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  • Adored by the Network: Even moreso than Persona 3, it's quite obvious that Atlus adores 4, with the two games receiving a plethora of spinoff media.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For the Persona series, up to (and including) 4, the western releases all carried the Shin Megami Tensei name. The success of Persona 4 prompted ATLUS USA to drop the SMT branding with Golden & Arena, with the next main installment simply called Persona 5.
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  • Defictionalization: There is a fanmade recipe for the Aiya Rainy Day Special Mega Beef Bowl. Comes with a vegetarian option.
  • Development Gag: When mentioning that the police are looking for witnesses to the serial murders, Yosuke jokes about the killer wearing 'bright yellow clothes' at the crime scene. One of the original designs for the killer, as shown in concept artwork, had them wearing a bright yellow raincoat.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Files suggest that the part time job the gas station attendant offers in the game's opening, which a nameless male student in the shopping district later says was filled, was meant to actually be a job the player could take.
    • A paragraph kindly asking players not to spoil the game's story has been found in the game's files. It would have played right before starting a new game.
    • Unused text strings suggest that there would have been consequences for dating multiple girls, and that all of the girls' Social Links could break or reverse, possibly as a result of this. In Golden, the girls will passive-aggressively call the protagonist out on cheating on Valentine's Day if he has been, but nothing ever comes of it.
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    • Dungeon Dialogue also implied that all of the Social Links, not just Naoto's and Ai's, were susceptible to reversing and even breaking, just like in Persona 3.
    • Some unused dialogue that can be dug out of the game's files heavily suggest Yosuke was originally intended as a Gay Option romance. Some of this still lingers in the game itself - besides the Ho Yay between him and Yu at times, Yosuke is the only male Social Link in the game that can have minor route changes depending on choices (most notably giving him a Cooldown Hug at one point if the right dialogue options were taken earlier in the Link), while all of the girls that can be romanced have this as standard.
    • In Golden, files in the Social Link folder contain a portrait of Izanami, in her gas station disguise.
    • Every dungeon has dialogue for if you talk to your party members in front of it while you've already finished the current rescue or other mission. This dialogue for the last two dungeons goes unused, as it's impossible to actually access either of them under that condition.
  • Fan Nickname:
  • Killer App: Golden has become this, significantly boosting sales of the lagging Vita. It's gotten to the point that many consider it the only reason to own one.
  • Life Imitates Art: This report about a man who was found dead, with no signs of trauma, hanging upside down from a telephone pole.
  • Market-Based Title: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 outside of Japan, for the initial release (See Breakthrough Hit above).
  • Name's the Same:
  • No Budget: ATLUS was going through severe financial trouble during development and this shows quite a bit if one digs through the data, as the game was essentially built on top of Persona 3 in a way that is more or less akin to a fanmade hack, with much of the data assets remaining buried in the code in a way that was most likely not test data. This is testament that, despite the lack of money, the game was still financially and critically successful, though this did not prevent ATLUS from going bankrupt a few months after release and subsequently bought out.
  • The Original Darrin:
  • The Other Darrin: Golden saw multiple voice actors being replaced.
  • The Pete Best: Erin Fitzgerald wasn't the first English voice for Chie, but she's become the most iconic.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Johnny Yong Bosch, used to playing the role of The Hero (which he does in this game, seeing as how he's pulling double duty), playing the lovably incompetent detective, Tohru Adachi. Later, it turns out he's playing even further against type when it's revealed that Adachi is actually an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer, complete with an Evil Laugh when summoning his Persona.
    • Rie Kugimiya in the Japanese voice track is well-known for playing tsunderes like Shana and her various clones. Here she plays Rise, who has both pigtails and Zettai Ryouiki but isn't tsundere in the least.
  • Real-Life Relative: In Golden, Sam Riegel and Eden Riegel, who voice Teddie and Marie respectively, are brother and sister in real life.
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Kanji is more or less the role that put Troy Baker on the road to voice-work super-stardom and roles like Joel in The Last of Us. While he did return for the role at first (being in love with it), he eventually had to bow out due to becoming very high in demand and busy with motion capture work and music to the point where he cannot find time to continue many of his roles in anime and JRPGs.
    • Similarly, while Erin Fitzgerald wasn't unknown before becoming the second Chie, it was her take on Chie in Golden and the animations that put her solidly on the radar of English voice-over fans.
  • Swan Song: Is generally considered to be the last big PS2 game, being released a little less than two years after the PS3.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Johnny Yong Bosch voices the Protagonist/Yu Narukami and Tohru Adachi.
    • The characters voices their respective Shadows.
    • Romi Park voices both Naoto Shirogane and Izanami.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Released in 2008 and taking place in 2011 Japan, Persona 4 is a rare example of a JRPG in an entirely modern setting, can sometimes fall into this:
    • Television, and the influence it can have on the populace, serves as one of the underlying themes of the plot. With the rise of the Internet and smartphones only a few years later - just around the time the game actually takes place - as the main source of entertainment and news for many people in first-world countries, especially for those at the high school age all of the main characters are at, this may seem slightly outdated. It's very noticeable that the Internet is pretty much never mentioned by anyone, and there's nary a computer to be found in the game world. One that's even remarked upon in-game is the rise of HD TVs when most of the characters are still using old standard-definition sets, a few lamenting that they'll eventually have to upgrade. A wall of fancy widescreens sits in the electronics section of local department store Junes, a contrast to the old sets the characters own. Funnily enough, the game itself was released on a mostly SD console a couple years after its HD successor had already come out. Kanji's family upgrading to an HD TV is actually a minor plot point in the sequel, which was released in 2012 and takes place in the same year.
    • On a similar note, a major subplot in the game, as well as a major factor in a number of other subplots and social links, is the opening of a department store chain, the aforementioned Junes, in town and its various effects on the local economy. In 2008, this was a hot topic, even in the US with the rise of "big box retailers" and "Megastores" like Wal-Mart, Target, and others. A decade later, while the Big Box and Megastore age has not died completely, online retail through sites such as Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc. has taken a huge chunk in the business of physical stores, to the point that larger chains such as Macy's, JC Penney's, K-Mart, Sears, and Toys R Us have either closed a huge number of stores or been forced into bankruptcy.
    • The characters all rock simple flip-open cellphones, used solely for calling and texting. This is more of a US dating - though the US adopted smartphones quickly after the iPhone debut a year before the game released, Japan's adoption rate was far slower, and many Japanese citizens were still using flip phones well into the mid 2010s. Notably, the 2011 anime adaptation of the game retcons this a little, as some characters now use smartphones and there's even a song on the OST that makes an iPhone joke:
      "iBreak! Just might be the new app on your smartphone."
    • Kanji's possible homosexuality is a major facet of his character, and his personal dungeon is a bathhouse with deliberately exaggerated Hard Gay overtones. While a hot button issue and the source of much social commentary and humor (which the game provides both of) at the time, only a few years later the idea of major and entirely-sympathetic gay characters in fiction would barely raise an eyebrow.
  • Video Source: Provides one of the videos for Big Ball of Violence.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Rise's original design had her being a playable party member like the others and her being a chain-wielding ice queen sukeban. Since Kanji already filled the delinquent void, the concept was scrapped, and her original design instead ended up going to NPC Ai Eibihara when Rise was redesigned as an Idol Singer loosely inspired by her voice actress. Rise's original concepts would eventually be partially reused for Persona 5's Ann.
    • Kanji was originally going to be a middle-aged man, and Naoto would've been straight-up male instead of a female cross-dresser. Both of these can be seen in their original concept art.
    • Margaret didn't exist initially, Elizabeth from Persona 3 was intended to return as the Velvet Room assistant. They decided to make a new assistant so as not to de-value Persona 3's stand-alone storyline.
    • One of the biggest changes is who the murderer really was. It would have been none other than Dojima, with Adachi serving as the Red Herring instead. It was changed after the ending was shown to a focus group and the feedback was that the twist of Yu living with the killer all year was too dark for the type of game Persona 4 was. It can be assumed that the change was made pretty late in development, since it explains Dojima's knee-jerk reaction to receiving a threatening letter from the killer. They also toyed with Yukiko or Yosuke being the killer, but their motivations (for the sake of self-pleasure) were considered too weak and cliche. However, Atlus would revisit this idea in Persona 5 with Akechi being the traitor to the Phantom Thieves and one of the game's main villains.
    • Golden was originally planned to be a PSP title, which would've led to features needing to be cut. Thankfully the Vita came along.
    • The Killer originally wore a yellow raincoat. This would be Refitted for Sequel in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
  • Word of God:
    • In the second episode of the Persona Stalker Club, Atlus confirms that Yosuke enjoys listening to Western and Japanese music, including those from soundtrack albums.
    • The fifth episode, basically an Adachi special, confirms that although Adachi carries a lighter on his person for whenever Dojima needs it, Adachi himself doesn't smoke.
    • The twenty-third episode mentions that Adachi is very familiar with the Moonlight Bridge since he used to drive there when he was working in the city prior to his transfer to Yasoinaba.
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • Troy Baker stated during a convention that after asking the English Voice Director for motivation, that he voiced Kanji as if he was indeed gay. Baker has gone on record that he does believe Kanji is gay.
    • Erin Fitzgerald later admitted to doing the same thing with Chie in Golden, portraying her as 'madly in love' with Yukiko after reading the script. Unlike with Baker's belief of Kanji's homosexualiy however, which is deliberately been kept ambiguous in-game, the game very clearly contradicts Fitzgerald's beliefs. Besides the fact that Chie is a potential love interest for the Protagonist, Word of God states that she, along with the other female leads (which include Yukiko for that matter) are crushing hard on the Protagonist regardless if they are romanced or not, pretty much shooting down this notion.

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