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File:P4arena faithful announce alt 6528.jpg

Left to right: Chie Satonaka, Yu Narukami and Teddie invite you to summon the fighter within.

Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, also known simply as Persona 4: Arena in America, is a fighting game sequel to Persona 4 and, to a lesser extent, Persona 3, developed by Arc System Works under the supervision of Atlus' Team Persona. The gameplay is purported to be similar to Blaz Blue with the stand system from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fighting game.

The game is set three months after the end of Persona 4 and two years after the end of Persona 3, it follows the True Ending of P4 with everything in Inaba brought back to peace, but strangely enough Teddie turns up on the Midnight Channel to announce his P-1 Grand Prix, a tournament for Persona users to fight each other and decide who's the best fighter around; The Investigation Team takes note of this and decides to drop in to make sure this is just a friendly competition set up by Teddie; Aigis, Mitsuru, and Akihiko also drop in due bearing suspicion of a never seen before tournament where Persona users gather to fight against each other.

It hit Japanese arcades in March of 2012. A console version has been confirmed for a release date of August 2 and 7 in Japan and America respectively, with a European release confirmed for later in 2012, courtesy of Zen United. In late May it was announced that the release date had been pushed forward from August 2 to July 26, with no word on whether the US version will follow suit in some way.

The Arcade build of the game began with 10 characters, but more have been added over time (Labrys, Elizabeth, Shadow Labrys and Asterios) and there is still the possibility of DLC.

Confirmed characters are the following:

Tropes used in Persona 4 Arena include:

  • Actor Existence Failure: Like with The Animation, Igor's few lines in the game are directly taken from game audio files due to his Japanese voice actor having passed away in 2010.
  • A Load of Bull: Shadow Labrys' giant shadow familar, Asterios.
  • An Axe to Grind: A big one wielded by Labrys and Shadow Labrys.
  • Announcer Chatter:
    • Rise, who as in the original P4 acts as Mission Control and keeps the player apprised of how combat is going: here she comments when a Super is done, when the character's health is low, and when a Fatal can be done, with a more personal interest in the proceedings than the usual impersonal announcer given that the combatants are her friends and she doesn't like to see them getting hurt.
    • Margaret is the announcer for the Character Select screen, qualifying her for this trope as well. She gives info on the cast.
  • Ascended Extra: Labrys, thought to be a character original to the game, appeared previously in a drama CD for Persona 3.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Asterios, who only slightly pokes of of the floor. Otherwise, he would probably take up more than the screen.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: The outcome of Chie's Galactic Punt Instant Kill - strikingly similar to Yukimura's Basara KO from Sengoku Basara X, another fighting game by Arc System Works.
  • Badass Cape: Akihiko is wearing one, complete with a hood.
  • Bag of Spilling: The characters no longer have their Ultimate Personas, with the exception of Aigis, Akihiko and Mitsuru, who evolved their Personas as part of their game's main storyline and were thus able to keep them. Yu does unleash Izanagi-no-Ookami for his finishing move, however.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Unsurprisingly, but it really stands out when Yu has a real sword, Yosuke attacks with sharp kitchen knives and Kanji has a nice steel chair to bash heads with it. Not to mention Naoto and Aigis' guns, Akihiko's machete, Mitsuru's rapier, Teddie's claws and Labrys' axe.
    • And then we go to the subject of the Mortal Blows of each character: Yu disintegrates the enemy, Aigis blasts the foe with a laser cannon that would make Iron Man proud, etc. Majority of the cast are in high school (the others are in college), most of them are friends with each other and they're fighting to kill.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of Shadow Labrys' supers has Asterios literally do this. However, with the TV motif and all, this example actually makes sense.
  • The Bus Came Back: Despite having moved back to the city as planned at the end of the original game, Yu seems to once again be sporting his Yasogami high uniform and involving himself in strange happenings in Inaba.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Investigation Team went native for the fighting game world, they call out their attack names or a Catch Phrase while performing one.
  • Canon Immigrant: Labrys from the Persona 3 Drama CDs, making her way to the big scene in this game.
  • Canon Name: The protagonist's name was chosen by the player in the original Persona 4, but in The Arena he's officially called Yu Narukami.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The scenery effect for Yukiko's Mortal Blow.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Kanji with his trusty chair.
  • Classical Mythology: Returns with a vengeance with Labrys so that she fits with the rest of the Persona 3 cast. And it's just as symbolic as ever.
    • Labrys' Persona is Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, the owner of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. She fell in love with Theseus, who came to end Minos' tradition of sacrificing seven men and women to the Labyrinth every few years, and helped him by giving him a sword for combat and a ball of string so he could find his way later. The Irony is the fact that Labrys was thrown into the TV, and thus is essentially the sacrifice to the Labyrinth, as well as the fact that Ariadne only appeared after Labrys already found her way out.
    • Shadow Labrys' familiar is Asterios, better known as the aforementioned Minotaur. Likewise, Shadow Labrys and Asterios happen to be the monster waiting inside their own version of the Labyrinth, Labrys' dungeon.
  • Class Representative: What Labrys claims to be, despite being a robot.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Awakening, which happens when a character is nearing the end of their vitality gauge. They become more resistant to attacks, their super meter grows by 50 points (which means they can execute a third super off a single meter), and can use the "Awakening" attack.
  • Continuity Nod: Elizabeth's Mortal Blow is a Counter Attack, which follows into her signature 9999 damage Megidolaon, complete with a Persona 4 styled, health-depleting icon.
  • Death From Above: Courtesy of Akihiko and Caesar for their Instant Kill.
  • Dual Wield: Yosuke and his kitchen knives.
  • Dramatic Wind: Kanji when summoning Take-Mikazuchi for his Super, he makes a pose in glory with his coat flapping in the wind while the Persona attacks; actually even his fighting stance has a small dose of dramatic wind on his coat.
  • Excuse Plot: Inevitable for the Arcade version, as whatever Teddie's P-1 Grand Prix tournament may develop into, it will only be truly explored in the console port which will have a story mode. The Arcade version does leaves a hook after Labrys accepts her Shadow self, implying the story is not over yet, however.
    • Turns out that "Teddie" (i.e. Mr. M. Bearson / Teddie with hat and cape) is actually Labrys' shadow, the true tournament host.
    • Even then, we still have no idea why Aigis is in Inaba (she's there on her own separate from Akihiko and Mitsuru) as well as Elizabeth (other than being the obligatory SNK Boss for Score Attack). We also have no idea whose bright idea was it to throw Labrys into the Midnight Channel.
      • Labrys is actually and Anti-Shadow Weapon who escaped from the Kirijo Group, in other words she is one of Aigis's sisters, real sister, and she comes to Inaba persuing her.
  • Fighting Your Friend: It is the case for the game, as the Investigation Team are going all out against each other in the P-1 Grand Prix. Not that it's wholly a bad thing... most of us are pretty sure that Yosuke and Chie would have wanted to get at each others' throats for some time now, and Kanji once threatened Yosuke for making a jab related to Shadow Kanji. Akihiko, Mitsuru, and Aigis will get the chance to fight each other as well, although they have some experience in doing so.
  • Final Boss: In the Arcade version, Shadow Labrys. Elizabeth is an SNK Boss for score attack.
  • Fragile Speedster: Yosuke, according to the stats. Yosuke is very fast, but his strength and defense is pretty bad.
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Chie, being who she is, drops a few ATATATAs and WATCHAs then and there.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite technically being the same person, Labrys and Shadow Labrys are counted as two separate characters in-game (ala Ryu/Evil Ryu and Jin/Devil Jin.)
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Yu to Yosuke in one of the first released screenshots for the story mode.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Akihiko has a scar on his chest.
  • Gratuitous English: In the screenshot linked below. "Free pray"? (This example at least will likely be averted, however; all the other screenshots read "free play".)
  • Gratuitous French: Mitsuru at the end of her Intant Kill, "Adieu".
  • Improbable Weapon User: Kanji still got it in him, his weapon is a chair.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: Part of Yosuke's theme contains tunes that can remind you of "March of the Wicked King" (Axl Low's classic theme)
  • Jack of All Stats: Yu, according to the official stats. Yu is a balanced character and is good for beginners.
  • Joshikousei: The base concept for Labrys, this and Class Representative.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Yu with Izanagi, more than one of his Supers are gigantic laser beams, Zio and Ziodyne.
  • Kick Chick: Chie, most of her attacks are kicks and variations, with only a few punches.
  • Knife Nut: Yosuke, not only does he dual wield them but he also has many to throw at his opponents.
  • Leitmotif: Each character has one. Two of them are remixes of existing tracks (Yu's is a remix of "Reach Out To The Truth" and Aigis' theme is a remix of "Heartful Cry"). The rest of the cast gets tracks that takes the basic tempo and beat of an existing track (or tracks - Naoto's has about three, for example) and mashes them together, building an original song out of them.
    • Labrys has two [2] themes; one is her normal theme and another is her boss theme. On the other hand, Elizabeth's theme is, fittingly enough, the original "Battle for Everyone's Souls."
    • For Mirror Matches, the main battle themes from the previous Persona games are used. If the character used is from Persona 4, the original version of "Reach Out To The Truth" is played, while if the character is from Persona 3, "Mass Destruction" is used.
    • ???'s (actually Shadow Yu/Asterios) theme is the original I'll Face Myself (Battle) theme from Persona 4.
  • Lemony Narrator: The first promo video has Fumihiko Tachiki as one of these, giving the characters insulting nicknames. The characters, naturally, complain about this.
  • Limit Break: After a character's HP drops below a certain point, they'll enter an "Awakened" state, during which their SP meter will gradually refill and more power supers become available.
  • Machete Mayhem: Akihiko has one on him now.
  • Market-Based Title: The Ultimate in Mayonaka got left out of the title for the English release, as "Mayonaka TV" is called "Midnight Channel" there. The rather straightforward Persona: 4 Arena has been announced instead; although Persona 4: The Ultimate in Midnight Channel Arena could have been a literal translation of the title.
  • Marth Debuted in Smash Bros: Labrys for NA players, as the work she originated from had a case of no export for you.
  • Meaningful Name: Labrys is Cretan for axe.
  • Mini Boss: Shadow Yu/Asterios seems to be one.
  • My Name Is Question Marks: Shadow Yu/Asterios.
  • Playing with Fire: Yukiko with Konohana Sakuya, she coordinates the Persona's fire attacks with her fan.
  • Pretty in Mink: Mitsuru has a white fur coat to wear over her catsuit.
  • Previous Player Character Cameo: Aigis, Mitsuru, Akihiko and Elizabeth show up for their own personal reasons in the story. Mitsuru is looking for something that has been stolen from her, and she was the one who invited Akihiko, thinking he'd like to compete. Aigis and Elizabeth are yet to be explained - but one can assume it has something to do with trying to save Minato/Minako.
    • The Rival: Yu and Aigis are implied to have a rather fierce rivalry or a very hostile relationship with each other; many of the trailers, as well as some of the artworks, often show them fighting each other. Then again, it may just be hyping up the fact that this is a Crossover between Persona 3 and Persona 4.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Carrying over ArcSys' tradition, the game has instant kills, known as Mortal Blows. In this one they combined the requirements from Blaz Blue and Guilty Gear, you can only use them on the last round and they consume most of your meter (BB), but your opponent does not need to be have low health for you to attempt your insta-kill (GG).
    • Both Naoto and Elizabeth have Mahamaon and Mamudoon as super moves. Naoto's can only induce a One-Hit Kill if she has brought down her opponent's fatal counter to zero, Elizabeth's are traps that activate after 10 seconds of being cast and always inflicts a KO if the opponent is hit.
  • Robot Girl: Aigis and Labrys.
  • Series Continuity Error: In connection with the Bag of Spilling, the Persona’s the characters use cause some problems. Akihiko and Mitsuru keep their story-acquired Ultimate Personas but the Persona 4 cast does not. This is fine for Yu (who still has access to Izanagi via the Wild Card) but it also means that none of the other characters finished their Social Links (which is what unlocks their Ultimate Personas). This would normally be a simple case of Cutting Off the Branches, except Teddie’s Star Social Link levels up through the story and must max out so he should have Kamui. This might be explained away, however, due to their Ultimate Personas retconned to new ones in their game's Updated Rerelease. The person hit with this the worst is Aigis. She still has her Ultimate Persona from The Journey, which blatantly contradicts her losing access to it upon acquiring the Protagonist’s Wild Card in The Answer (which is long confirmed to be Canon).
  • Shock and Awe: Akihiko with Caesar, Kanji with Take-Mikazuchi and Yu with Izanagi summon their Personas for electricity based attacks.
  • Shout-Out: The name for Teddie's tournament: P-1 Grand Prix, obviously inspired by one of the editions for the late japanese Kickboxing championship league: K-1 Grand Prix.
  • SNK Boss: Elizabeth.
  • Spin-Off: In Genre, at least. The game itself is the latest story in the canon.
  • Spy Catsuit: Mitsuru's new outfit.
  • Time Skip: Its been 3 months since Persona 4, and two years since Persona 3. If you care, its also been about 8 years since P2 and 11-ish since P1.
  • Tournament Arc: Initially the reason the characters are going at each other throats is simply because Teddie is holding a tournament, but taking account the game will be story driven, expect things to get more complex than that.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Did anyone expect the latest Persona game, a series of RPGs that are a spinoff of yet another series of RPGs, to come in the shape of a fighting game developed by Arc System Works?
    • The Unexpected: Or for that matter Aigis would be on the roster? Later they revealed Labrys, a character from the Persona 3 Drama CDs; with them being an Japan Only merchandise, it's safe to say to no westerner was expecting her, or even knew her for that matter. Elizabeth with Thanatos was also an unexpected addition.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Something Akihiko picked up in his two years of training.
  • Walking the Earth: How Akihiko has spent the two years between the end of Persona 3 and the tournament, traveling across the globe to perfect his punch and become the greatest fighter. He's back in Japan because Mitsuru invited him to participate in the tournament with her.
  • Whole Costume Reference: One of Teddie's outfits in The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, with its Japanese Delinquents style hat/golden skull and lightning bolt motif/purple cape/etc, looks suspiciously like a certain martial arts tournament hosting dictator's.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Kanji, many of the attacks with his chair are wrestling moves: body slams, drops & etc.
  • X Meets Y: Persona 4 meets Blaz Blue with some of the system mechanics of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and a bit of Street Fighter.
  1. Actually Shadow Labrys posing herself as Yu via Asterios
  2. Three is you count Shadow Labrys
  3. Which may... cause a little funny paradox, seeing as Elizabeth and Carl share the same seiyuu...