All souls know this from birth...
The truth is something that is chosen and grasped...
Something discovered with one's vision and will.
Only by gaining that does the seeker become truth himself,
a cord that connects past and future.
Persona 4 is an Urban Fantasy Role-Playing Game, and the fourth numbered sequel in the Shin Megami Tensei JRPG franchise's Persona sub-series, developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 2 and later the PlayStation Vita and PC. It released in Japan on July 10th, 2008, in North America on December 9th, and in Europe on March 13th, 2009.
You are an Ordinary High-School Student, staying with relatives in the rural town of Inaba for a year while your parents are working abroad. Soon after you settle in with your uncle and young cousin, a series of impossible murders begin to rock the sleepy town: victims who suddenly disappear, only for their bodies to be found hanging upside down from telephone poles with no obvious cause of death. All while the sleepy town is undergoing a massive upheaval when a respected politician undergoes a messy divorce and the small town's bonds are being eroded by the presence of bigger businesses, causing distrust in the town.
Meanwhile, you decide to check out a new Urban Legend called the "Midnight Channel": supposedly, if you stare into the screen of a switched-off television set on a rainy midnight, an image will appear that shows your soulmate. However, when you try it out, you instead discover a strange alternate world on the other side of the television screen, shrouded in a perpetual, oppressive fog.
Someone or something is kidnapping innocent people and throwing them into this world, where the monstrous Shadows that inhabit it will eventually kill them. Using a mysterious inner power called "Persona", you and your friends form an investigation team to rescue the kidnapped victims before they are killed and solve the mystery of who is responsible.
Persona 4 takes place in the same universe as all the other Persona games, and begins almost exactly a year after the events of "The Answer" in Persona 3 FES. The game runs off the Persona 3 engine and even on the same console, but with some upgrades to the graphics and different game mechanics. Most of Persona 3's main features return, including the popular Social Links and the calendar day system - just as in Persona 3, the game takes place within an entire school year.
One major difference is that instead of the player climbing one long tower for much of the game's combat, the player instead enters the TV World and has access to multiple dungeons that unlock as the story progresses. Plotwise, the setting is rural versus the urban setting of Persona 3, which creates an entirely different feeling and plays against the game's main themes. Notably, some of the sexual overtones present in earlier Persona titles have returned in this one.
An Updated Re-release, Persona 4 Golden was released on June 14th, 2012 for the Play Station Vita in Japan, November 20th in North America, and February 22th, 2013 in Europe, and was later released on Steam on June 13th, 2020, making it the first mainline Persona title to hit non-Sony platforms since the first Personanote . It features alternate costumes for characters, two new Social Links with Tohru Adachi and new character Marie, new enemies and areas to explore, new Ultimate Personas for the party, new gameplay mechanics in both the real world and in the Midnight Channel involving motorbikes, combination attacks between characters, a new Bad Ending, new events taking place during the December to March Time Skip, a new epilogue, and on top of all of that, a completely redone opening animation by Madhouse.
- Persona 4: Arena: A BlazBlue-style fighting game set two months after the conclusion of the original story and co-developed with Arc System Works, featuring several characters from Persona 3.
- Persona 4: The Animation: An Exactly What It Says on the Tin anime series adaptation. This also christens the protagonist's name to be 'Yu Narukami', which will be used throughout appearances like Persona 4: Arena and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
- Persona 4: The Animation ~The Factor of Hope~: A Compilation Movie Compressed Adaptation of the anime series.
- Persona 4 Golden: The Animation: A second anime adaptation, this time based on the aforementioned Updated Re-release and done by the studio that did the anime cutscenes in the original game.
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: A crossover with Persona 3 that somehow takes place during both games. Lifts its gameplay from fellow Atlus series Etrian Odyssey.
- Persona 4: Dancing All Night: A Rhythm Game initially made by the developers of the popular Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series. Yes, really. And Miku is DLC.
- Persona 4: A Manga Adaptation running in Dengeki Black Maoh. This adaptation named the protagonist 'Souji Seta'.
- Persona 4: The Magician: A short Spin-Off manga that ran in Persona Magazine and starred Yosuke Hanamura, detailing his time in Inaba prior to the events of the games.
- Persona x Detective NAOTO: A Light Novel featuring Naoto Shirogane investigating a new case outside of Inaba two years after the original story. Originally considered to be canon and even declared as such by P4 director, Katsura Hashino, it has since fallen into Canon Discontinuity and was officially retconned out of existence by Ultimax.
- VisuaLive: Persona 4: A Japanese-only live stage production which ran from March 15 through March 20 of 2012 and roughly covered the first half of the game.
- VisuaLive: Persona 4 Evolution: A sequel which roughly covers the second half of the game.
Since April 2014, the original game has been available for download on the Play Station Network.
I am a Troper... The true self...
Life goes on with or without you
I swim in the sea of the unconscious,
I search for your heart, pursuing my true self...