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Video Game: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
aka: Persona 4 The Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena
The Final Battle Begins!

"Hahahahaha! The P-1 Climax... It's the end of the world, one-on-one death match that's worthy of the name 'climax'! And best of all, if you don't win the one-on-one tournament to the finish within the hour, the world will end! No punches pulled this time!"
General Teddie

Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, or Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold in Japan, is the sequel to Persona 4 Arena. It was released as a Japanese arcade location test in August 2013. A console port for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was released in Japan on August 28, 2014, with an international release soon afterward.

In Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, the characters from Persona 4 and Persona 3 once again find themselves teaming up to face off in the P-1 Climax, a series of battles which must be won before the world ends. The original cast of characters from Persona 3 and 4 are back to discover the mastermind behind the whole tournament, while a few new faces join the fight, including Junpei Iori, Yukari Takeba, Rise Kujikawa, and more. But standing in their way is the dual katana-wielding Sho Minazuki, a huge threat to everyone involved in the P-1 Climax. Worse yet, there's a Sho lookalike who can wield a Persona...

New playable characters include:

The sequel also introduces "Shadow" versions of most of the cast, such as Shadow Yu (who previously only appeared in Persona 4: The Animation), a Shadow Labrys who uses Ariadne instead of Asterius, and Shadow Kanji. These versions have tweaked stats and use a new mechanic called "Shadow Frenzy" in place of the ability to Burst. Furthermore, new stages such as Junes and Tartarus have been added.

This page contains spoilers from both Persona 3 and Persona 4. You Have Been Warned!

This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Narukami's secret super is a challenge mode combo in Ultimax. The inputs for it are also literally in the manual (in his skill list of course).
  • An Ice Person: Ultimax bumps the number of Ice-Persona users to two, as Chie gains a new ice-themed move.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The events of the P-1 Climax are different depending on if you play story mode from the Investigation Team's perspective (Episode P4), The Shadow Operatives' perspective (Episode P3) or Adachi's perspective (Episode Adachi), though once you beat the first two you unlock a "True Ending" on the Investigation Team's side.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The Big Bad of the Arena games is "the collective will of those who abandon all connections, and strive to live only for themselves."
  • Bag of Spilling: The rest of the former members of SEES (Junpei, Yukari and Ken) avert this and have their ultimate Personas. Koromaru (a dog) is the only exception, but his never transmogrified in the first place.
  • Call Back:
    • Akihiko continues to call Teddie "Teddie Teddie" just like in his story mode.
    • Shadow Yukiko makes one particular call back in Ultimax:
    Shadow Yukiko: I have my lacey unmentionables on! I hope you're ready~!
  • Call Forward:
    • The Investigation Team's personal endings in the epilogue to "Episode P4" see them set out on the Character Development they've undergone in Golden's True Ending epilogue.
    • As the Dojimas & the rest of the Investigation Team see Yu off at the train station, Yu mentions his plans to come back in the summer, when the True Ending epilogue took place in Golden.
    • The costume Rise is wearing at the start of "Episode P4" is her outfit from Persona 4: Dancing All Night.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The fact that Marie is a character in Ultimax means that the PS2 version of Persona 4 has been completely replaced by Persona 4: Golden.
    • Similarly, Theodore only appears in the Female option of Persona 3 Portable (the Male option is considered canon in many games and most adaptations), but this could be explained with a different trope.
  • Catch Phrase: Bring on the ring!
  • Colon Cancer: The game's full title is technically P 4 AU: Persona 4: Arena: Ultimax in the west and P 4 UU: Persona 4: The Ultimax: Ultra Suplex Hold in Japan.
  • Color Motif: Ultimax uses blue and yellow, as a Cross Over of Persona 3 and Persona 4.
  • Comeback Mechanic: In Ultimax, only Normal-type characters can enter Awakening.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Crisis Crossover: Ultimax evens out the characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4, and combines both the Midnight Channel and Dark Hour.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: Some returning characters had their inputs completely overhauled in Ultimax. Those who spent the time mastering Yosuke's gliding technique now must learn the new sequence. And his kunai? Those migrated to different buttons.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The "real" Shadow Labrys doesn't work like any of the other Shadow characters because in this game it's the actual Labrys with the personality of her Shadow in control.
  • Dual Wielding: Sho dual wields katana.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For the Persona 3 and 4 game series as a whole. The group finally defeats Sho, Minazuki, and Kagatsuchi, with the chance that Sho will be redeemed. Adachi returns to jail peacefully and begins to realize he too is capable of forming bonds, the Shadow Operatives and Investigation team have cleaned up all, at least up to now, threats related to their adventures, and Elizabeth is another step closer to her goal.
  • Enemy Within: Shadow Labrys still exists as personality inside Labrys after Arena due to Labrys already being a Mind Hive, and tries to take control of Labrys body partway through the Persona 3 route. She gives back control soon after, as she was just trying to protect Labrys in her own way.
  • Evil Knockoff: The sequel introduces Shadow Doppelgangers; copies of the main characters true Shadow Selves created by the Big Bad 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 Super Mode (which grants them unlimited SP and special-to-special canceling temporarily).
  • Evil vs. Evil:
  • Exact Time to Failure: One hour, a Call Back to the third game's Dark Hour. It's repeatedly mentioned, not that the characters don't stop to have long, exposition-laden chats whenever necessary.
  • Feelies: People who pre-ordered Ultimax got a Teddie boxing balloon and eleven Tarot cards depicting the Major Arcana as they look in the series.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Yukiko and Teddie give double pointer fingers when they figure out which of two Kanji's is the fake in Ultimax.
    Yukiko & Teddie: You're the culprit!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sho tries to shut off Labrys mind to take control of her. Instead, this just makes her Shadow's personality, the second strongest "self" inside her, come out and try to kill him.
  • Hyper Competent Sidekick: Mitsuru's personal assistant / maid Kikuno takes care of most of the logistics for the Shadow Operatives, single-handedly locates and retrieves the Auxiliary team when Mitsuru goes missing, and is trained in piloting a military-grade helicopter.
    Labrys: It seem that being a "maid" is a very serious and very difficult occupation.
  • Immediate Sequel: Arena ends with everyone pouring out of the TV at Junes sometime in the afternoon. Ultimax starts the next morning at the Junes' food court, and the action takes place later in the evening around midnight. Several people note the whole investigation is ruining Yu's Golden Week vacation.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Rise, with a microphone. She switches to an equally improbable megaphone for her Instant Kill.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After noticing Sho's Yasogami uniform, Yosuke notes his Remember the New Guy-status by pointing out how unlikely it is that no-one on the Investigation Team spotted him around the school when one considers Sho's distinctive appearance.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Aside from the story, the addons will spoil several characters if you haven't played Persona 3 or 4.
  • Leitmotif: Each new character also has their own battle theme.
    • Pink Sniper for Yukari Takeba.
    • "Mr. Easy-Going" for Junpei Iori.
    • Youthful Spirit for Ken Amada and Koromaru.
    • Twinkle*Star for Rise Kujikawa.
    • Fool or Clown? for Tohru Adachi.
    • XOXO For You for Marie.
    • The Joker for Sho.
    • Blood Red Moon for Minazuki.
    • Burning Inferno for the Malevolent Entity.
  • Lemony Narrator: Fumihiko Tachiki in Japanese and Patrick Seitz in English, again.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Ikutsuki turns out to be an important character in Sho's backstory.
  • Market-Based Title: The sequel when from "The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold" in Japan to simply "Arena Ultimax" in the West.
  • Moral Dissonance: Played for Laughs. Yukiko, who is normally about accepting yourself and others, for some reason assumes all people with beards are perverts.
    Yukiko: Hold on, Rise-chan! He has a beard, but he's not a creep!
  • My Name Is ???: In Ultimax's Lobby Mode, the protagonist of Persona 3 is not named at all, and is just referred as "????".
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: Mitsuru's maid Kikuno has a bow made for Yukari based on the "Ultimate Arrow" prop she uses on the TV show Featherman Victory. However, this one is equipped with an actual Energy Bow.
    • As Yukari points out "This means it is likely the best bow ever created."
  • Not My Driver: Played with. The Badass in Distress is caused by Mitsuru's driver being mind-controlled, and the reveal is treated like a Not My Driver moment.
  • Posthumous Character: Ikutsuki, who died in Persona 3, appears in Sho's backstory.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Ultimax brings back almost all of the SEES members who missed out on the P-1 Grand Prix.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • Rise Kujikawa, who was only an announcer in Arena, becomes playable in Ultimax.
    • Tohru Adachi, who had a guest appearance in the arcade build of Ultimax, becomes a DLC character in the home console version of the game.
    • Margaret, who played a supporting role in Arena's story, becomes a DLC character in Ultimax.
    • Sho Minazuki, who was the Eerie Voice back in Arena, becomes a playable character in Ultimax.
  • Psychotic Smirk/Slasher Smile: Almost all the Shadow versions of the characters have either one of these expressions on their faces. The exceptions are Shadow Naoto, who just has a look of disdain, Shadow Kanji, who is just fabulous, and Shadow Teddie, who looks pissed..
  • Puppet Fighter: Ken breaks Arena's gameplay tradition with no standalone persona attacks. His C and D buttons are reserved for control of Koromaru. He's the most traditional Puppet Fighter in the game and many of his most damaging combos (and punishes) rely on placing the opponent between himself and Koromaru. Unlike Shadow Labrys, Ken can remove his puppet from the screen. His persona attacks are limited to a follow-up move and the healing spell Mediarama (which restores Koromaru's health along with Ken's). All but one of his supers are inputted with the A or B buttons, not C or D, unlike the rest of the roster.
  • Region Coding: Averted.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Rise's story in Ultimax is book-ended by her preparing for shows with "Kanamin Kitchen", the idol group that suddenly disappears in Persona 4: Dancing All Night. You can even see Rise in her Dancing All Night costume in a few cut-scenes.
    • The prologue of Ultimax's story mode has a person later revealed to be Sho Minazuki refusing a contract with the Velvet Room. Igor however comments that Sho is destined to refine his power, and will eventually return.
    • The epilogue of Ultimax's story mode True End has Margaret imply that both Sho and possibly Elizabeth are destined to become Guests of the Velvet Room.
    • Naoto points out that there might be more people like Sho out there.
  • Shout-Out:
    Shadow Labrys: KISS MY SKINNY METAL ASS!
  • Split Personality:
    • The bratty Sho has a second personality, Minazuki, who was born from the Plume of Dusk inside him.
    • Due to Labrys' status as a Mind Hive, she switches from her normal personality to that of her Shadow self when Sho tries to shut off her psyche.
  • SNK Boss: Every character has a "Boss mode" similar to the "Unlimited Mode" from the BlazBlue series. They can be fought in Score Attack or unlocked for use in versus play.
  • Super Mode: Several returning from the first game. Junpei has Victory Cry.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In Golden Arena Mode, fighting a Shadow of the character you're playing as or vice versa will result in I'll Face Myself playing.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In Ultimax, it's now "Time To Make History" from Persona 4 Golden. Fog from Arena can still be chosen.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Shadow Frenzy combos, Instant Kills: take your pick. Ken and Koromaru's Instant Kill does 56,000 damage in a game where the max health a character can have is 14,000.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Considering she served as Mission Control 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 The Dividual 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.
    • And now we can add Margaret to the list.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: One of Rise's attacks interrupts the match so you can play a rhythm minigame. The more accurate you are, the more damage you deal.
  • A Winner Is You: Ultimax lets everyone do their own "Congratulations!" messages after the credits when playing arcade mode.
Persona 4: ArenaCreator/Arc System WorksSengoku Basara
Persona 4: ArenaFranchise/Shin Megami Tensei: PersonaPersona 4: Dancing All Night
Persona 4: ArenaCreator/AtlusPersona 4: Dancing All Night
Persona 4: ArenaFighting GamePhantom Breaker
Persona 4: ArenaFranchise/Shin Megami TenseiPersona 4: Dancing All Night
Panzer DragoonCreator/SegaPhantasy Star
Persona 4: ArenaUrban FantasyPersona 5
Persona 4: ArenaVideo Games of the 2010sShin Megami Tensei IV
Persona 4: ArenaVisual NovelSHUFFLE!

alternative title(s): Persona 4 The Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena; Persona 4 The Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena; Persona 4 Ultimax
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