth's Instant Kill is the same [[ThatOneAttack 9999 damage Megidolaon]] she uses as a BonusBoss in ''Persona 3''. It even includes a ''Persona 4'' version of the unconscious icon.
** Yu's Instant Kill is summoning Izanagi-no-Ookami and using Myriad Truths, the same ultimate move he used to finish off the true final boss in ''Persona 4''.
** At the end of his Story Mode, Akihiko say that one day he plans to quit the Shadow Operatives [[spoiler:and become a police officer]], in a DiscontinuityNod to his role in the non-canon ''Anime/PersonaTrinitySoul''.
** The island beach in ''Arena'' [[spoiler:where Labrys wishes future generations of her sisters will find happiness]] is none other than Yakushima beach, where Aigis meets the Protagonist and other SEES members years later in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''.
** Labrys' and Aigis' stories reveal that the material used as the basis of the Anti-Shadow Weapons' souls is a Plume of Dusk, an Easy difficulty-exclusive AutoRevive item in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' Temperance Social Link Eri and Yuuta can be seen in Junes early on in the game.
** Aigis' story mode mentions a police report with testimony from Adachi from the end of the game, though he is not named.
** Funky Student, the kid with the Afro who gave you quizzes back in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', can also be seen working in Junes early in the game.
** Rise's manager is once again Inoue, her manager from the Lovers Social Link in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''.
** Anti-Shadow weapons can understand dog talk, just like Aigis in ''{{Persona 3}}''.
** In ''Ultimax'', Yukari is Pink Argus of ''[[ShowWithinAShow Phoenix Ranger Featherman Victory]]'', a sequel series to ''Phoenix Ranger Featherman R'', a {{Tokusatsu}} show which appeared in several ''Persona'' games starting with ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}: Innocent Sin''.
* CrisisCrossover: The main plot places [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} The Investigation Team]] and [[{{Persona 3}} The Shadow Operatives]] in the same situation of investigating the P-1 Grand Prix and Labrys.
** ''Ultimax'' is a truer crossover, evening out the characters from both games and combining both the Midnight Channel and Dark Hour.
* CriticalStatusBuff: After a character's HP drops below a certain point, they'll enter an "Awakened" state, during which the damage they take is reduced, their SP meter is increased by 50, and more powerful supers become available. This only applies to Normal-type characters in Ultimax.
* CrosshairAware: Naoto's Instant Kill. They're stationary, but if the opponent touches any of them, the attack goes off.
* CurbstompBattle: As [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PypDgqOkZDo this cutscene shows]], Labrys is ''really'' good at what she does.
* DeathFromAbove:
** For his Instant Kill, Akihiko uses Caesar to drop his opponent onto a miniature version of Earth, and then performs a ColonyDrop punch on them from orbit.
** Yu's Instant Kill has him using Izanagi-no-Okami to summon a giant lightning bolt to crash down upon his opponent.
* DeadpanSnarker: Aigis slips back into stilted robot speech in order to snark. "I comprehend." Mitsuru takes it as a sign that she's becoming more human.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In a strange case, [[spoiler:Shadow Labrys clouds the senses of those inside her dungeon and uses illusions to make the friends think they're saying horrible things to each other. It's only once the two contestants finish battling that they can interact with their friends normally again.]]
** In a straight case, happens in earnest after every fight between the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives, and once Shadow Labrys is defeated [[spoiler:she too becomes a Persona.]]
** Also [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and then [[InvokedTrope invoked]] by Chie in Aigis' storyline.
--->'''Chie:''' If this was some fighting manga, we'd beat the tar out of each other, then shake hands in the end as best friends. A powerful enemy can become a powerful friend, you know. Friendship can do amazing things.
--->''(sticks out her hand)''
* DespairGambit: [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity wants to break the Investigation Team and Shadow Operative's wills, so all their Personas will turn into Shadows again. It fails, as both groups have already learned ThePowerOfFriendship.]]
* DifficultButAwesome: Mitsuru has shades of both. She has the least available attacks out of any other character and clunky Persona attacks that can easily leave her open against agile fighters such as Yosuke and Yu. Of course, the moves she does have Freeze characters in place. (In a fighting game like this, this can mean the difference between victory and defeat, as being stuck in one place for more than five seconds is more than enough time for an opponent to hammer you, especially in Score Attack Mode) and her normal A-button combo is more than enough to Bum Rush an opponent into a corner, despite not doing much damage.
** Kanji. He's slow, has limited mobility and is one of the most poorly designed grapplers in recent memory. That being said, playing him patiently makes him completely and utterly unstoppable, as his entire game revolves around taking advantage of the opponent's mistakes. On top of that, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZebQUBz57s as this dude demonstrates]], he can hit confirm into his [[ForMassiveDamage command grabs]] pretty easily with the right combos.
** Aigis as well. A lot of her moves are unusable unless she goes into Orgia Mode. The problems with using Orgia Mode? The mode has a time limit (that temporarily disables Orgia Mode if it runs out) and completely changes how Aigis moves; instead of normally walking and running, she uses her thrusters to boost herself. Attacking during an Orgia dash causes aerial attacks to occur instead of standing attacks that normally happen if a character is moving. Once you get past that hindrance, she's a powerful characters who can deal tons of damage with very long strings of combos.
** Naoto as well. She's a Zoning[=\=]Keep-Away character in a combo-centric fighter. She doesn't have the best damage output, she doesn't have the most health, and she's generally considered lower on the tier lists. That said though, she has lots of options for zoning, keep away, and combos all in the same character, she has a nice selection of traps she can use to pin down her opponent, she has a pair of supers that instantly kill the opponent no matter what their health is in the right situations, and, to top it all of, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE1zbB_FTvY she can take advantage of SMP Loops to do EXTREMELY high damage combos]].
** Shadow Labrys counts as well. She has some of the lowest health in the game and her gameplan is crippled without the use of her massive "Persona" Asterius. Asterius is also the most awkward Persona to use in the entire game, as it's constantly out and is not tied to Shadow Labrys herself when it attacks as well as requiring the player to make it block itself. Once mastered, though, she is one of the resident gods of mixups, using staggered attacks from both Shadow Labrys herself and Asterius to keep the opponent blocking until she can find an opening in their defenses. She and Asterius can also set up situations where it's impossible to block the attack of one without getting hit by the other. She even has some massively damaging combos thanks to her powerful Awakening supers. The kicker? She is the only character in the game who can combo into her [[OneHitKill Instant Kill.]]
** Elizabeth is an extreme case. She has the lowest health in the game, has few usable defensive options, and is rather slow to boot. She is also crippled without her Persona, Thanatos, and practically has to be in [[CriticalStatusBuff Awakening]] in order to be at her most powerful. That said, once mastered she is a force to be reckoned with, as she has a variety of deadly projectiles, command throws, status effects, a pair of instant death traps that she can force her opponent into, the ability to heal herself (a trait only two other characters have) and one of the most powerful non-instant death moves in the entire game.
* DramaticIrony: A lot of details from the story modes are only explained in certain scenarios and leave the other characters confused. Once you've played any particular story mode, you know that other characters are going to be making mistakes.
** Naoto interprets Mitsuru's limo as serving some secret purpose since it stands out so badly, but the truth is just that she failed to specify an inconspicuous vehicle.
** Mitsuru, on the other hand, doesn't know Labrys is running around confused [[spoiler:and initially thinks the hijacking and subsequent tournament were an escape attempt and revenge.]] The story mode for characters like Yosuke makes this plain, however.
** For her part, Labrys' story mode is mostly backstory and is only unlocked later, so when [[spoiler:a mysterious voice offers to 'help' her]] the audience knows that this is a bad idea [[spoiler:and a trick by the Malevolent Entity.]]
* DualWielding: Yosuke and his kunai.
** Sho dual wields [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]].
* DubNameChange: Many of the special and super moves with unique names in the Japanese version were renamed into preexisting skills in the English version.
** Elizabeth's "Momento Mori" super was changed to "Ghastly Wail".
** Chie's insulting title, as used during matches below her lifebar and in the battle intros, is changed from "The Carnivore Who's Discarded Womanhood" to, "The Spunky Dragon With Deadly Legs". The story still uses the Carnivore title in dialogue, though.
* EldritchLocation: The Sea of Consciousness [[spoiler: where Elizabeth spends her off-hours, and where she finds Erebus and the Golden Gate]]. The TV World of ''Persona 4'' has also, at least temporarily, reverted from the idyllic landscape of the former game's True Ending to its TV studio appearance.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: The Special Assault Team is deployed to a hijacking, although the [=NPA=] orders them to pull back.
* EmotionallyTongueTied: Kanji towards Naoto in his story mode. He does about as much as he can to confess to her before running off, claiming he's going to 'run some laps'. [[spoiler: And this is while he thinks it's a DREAM.]]
* ExcusePlot: In arcade mode, Teddie replaces the Midnight Channel with his ''P-1 Grand Prix'' tournament, and invites all the Persona users into the TV world to prove who's the best. [[spoiler:Though it does turn out that "General Teddie" is actually the disguised Shadow of Labrys, a Kirijo Group anti-shadow weapon trapped inside the TV world, putting it in line with the plot structure of ''Persona 4'' and explaining what the ''Persona 3'' cast members are doing there.]]
* EvilKnockoff: The sequel introduces Shadow {{Doppelganger}}s; copies of the main characters true Shadow Selves created by the BigBad to slow the heroes down.
** Doppelgangers have lower attack power and fewer defensive abilities, but have rapid SP gain, constant access to Awakening SP Skills, more health, and the ''Shadow Frenzy'' SuperMode (which grants them unlimited SP and special-to-special canceling temporarily).
* EvilTwin: Mitsuru thinks Teddie is using this as an excuse in regards to General "Teddie" in Teddie's story.
* FangsAreEvil: The illusions in the Persona 4 Arena manga tend to have small fangs.
* FightingClown: Teddie. Amongst humans and human-shaped {{Robot Girl}}s, Teddie is a walking cartoon bear with silly animations.
* FightingYourFriend: The ''P-1 Grand Prix'' has the [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Investigation Team]] and returning [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} S.E.E.S members]] all going at each other ostensibly to decide who's the ultimate Persona user. [[spoiler:Don't worry, it's all to save another victim trapped in the TV World.]]
* FinalBoss: Shadow Labrys in Arcade mode, SNKBoss Elizabeth in Score Attack mode, and [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity]] in Story mode.
* FireForgedFriends: What the Investigation Team and Shadow Operative members become by the end. [[spoiler:Labrys counts as well.]]
* FirstPersonSmartass: Yu and Youske.
* {{Flanderization}}: The in-universe character introduction trailer makes sweeping generalizations about the fighters' personalities, as The General wants to annoy them. Additionally, several characters' previously minor quirks get blown up to insane proportions:
** Akihiko's favorite food being 'Anything with Protein' in ''[=P3=]'' becomes an overblown obsession PlayedForLaughs.
*** A less funny aspect about him being blown up is him being something of a BloodKnight; here, he's fresh off the heels of a global quest driven by an unhealthy desire to become stronger, whereas those who played his game may recall that [[spoiler:not fighting so obsessively and to no end was what spurred both his CharacterDevelopment ''and'' Polydeuces' transmogrification into Caesar.]] It's jarring to see, and it's [[LampshadedTrope lampshaded]] [[spoiler:via Labrys' illusions and by the Malevolent Entity in his story mode]].
** Chie's favorite food being steak in ''[=P4=]'' mutates into her being willing to blow the entire investigation to chase after a beef bowl.
* FogOfDoom: The red fog that appears in Ultimax, which works similarly to both the TV World and the Dark Hour by disabling electric power and altering the real world in addition to making the use of Personas easier.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: Yu and Aigis barely utilize their "Wild Card" abilities to switch between different Persona, even when doing so would give them a clear advantage.
* FragileSpeedster: Yosuke, who is the fastest character in the game, but has poor strength and defense.
* FunnyBruceLeeNoises: Chie, being who she is, drops a few [=ATATATAs=] and [=WATCHAs=] here and there.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Goes both ways. In the Story Mode, the majority of fights involving Labrys have her be in permanent Persona Break, because she only gets her Persona near the end of the story. On the other hand, Mitsuru has an intro where she enters the battlefield with her 10-doored limousine, and she's apparently able to bring it to closed spaces like a classroom or an announcement room.
* GenreSavvy: At the end, [[spoiler:Mitsuru tells the former Investigation Team members to be aware of the enemy out to get them, but to leave the job to the Shadow Operatives instead of abandoning their normal lives for it. Yu, unwilling to let someone else take responsibility, makes a subtle sign to his friends to concede the point, and reinstates the Investigation Team the next day. Mitsuru, however, realizes what he's doing immediately, and admits to Naoto that there's little she could have done to dissuade them anyway.]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In Kanji's conversation with Teddie:
-->'''Kanji:''' I'll give you one hell of a beating, just like last year. I hope you're ready!
-->'''Teddie:''' I-I Don't remember you giving me anything like that! What did you do without me knowing!?
** Yosuke and the Nurses. Most especially in his ending: "How did this conversation go from welcoming to wanking in three steps??"
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Elizabeth straight-up ''invades'' the plot during Story mode, leaving Yu very perplexed at this strange, all-powerful Velvet Room girl appearing in the middle of the tournament with no warning, no regard for what else is going on and little-to-no explanation for why she's here.
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: [[http://gematsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/P4A_Fami-Shot_04-19_004.jpg Yu to Yosuke]] during story mode.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Akihiko has a very tidy looking scars all over his body.
* GratuitousFrench: Mitsuru.
** At the end of her Instant Kill:
--->'''Mitsuru:''' ''Adieu''.
** Or for one of her win poses:
--->'''Mitsuru:''' ''Très bien''
* GuideDangIt: Some of the methods needed to 100% story mode are rather obtuse [[spoiler: (namely, there being a secret scene in Yu's story that gets unlocked if you only pick the top choice for every choice in his story)]].
* TheHeartless: The shadowy, ghostly students that serve as "audience" to the matches are [[spoiler:the Shadows of what little remains of the minds of Labrys' sisters, which she inherited when she was given their memories during her combat preparation. They have so little ego left that they only exist to watch friend fight friend]].
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: [[spoiler:At the end of each character's story (Except for Labrys and Elizabeth), Labrys is taken over by the true masterminds of her kidnapping and disappearance into the TV World, either through hacking by someone with an "Eerie Voice" or by possession by the "Malevolent Entity".]]
* ImprobableWeaponUser:
** Kanji, though this time he's ''only'' using a [[ChairmanOfTheBrawl chair]].
** Yukiko, with her [[CombatHandFan paper fans]].
** Elizabeth, who, as before, fights with a [[ThrowTheBookAtThem book]] and the [[DeathDealer cards inside it]].
** [[FightingClown Teddie]], who uses TV sets, [[RedBoxingGloves boxing gloves]] that come out of his mouth, [[AnvilOnHead giant anvils]] made from his body, and fireworks, along with his standard WolverineClaws.
** Rise, with ''a [[InstrumentOfMurder microphone]].'' She switches to an equally improbable [[LoudOfWar megaphone]] for her Instant Kill.
* InformedAbility: The Wild Card has sort of become this for Yu and Aigis. While the game still emphasizes the Wild Card's PowerOfFriendship, the ability to use multiple Personas is absent [[note]]aside from Yu evolving Izanagi for his instant kill; Aigis does the opposite, summoning her starter persona, Palladion, in her Instant Kill[[/note]]. The game even claims several times that both Yu and Aigis go all out for their fights, which should imply that they switch to their more powerful Personas, such as [[GameBreaker Yoshitsune or Messiah]].
* InterfaceSpoiler: Good luck avoiding [[spoiler:the fact that Fuuka Yamagishi is in the game. Her]] name appears in the voice cast and the DLC page features the new character art.
* JackOfAllStats: Yu, who is a balanced beginner-friendly character.
* JustAMachine: [[spoiler:How the scientists who experimented with Labrys and her sister models treated them. This is also how the Eerie Voice treats Labrys after taking control of her.]]
* {{Joshikousei}}: The base concept for Labrys, as she's created a world for herself where she's both a Yasogami High student and the StudentCouncilPresident.
* KamehameHadoken: Yu with Izanagi, when using Ziodyne.
* LagCancel: In this game, it takes the form of giving yourself a "1 More!" attack, complete with icon, as if you had struck the enemy's elemental weakness in one of the previous games.
* LampshadeHanging: Mitsuru's [[SpyCatsuit catsuit]] and [[PrettyInMink white fox coat]] combo and Akihiko's [[WalkingShirtlessScene shirtless]] and [[BadassCape cape]] combo got plenty of these.
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** Yu: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBIG6PVVycY Reach Out To The Truth (P4 Arena ver.)]]''
** Yosuke: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFPuF_alMlw The Hero from Junes]]''
** Chie: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pshv1xNO-jY Like a Dragon]]''
** Yukiko: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEq0RC-Yr64 Princess Amagi]]''
** Kanji: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLPT8pQtTJk A Pure-Hearted Beast]]''
** Teddie: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM9_9cvdJ38 Teddie Circus!]]''
** Naoto: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxwJldg6bmY Seeker of Truth]]''
** Aigis: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl5e-O12AFY Heartful Cry (P4 Arena ver.)]]''
** Mitsuru: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw4M4vx287I Missons for the Brilliant Executioner]]''
** Akihiko: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8stzdvrZTo The Wandering Wolf]]''
** Labrys: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGfjGZLHq7M Spirited Girl]]'' and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0uVXzFK94A The Ultimate]]''
** Shadow Labrys: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYHfVerRHJs Shadows of the Labyrinth]]''
** Elizabeth: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnhwsMvx49A Battle Hymn of the Soul]]''
** Shadow Operatives MirrorMatch: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvOtkII-8gg Mass Destruction]]''
** Investigation Team MirrorMatch: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFsiczPpBPc Reach Out To The Truth]]''
** [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity/Eerie Voice]]: ''I'll Face Myself (Battle)'' and ''The Almighty''.
* LemonyNarrator: Creator/FumihikoTachiki in Japanese and Creator/PatrickSeitz in English. The promos even has the Narrator giving the characters insulting nicknames, [[InteractiveNarrator which they, naturally, complain about]].
** Yu is "[[BigBrotherInstinct The Sister Complex]] [[TheLeader Kingpin]] [[NervesOfSteel of Steel]]."
** Yosuke is "[[MrViceGuy Captain Ressentiment]]."
** Chie is "[[BigEater The Carnivore]] [[NoGuyWantsAnAmazon Who's Discarded Womanhood]]."
** Yukiko is "[[SilkHidingSteel The Unconquerable Snow Black]]."
** Kanji is "[[HairTriggerTemper The Bloodcurdling]] [[ManlyGay Beefcake]] [[TarotMotifs Emperor]]."
** Naoto is "[[InsufferableGenius The 2000-IQ Killjoy Detective]]."
** Teddie is "[[LovableSexManiac The Beast in Heat]]."
** Akihiko is "[[BareFistedMonk The Two-Fisted]] [[GymBunny Protein Junkie]]."
** Mitsuru is "[[BrokenBird The Imperious]] [[TheOjou Queen of]] [[ThatMysteriousThing Exe]][[FateWorseThanDeath cutions]]."
** Aigis is "[[RidiculouslyHumanRobots The Heartless Armed Angel]]."
** Labrys is "[[HighSchool Yasogami's]] [[JustForPun Steel]] [[ClassRepresentative Body President]]."
** Shadow Labrys is "[[ALoadOfBull The Raging Bull]] [[UnstoppableRage of Destruction]]."
** Elizabeth is "[[AlmightyJanitor The Lethal Elevator Attendant]]."
** Yukari is "[[{{Sentai}} The Unsightly Pink]] [[FriendlySniper Sniper]]."
** Junpei is "[[ButtMonkey The Mighty Strike-Out Slugger]]."
** Sho is "[[TheSociopath The Rule-Smashing]] [[PungeonMaster Pun Machine]]" when he ''is not'' using a Persona, and "[[SplitPersonality The Scar-Faced]] DarkMessiah" when he ''is'' using a Persona.
** Rise is "[[MsFanservice The Scandalous]] [[IdolSinger Superstar Idol]]."
** Ken and Koromaru are "[[{{Determinator}} The Pretentious]] [[NaiveNewcomer Tenderfoot]] [[TheDividual Duo]]."
** Adachi is "[[SmugSnake The Egocentric]] [[DirtyCop Police]] [[{{Troll}} Dick]]."
** Marie is "[[AmnesiacGod The Hollow Forest]] {{Tsundere}} [[WarriorPoet Poet]]."
* LightningBruiser: Akihiko, who is strong, fast, and has decent defense. But, he has very poor range and his Persona's abilities aren't that great compared to the rest of the cast.
* ALoadOfBull: Shadow Labrys' Reverse Persona, Asterius.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity and The Eerie Voice]] were behind Labrys being kidnapped and thrown into the TV world, in order to further their own EvilPlan.
* MarketBasedTitle:
** The English release dropped the literal title translation of "The Ultimate in Midnight Arena" for just "Arena", given the GratuitousEnglish would have stood out more for native English speakers.
** Similarly, the sequel when from "The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold" in Japan to simply "Arena Ultimax" in the West.
* MeaningfulName:
** Labrys is also the name for a type of ancient Cretan double-headed axe.
** One reading of Yu Narukami approximately translates as "quiet thunder god".
* TheMenInBlack: The Shadow Operatives have the general appearance of this, wearing with BadassLongcoat [[BadassInANiceSuit Suits]], [[CoolShades Cool]], SinisterShades, red ties, and earpieces.
* MightyGlacier: Kanji, who is the strongest but slowest character in the game.
* MiniBoss: [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity.]]
* MoodWhiplash: All the joke endings, as well as Teddie's normal route, where after [[spoiler:the serious battles for Labrys' heart, Teddie ends up fighting Kanji just to impress Labrys with his manliness]].
* MyNameIsQuestionMarks: [[spoiler:Labrys initially. Also the Malevolent Entity and the Eerie Voice.]]
* MysteryMagnet: Lampshaded. Yosuke thinks that he's going to have to start calling Yu "the mystery maker", since trouble seems to follow every time Yu shows up in Inaba.
* MythologyGag:
** Each character has a set of [=DLC=] pallete swaps that serve as individual shout outs to GuiltyGear, VideoGame/BlazBlue, and [[{{Persona 3}} previous]] [[{{Persona 2}} Persona games]]:
*** Yu: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Ky Kiske]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Ragna the Bloodedge]], [[{{Persona 3}} P3 Protagonist + Orpheus, Ryoji Mochizuki]]
*** Yosuke: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Chipp Zanuff]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Jin Kisaragi]], [[{{Persona 2}} Eikichi Mishina + Hades]], [[{{Persona 3}} Jin Shirato]]
*** Chie: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Jam Kuradoberi]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Makoto Nanaya]], [[{{Persona 3}} Yukari Takeba + Io, Fuuka Yamagishi]]
*** Yukiko: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Anji Mito]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Carl Clover + Nirvana]], [[{{Persona 3}} Chidori Yoshino + Medea, Yukari Takeba]]
*** Kanji: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Potemkin]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Iron Tager]], [[{{Persona 2}} Baofu + Odysseus]], [[{{Persona 3}} Akihiko]]
*** Teddie: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Faust]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Taokaka]], [[SeriesMascot Jack Frost + Pyro Jack]], [[{{Persona 3}} Koromaru]]
*** Naoto: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear May]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Hazama]], [[{{Persona 2}} Yukino Mayuzumi + Durga]], [[{{Persona 3}} Ken Amada]]
*** Mitsuru: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Axl Low]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Litchi Faye-Ling]], [[{{Persona 2}} Maya Amano + Artemis]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Margaret]]
*** Akihiko: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Slayer]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Bang Shishigami]], [[{{Persona 3}} Takaya Sakaki + Hypnos]], [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Takaya alone]]
*** Aigis: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Justice]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue v-13]], [[{{Persona 3}} Metis + Psyche, Labrys]]
*** Labrys: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Baiken]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Lambda-11]], [[{{Persona 3}} Aigis + Palladion, Female P3 Protagonist]]
*** Shadow Labrys: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Sol Badguy]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Mu-12]], [[{{Persona 2}} Eriko Kirishima + Nike]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Marie]]
*** Elizabeth: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Dizzy]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Relius Clover + Ignis]][[note]]Elizabeth and Carl also share [[Creator/MiyukiSawashiro the same seiyuu]][[/note]], [[{{Persona 2}} Joker + Joker-Nyarlathotep]], [[{{Persona 3}} Shinjiro Aragaki]]
*** Yukari: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear A.B.A]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Noel Vermillion]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona2}} Lisa Silverman + Venus]]
*** Junpei: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Kliff Undersn]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Kagura Mutsuki]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona1}} Hidehiko Uesugi + Nemhain, Masao Inaba/Susano-o]]
*** Sho (solo): [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Johnny]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Hakumen]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona2}} King Leo]]
*** SHO (Persona): [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Zappa]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Azrael]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona}} Reiji Kido + Bres]]
*** Rise: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear I-No]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Platinum the Trinity + Trinity Glassfille]] [[note]]Rise and Platinum share the same [[Creator/LauraBailey voice actress]][[/note]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona2}} Trish]]
*** Ken and Koromaru: [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Bridget and Roger (both)]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Carl Clover and Ada + Valkenhayn (wolf)]], [[Anime/PersonaTrinitySoul Jun Kanzato and Seth]] [[VideoGame/{{Persona4}} + the Fox and her cubs]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona2}} Ixquic and Belphegor (both)]]
*** Adachi: [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Terumi Yuuki + Dark Susanooh]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona3}} Theodore]], [[VideoGame/{{Persona2}} Katsuya Suou + Helios]], [[VideoGame/DevilSummoner Kyouji Kuzunoha]]
** One of the titles you could put in network is "Souji Seta", the name of Yu Narukami in the manga adaptation of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''.
** When picked as your personal announcer in VS or Network mode, Rise will shout either [[GuiltyGear "Duel One! Let's Rock!"]] or [[VideoGame/BlazBlue "Rebel One! Action!"]]
** Yu's room in the story mode now has a [[MascotMook Jack Frost]] figurine and a ''{{VideoGame/Catherine}}'' calendar.
** Several ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' terms can also be equipped as titles (such as the title itself or even Kokushimuso (Litchi's Thirteen Orphan))
** At one point in Akihiko's arcade mode, he responds to Chie's threats by saying: "Which one is it, [[GuiltyGear Heaven or Hell?]]"
** MINAZUKI's OneHitKill seems to be a [[http://youtu.be/pnDpZypLDho combination]] of [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Hazama's, Terumi's, and Ragna's Astrals]]. Also while during it, SHO uses a pose resembling Dio from the Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure fighting game.
* NighInvulnerability: Elizabeth. After she "loses" a match, she does not fall to the ground unconscious like everyone else. Instead she lies down on her book, watching her opponent with an amused smile. And after anyone fights her in their story mode, the winner is left gasping for breath, while Elizabeth stands up, dusts herself off, and thanks them, before leaving, unharmed and not even winded.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: None of ''Persona 4'''s several optional [[RomanceSidequest Romance options]] are outright included in ''Arena''.
** ShipTease: However, while it isn't exactly confirmation, in Naoto's story she does refer to Yu in a manner that would seem to be out of character without having done her romantic social link.
** In Story or Arcade modes, when you fight Yu Narukami, Rise's background announcing will [[InUniverse refer to him]] as [[MemeticSexGod "The Legendary Ladies-man of Inaba"]]. As with the Naoto example though, this is little more than teasing as Rise herself will [[DoggedNiceGirl chase Yu regardless of whether he's interested or not]] and is aware that, at the very least, Marie is also interested.
** There's also Elizabeth's continued quest to save the Protagonist of Persona 3 from being a BarrierMaiden. She's got [[DevotedToYou quite the devotion to him.]]
* NonuniformUniform: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in Yukiko's story when Yukiko notices that Labrys is just wearing a standard issue school uniform. When Labrys asks if the teachers get mad about all the customization, Yukiko realizes that [[HandWave they don't seem to care]].
* NoodleIncident: You never do find out exactly what your character's JerkAss illusion says to the opponent in any of the story modes, leading to some amusing moments afterwards.
-->'''Naoto''': I understand. We were shown illusions to goad us into fighting each other.
-->'''Mitsuru''': In that case, I'll... well, I'm willing to forget all the things you said about my body.
-->'''Naoto''': ''Wait, what?''
** After Naoto defeats Kanji in the former's story mode, Kanji is blushing and stuttering constantly. His misfunction involves having trouble being himself, and his insecurity about his [[RealMenWearPink ability to knit]], and Kanji has a huge crush on Naoto. Put one and one together...
* NotHimself: A running mystery throughout the story. Rise and Teddie would never make their friends fight each other, the good guys would never taunt their friends before a match, and a person's Shadow shouldn't be able to manifest at the same time as their Persona. [[spoiler:The entire thing turns out to be one big DespairGambit being run by MasterOfIllusion Shadow Labrys and MasterOfDisguise the Malevolent Entity.]]
* NotJustATournament: It's not just a tournament, [[spoiler:it's the Midnight Channel dungeon of RobotGirl Labrys. It's also being manipulated by someone known as the Malevolent Entity.]]
* OffTheRails: Liz's story mode. It feels like a parody of MarySue fanfictions, but with entertaining comedy, as this all-powerful nigh-god just waltzes onto the scene and takes down whoever she feels like, with no regard for the other events going on within the story, save for her participating in a fighting tournament and her vague agenda of finding out about the wild card power. It follows its own plot, in which she is [[spoiler: trying to come up with a way to save the protagonist of Persona 3]], but at the cost of coherence with the other characters' stories. RuleOfFunny precedes all here.
* OneHitKill:
** Continuing ArcSystemWorks tradition, the game has instant kills in the form of "Mortal Blows" (localized as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Instant Kills]]). Not counting the original Guilty Gear where you could spam them as much as you want until the opponent failed to counter one and allowed you to win the entire match instantly, they have the most lenient requirements out of any ArcSystemWorks fighters: while they require 100 SP to perform and they can only be performed if doing so would win the match, your opponent does not need to be have low health for your insta-kill to work (like ''Guilty Gear'') and there's no permanent cost associated with performing them such as disabling your Persona or Burst for the rest of the match like in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'': thanks to the Offensive Burst, which completely fills the SP gauge, you even can do things like using them twice in rapid succession.
** Both Naoto and Elizabeth also have classic [=SMT=] series insta-kills (Ma)Hamaon and (Ma)Mudoon as super moves:
*** Naoto's can only cause a OneHitKill if she has brought down her opponent's Fate counter to zero, otherwise they do no damage.
*** Elizabeth's are fixed traps that will always cause instant death if they hit, but take 10 seconds to activate and disappear when she is hit.
* OvertOperative: The Shadow Operatives, whose existence and motives are supposedly kept secret to the public. Mitsuru and Aigis arrive at Inaba in an AbsurdlyLongLimousine and end up having trouble finding a discreet parking spot. The less said about how they and Akihiko dress, the better.
--> '''[[SpyCatsuit Mitsuru]]:''' Don't tell me you came from the airport like that… Does the concept of keeping a low profile mean nothing to you?
--> '''[[RobotGirl Aigis]]:''' Mitsuru-san, I believe we have lost the right to complain about that…
* PlatonicLifePartners: Mitsuru and Akihiko, just like in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''.
* PlayingWithFire: Yukiko with Konohana Sakuya, coordinating the Persona's fire attacks with her fan.
* ThePlotReaper: [[spoiler:Unit #024.]]
* PlayingWithSyringes: The Kirijo Group during Labrys's back-story, as usual.
* PottyEmergency: In Chie and Yukiko's story, Yosuke gets into this problem after being defeated by either one.
* PreorderBonus: Pre-ordering the game gets one ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena Original Arranged Soundtrack'' with remixes of various character themes.
* PrettyInMink: Mitsuru wears a white fur coat over her catsuit.
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: [[VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} Aigis, Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Fuuka]] all show up over the course of the story. Mitsuru and the other Shadow Operatives are searching for a precious "item" stolen from the Kirijo group. While Elizabeth wasn't a playable character in the previous game, she stumbles upon the ''P-1 Grand Prix'' on her continuing journey to find a way [[spoiler:to bring back the protagonist of ''Persona 3'']]. In addition, ''Ultimax'' brings back almost all of the SEES members who missed out on the P-1 Grand Prix.
* PromotionalConsideration: Parodied. The Atlus and Arc System Works developer credit screen that can be seen when the game starts up is in the form of the PromotionalConsideration screen that appears before a majority of Japanese TV programs, with a different character reading the standard "This program is brought to you by the following sponsors" announcement each time.
* PsychoticSmirk[=/=]SlasherSmile: Almost all the Shadow versions of the characters have either one of these expressions on their faces. The only exceptions are Shadow Naoto, who just has a look of disdain, and Shadow Kanji, who is [[CampGay just fabulous]].
* PuppetFighter: Everyone who has a Persona. Which amounts to everyone but Sho. The C and D buttons allow the characters to control their Personas separate from themselves, though the amount of control the player has over their Personas varies.
* RegionCoding: The only disc-based PS3 game with it enabled.
** Averted with Ultimax (the American version, at least).
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: The announcers are normally unlocked by doing things like clearing Story Mode, Arcade Mode, the Challenges, or Score Attack. But for those who don't want to bother, you can just unlock them through paid DLC. Additionally, there are several palettes that are available only through purchase.
* RobotGirl: Aigis and Labrys are both robots with the appearance of human girls, in this case so they can develop human egos and thus manifest Persona.
* RummageSaleReject: Akihiko's and Mitsuru's… unique… outfits garner a lot of commentary by the rest of the cast, and may be a [[AffectionateParody playful knock-on-the-head]] towards Arc Systems' other works.
* SavedByCanon: [[spoiler:The extended true ending of ''[[UpdatedRerelease Persona 4: The Golden]]'' shows the entire ''Persona 4'' cast to be alive and as close as ever several months after the ''P-1 Grand Prix'' incident. Yosuke even makes a nod to this game, noting that Yu[=/=]the Protagonist didn't really get a chance to relax when he visited Inaba during Golden Week.]]
* SceneryGorn: The Announcement Room is this whenever Shadow Labrys is involved. [[spoiler: The room soon reveals a blood red factory with various android parts hanging around, moving on the conveyor belt, or in the incinerator in the background.]]
* SeenItAll: Both the P3 and P4 cast have this, though it shows more for the Investigation Team given that the action takes place inside the TV world, their home turf.
** At the end of the P-1 Grand Prix, both Labrys and the Shadow Operatives wonder why the P4 cast are acting so nonchalant about what they just went through. Their answer basically boils down to "We've seen this shit before".
* SequelHook: At the end of the game, both groups make plans to [[spoiler: investigate the "Malevolent Entity's" identity and motives]].
* {{Sexophone}}: PlayedForLaughs
* ShockAndAwe: Akihiko with Caesar, Kanji with Take-Mikazuchi, and Yu with Izanagi all use electricity-based attacks.
* ShoutOut:
** The name of General Teddie's tournament, the ''P-1 Grand Prix'', is a play on the name of the discontinued Japanese kickboxing championship tournament, the ''K-1 Grand Prix''.
*** The sequel's tournament title, the ''P1 Climax'', is a nod to NewJapanProWrestling's famous annual fall tournament, the ''G1 Climax''.
** General Teddie's WholeCostumeReference to [[Franchise/StreetFighter M. Bison]].
** Chie has a poster of BruceLee in her room, though Lee's eyes are blurred out and the picture says "Blue Three"[[note]]possibly a reference to a JapaneseRanguage-related joke in ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh''[[/note]] on it.
** One of the posters in Yosuke's room is a shout out to Music/AKB48.
** The Arena announcer calls Naoto "Body of a child, the brain of a genius!" a take off the the "Body of a child, the brain of a detective!" TagLine for ''Manga/DetectiveConan''.
** In the intro to Akihiko's story mode he's accosted by a pair of thugs, one of whom pulls a gun on him. In Akihiko's words, "[[Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja The problem is that he has to point the gun where he wants to send the bullets,]] [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/5p44/ and I can see him doing that.]]"
** Aigis' supers heavily resemble Captain America's Hyper Charging Star and Doctor Doom's Sphere Flame in the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series.
** When asked about her [[BrooklynRage accent]] in the English version's Story Mode, Labrys responds with [[RushHour "do you understand the words comin' outta' my mouth?!"]]
** Kanji's Awakening Super is the Persona version of the [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam Shining Finger]]. A blatant nod to his [[Creator/TomokazuSeki Japanese VA's]] previous and well-known role.
** The Shadow Operatives were first addressed (at least before revealing the group's name) as the Men in Black.
** Adachi has a palette what takes clear inspiration from [[Franchise/{{Batman}} The Joker]]
* SNKBoss: Everyone in Score Attack mode, but Elizabeth in particular.
** Yosuke has permanent [[SuperSpeed Sukukaja]] and can chain his Moonsault attack an unlimited amount of times.
** More of Naoto's attacks drain your Fate meter, allowing her to use her OneHitKill attacks sooner, her SP gain is increased, and in ''Ultimax'', she no longer has to wait for her pistol to reload.
** Yukiko has permanent [[EvolvingAttack level 8 Fire Boost]] and [[UnblockableAttack Fire Break]], in addition to all fan attacks shooting three fans at once.
** Teddie gets a massive damage boost, and his Circus Bear LimitBreak is altered to move impossibly fast and attack three times.
** Kanji also gets a general damage boost, making all of his throws do 3 times as much damage as normally.
** Chie has permanent level 3 Power Charge, meaning that her special attacks and LimitBreak attacks do ridiculously high damage.
** Mitsuru gets a damage boost and almost all of her attacks freeze, charm, or both. Note that this ailment effect includes breaking throws.
** Akihiko has permanent [[StatusBuff Lightning Fists]], his [[EvolvingAttack Cyclone Meter]] is always set at level 3 (level 5 in ''Ultimax''), and his damage is boosted.
** Aigis has infinite Orgia Mode, 999 bullets each round, and does increased damage.
** Yu Narukami's special attacks are automatically boosted with no SP cost, his damage is increased, his attacks are faster, and all of his specials can cancel into each other.
** Shadow Labrys has increased damage (especially with attacks that require her Persona), and her Brutal Impact LimitBreak can interrupt combos.
** Labrys' axe is [[EvolvingAttack always fully charged]], her persona attacks that involve planting traps in the ground teleport to your location, and she gets a damage boost.
** Elizabeth takes this far into UpToEleven territory. Her passive ability, Invigorate, gives her 100 SP in roughly four seconds, she gets near triple her normal HP (20,000), her OneHitKill traps come out instantly and can't be interrupted, she casts Diarahan upon Awakening (now with invincibility and blowback properties) and if given a chance, and her damage is boosted to insane degrees, Ghastly Wail in particular now dealing 7500 base damage ([[FourIsDeath 44,444]] if the opponent is inflicted with Fear).
* SpinOff: In terms of gameplay at least. The story itself continues where ''Persona 3'' and ''Persona 4'' left off.
* SpritePolygonMix: Sprite characters and polygon backgrounds.
* SpyCatsuit: Mitsuru's new outfit.
* StatusBuff: Carried over from the {{RPG}}s. Yukiko has Fire Boost/Amp (passive skills in the {{RPG}}s) and Elizabeth has Mind Charge.
* StandardStatusEffects: Also carried over. Certain attacks can inflict [[DamageOverTime Poison]], [[InterfaceScrew Confusion]], Silence[[note]]prevents use of Persona attacks[[/note]], [[ManaDrain Charm]], [[ForMassiveDamage Fear]], [[AttackAttackAttack Rage]], Paralysis[[note]]prevents normal movement[[/note]], or Freezing[[note]]prevents all action except for rapid joystick wiggling[[/note]]. Yukiko also has the [[UnblockableAttack Fire Break]] spell. In Ultimax, Elizabeth can inflict [[DamageIncreasingDebuff Negative Penalty]] (normally only inflicted through running away for too long) on her opponents.
* SuperMode: Several. Chie has Power Charge, Yosuke has Sukukaja, Aigis has Orgia mode, Akihiko has Lightning Fists, and Junpei has Victory Cry.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: Velvet Room inhabitants, Shadows (most prominently, Shadow Labrys), and [[spoiler: the Malevolent Entity]] are all supernatural beings that share this trait.
* TerroristsWithoutACause: Fully played with. [[spoiler:The hijackers were brainwashed to carry out the hijacking, revealed at the end to be by the Malevolent Entity.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: ''[[AutobotsRockOut Mist]]'' starts playing every time a character successfully uses their Instant Kill.
** In Ultimax, it's now "Time To Make History" from ''Persona 4 Golden''.
* ThemeNaming: The name of Labrys's Boss theme, ''The Ultimate'' (''The Arena'' in international versions), keeps with the names of Persona 4's FinalBoss themes ''The Almighty'' and ''The Genesis''.
* TimeSkip: The game takes place a month and a half after ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' and two years after ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''.[[note]]For those keeping track, that's thirteen years since ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' and about fifteen since ''VideoGame/{{Persona}} 1''.[[/note]]
* TrackingDevice: Naoto uses one on a fleeing van in the beginning of her story mode.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Labrys being...well, as identified in the manual is a spoiler for the the first four character's arcs. Also FirstEpisodeSpoiler.
* TruthInTelevision: The [=SAT=] captain said that he hasn't faced off against armed hijackers in 10 years. While true, [[WritersCannotDoMath the calculations are wrong since the last hijacking was in 1999 on ANA Flight 61]]. Which means that it's suppose to be 13 years since the game is set in 2012. The low rate of hijacking cases is due to the strict anti-hijacking law enacted in 1970 after the Japanese Red Army staged their first hijacking in Japan during the Cold War. The maximum penalty is [[KilledOffForReal death]] just for being involved. Least you can expect is life in prison.
* TournamentArc: The story begins with Teddie announcing a tournament to determine who's the ultimate Persona user. As with most tournament arcs, [[NotJustATournament things get more complicated from there]].
* ATwinkleInTheSky: Chie's Galactic Punt Instant Kill, much like her Galactic Punt assist in ''Persona 4''.
* UnEntendre[=/=]EntendreFailure: In Yosuke's Story Mode, when he comes across Chie, she immediately requests to eat him. Yosuke spends a few moments trying to figure out if she meant it sexually. She meant it [[ImAHumanitarian literally]]. [[spoiler: Then, when Yosuke brings it up after their battle, Chie thinks it's he who is trying to say something sexual.]]
* UnexpectedCharacter:
** Labrys from the ''Drama [=CDs=]'' of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''.
** Considering she served as MissionControl in the last game & ''Persona 4'', no-one expected Rise to be upgraded to a playable character in ''Ultimax''.
** While people were expecting Ken due to a leak (which had confirmed Rise), nobody expected him to be TheDividual with Koromaru.
** Not many expected Adachi to become a DLC playable character after he was discovered to be an NPC in Yukari and Yu's ''Ultimax'' arcade modes.
** Nobody expected Marie to become a DLC playable character, either.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Did anyone expect the latest ''Persona'' game, a series of {{RPG}}s that are a spinoff of [[ShinMegamiTensei yet another series of RPGs]], to come in the shape of a fighting game developed by Arc System Works?
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Something Akihiko picked up in his two years of training.
* WalkingTheEarth: How Akihiko has spent the two years since the end of ''Persona 3'' across the globe to perfect his punch and become the greatest fighter. He's back in Japan because Mitsuru invited him to investigate the tournament with her.
* WeaponForIntimidation / ShootHimHeHasAWallet: The hijackers were reported to be using pistols, which gave the [=SAT=] legitimacy to intervene. But the [=NPA=] ordered them to pull back and boy did they do the right thing when the Shadow Operatives were deployed. [[spoiler:The hijackers were hypnotized to do the attack and the pistols were nothing but air guns.]]
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:The Malevolent Entity's human accomplice [[PeoplePuppets taking control of Labrys]] just when it looks like the case is over.]]
* WhamLine:
-->[[spoiler: '''Kanji's Shadow(?)''':]] [[spoiler: Did I not push him far enough? No, I didn't make any mistakes...the power he drew from his bonds was just stronger. There's still something missing to turn a Persona back into a Shadow...]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Eerie Voice''':]] [[spoiler: [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle It's not over yet!]]]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Most of the joke ending outcomes. [[spoiler:The Investigation Team were not pleased that Chie chose an Aiya Beef Bowl (turns out to be AlienLunch) over the real matter at hand, while they chew out Kanji for still treating things like a dream... well except Naoto, who's more or less flustered. As of Yukiko, they would be calling her out, if it wasn't her forcing down her [[LethalChef horrible food]] and causing them to skip out Golden Week afterwards due to sickness.]] [[RuleOfFunny We still laugh at it anyway.]]
* WholeCostumeReference: General Teddie's outfit (JapaneseDelinquents style hat, golden skull and lightning bolt motif, purple cape, etc) is a ShoutOut to M. Bison from ''VideoGame/StreetFighter''.
* WhoYouGonnaCall: The National Police Agency created the Shadow Operatives to act as a covert civilian anti-paranormal unit in the wake of the events of Persona 3/4. It's official name is the '''Shadow Response Unit''' under the [=NPA=]'s Security Bureau.
* AWinnerIsYou: Used in Elizabeth's, Labrys', and Shadow Labrys' arcade modes. All the other characters have a cliffhanger ending for their arcade modes (which is meant to get you to play [=P4A=]'s story mode), but the three aforementioned characters end in an actual "CONGRATULATIONS!" screens with their character images. Elizabeth herself [[BreakingTheFourthWall compliments you on beating Arcade Mode and using her tricky and clever special moves.]] (Labrys and Shadow Labrys give more "conventional" congratulatory messages.) Ultimax lets everyone else do their own "Congratulations!" messages after the credits when playing arcade mode.
* WithCatlikeTread: A visual variation. The Shadow Operatives try to act covertly for their mission, but the Kirijo Group apparently doesn't see the problem with sending a limo to a rural town. The actual members aren't much better, what with Mitsuru's and Akihiko's rather eye-catching outfits, and [[RobotGirl Aigis]] being completely undisguised. The latter even tries to bring it up only for Mitsuru to immediately refuse to let her.
-->'''Mitsuru Kirijo''': ''All I told them was to give us a car with "enough space"…''
* WrestlerInAllOfUs: Kanji and Take-Mikazuchi.
* YellowLightningBlueLightning: Every character with electric attacks has unique color associated with their electricity, affecting even the [[StandardStatusEffects paralyzation sparks]]. Yu has blue, Kanji has yellow, Akihiko has indigo, Elizabeth has purple/pink, and Adachi has blood-red.
* YinYangBomb: Ken and Koromaru's Instant Kill involves the two of them blasting their opponent with Hama and Mudo spells.
* YouRemindMeOfX: The Shadow Operatives sometimes make references to the events of Persona 3, often comparing the Dark Hour and Tartarus to the Midnight Channel and the fake Yasogami High School. Mitsuru in particular notes similarity between Yu and the {{Persona 3}} protagonist, and Elizabeth also states that Yu heavily reminded her of Aigis.
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