(Missed yesterday’s discussion of the fantastic soundtrack of Persona 4? Check it out here: [Persona 4] Reaching Out To The Truth Pt. 6: Dancing All Night, the Music of Persona 4)
(Artwork by Serori)
The Strength of Heart Needed to Face Oneself
(Be warned, There will likely be Persona 4 Spoilers)
It’s been a long and entertaining journey recounting how much I adore Persona 4 over this past week. We’ve gotten to hit a lot of amazing points and have a ton of amazing things left untouched. There is way too many fantastic things to say about this game that I couldn’t possibly capture in such a short amount of time. However, we’re nearing the end and I think I’ve got one more major thing I want to touch on before I call it a series. Today’s write-up is easily the most personal of the series for me and I want to just take a few moments to talk about what Persona 4 has done for me. This game has impacted my own mentality and self-value, as well as re-affirmed beliefs I’ve held with me for as long as I can remember. It has touched me on a deep emotional level and I feel it would be a good place to conclude the series with a personal musing.
It’s hard to pin down exactly what it is about Persona that has affected me in my personal beliefs and values. There are a lot of different points throughout the game that have resonated with me on an emotional level and given me quite a bit of personal reflection. Kanji’s struggle with his own sexual identity and Naoto’s with her gender identity ring close to issues I’ve helped many a friend through in the past and their stories and personal growth have touched me on a deep level, as I mentioned in the characters write-up. The interactions with the killer as he revealed his true nature brought into question the beliefs of the party and also ones I’ve held for myself, about the reality of pursuing the truth and being honest with yourself. The family Social Links have re-affirmed my own personal values and the importance of family to me, especially after dealing with a loss in the family. Dealing with the death of my father just under two years ago caused me to relate very heavily with Nanako and Dojima as they try to move on after the death of the mother of the family. Like I discussed in my post covering her, Yukiko’s struggle with her family business and the question of whether or not to carry on the business against your own desires is something I dealt with as a child. Ayane’s struggles with her self-confidence hit home with me on a personal level, dealing with issues with my own self-confidence and pride in the past. However, it is the growth of these characters throughout the course of the game that inspired me the most. Seeing these characters able to work through their own personal problems was truly inspiring to me and gives me motivation to carry on and give everything my best in life.
As I touched upon a bit briefly in my Yukiko piece, Yukiko as a character and the development of her Social Link throughout the course of the game was a very personal winner for me. I quickly gained an affinity for the character early on through her quirky attitude and the interactions between her and the Protagonist from the early stages of the Social Link, only to connect and relate with her more and more as a character as the game and her story progression continued. She affected me and my own personal views on a much greater level than I would feel comfortable covering here, as strange as it may sound. She re-ignited some of my personal beliefs on love and how I feel about the idea of love and became a very special character for me personally because of it. She’s quickly climbed to become likely my second favorite character of all-time, behind a certain twintailed idol I’ve made no secret of my affinity for. Needless to say, Yukiko is a character that affected me on a very personal level and only added onto how special the entirety of Persona 4 was for me.
So, there’s a lot more I could talk about, but I’m just going to take a few moments to gush before I close out this series. There is so much that I just absolutely loved about Persona 4 and I’ve been recommending it to everyone who will listen, with more than one being interested in the series beforehand. I didn’t find a single character (who I was supposed to) that I didn’t end up liking in some way, shape, or form and each one had their own special charm and some part of their backstory I was able to relate with personally. The gameplay was simple yet addictive and I personally absolutely adored the daily life segments of Persona 4. It always felt like there was something to do and for being a rural setting, the town of Inaba felt alive at every corner, bursting at the seams with things to do and interesting, unique characters to interact with. Talking about the supporting cast doesn’t even begin to touch on some of the even smaller characters, like the eccentric Tanaka on the weekly shopping programs or the twins you can find in Inaba. The music has become my go-to playlist for the past several weeks, to the ire of some (particularly my roommate who keeps getting “Like a dream come true” stuck in her head). There are so many things that I could say about how excellent Persona 4 is that a hundred write-ups wouldn’t be enough.
With this, we’ve reached the end. It’s been a fun journey, taking apart my new favorite game of all-time and analyzing each different piece of it and why it’s so fantastic for me. There is no doubt that Persona 4 is a game I feel has changed my life. After ranting and raving for days about it. I’ve affirmed to myself that it deserves its #1 spot beating out my favorite game of ten years: Tales of Symphonia. It’s a fantastic game with a ton of amazing things to talk about, but in the end, it’s better left off to the experience. I’m very much looking forward to my replay of the game this summer after I complete Persona 3 FES and Persona 5. Persona 4 is a fantastic game, a fantastic story, and a title worthy of my new #1.
(After-note: Thanks so much to those of you who’ve followed along with my entire series. It’s been a blast to write and I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to talk to a lot of different people about a game that has affected me so much. I could have made this a lot longer, but holding it to seven entries feels just right to me. I’m always happy to talk about the game more, so message me wherever if you want to talk more in-depth! I’m planning to watch Persona 4 The Animation and I may do some comparative pieces/a review, so stay tuned for that!)