Persona 4 Articles RSS Feed | Persona 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Three Persona Games Are Making Their Way to PC, Xbox, and PlayStation Sun, 12 Jun 2022 15:05:23 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Atlus has revealed that Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable will be coming to PC, Xbox One, Series X|S, and Game Pass. The announcement was made during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase as part of Summer Games Fest 2022. An update following the announcement confirms that the games will also come to Playstation. 

Persona 5 Royal will arrive on the platforms on October 21, 2022, with all previously-released DLC. However, Atlus is keeping mum on platform release dates for Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable with "enhanced graphics" at this time, with more news to come in the future.

Persona 5 Royal was released for the PlayStation 4 in October 2019, and we gave it high marks for its story, characters, quality-of-life improvements, localization, and visuals. It regularly makes appearances on many a "best RPG" list. Royal adds new characters to the mix, along with a number of other notable bits and bobs over the base Persona 5. It has previously only been available on PlayStation.

Like Royal to Persona 5, Persona 4 Golden is a souped-up version of Persona 4, which originally launched for the PlayStation 2 in 2008 before making its way to PlayStation Vita in 2012, PS3 in 2014. Interestingly, Golden isn't on modern PlayStation platforms, having only been released on PC in 2020.  

Persona 3 Portable is also currently missing from the modern PlayStation console lineup, having been released for the PlayStation Portable in North America in 2010. It, too, is an enhanced port of 2006's PS2 JRPG, Persona 3.

Persona 4 Golden Cutscene Stutter Fix Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:53:38 -0400 Sergey_3847

The Persona 4 Golden cutscene stutter bug has been vexing players since the game launched on Steam. But, of course, some players have already found a potential fix for the issue. The guide below will outline a fix from Steam user John Hadley, which seems to be one of the best so far. 


Persona 4 Golden Cutscene Stutter Fix

Hadley has figured out that the problem is connected with the high-quality of the cutscene video files. His solution is to re-encode them to a smaller size. Luckily, you can download all of the video files by following this link.

Once you've downloaded the archive, which is 556 MB, follow these steps as outlined by Hadley:

  1. Close Persona 4 Golden if it's running
  2. Open Steam in regular mode
  3. Go to your game library
  4. Right-click on Persona 4 Golden
  5. Select Properties -> Local Files -> Browse Local Files
  6. Copy all three "*.pac" video files from the archive into the game's folder
  7. Rewrite the old files if needed

You also want to save the old files in a separate folder before doing this in case this method doesn't work for you.

Also, if you don't know how to switch your Steam from Big Picture Mode to regular mode, then follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam in big picture mode
  2. Go to "Settings"
  3. Select "Interface" in the Display menu
  4. Uncheck "Start Steam in Big Picture Mode" option
  5. Restart Steam

Next time you start, Steam it will open in a regular mode.

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That's all on how to fix the Persona 4 golden cutscene stutter bug. Be sure to check out the links above for more tips, or try our Persona 4 guides page.

Persona 4 Boxed Lunches Guide Fri, 19 Jun 2020 17:56:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Persona 4 Golden sometimes lets make a special boxed lunch for the next day. But the option to do so is not available every night, and you have to prepare each meal a certain way to get good results when you eat it.

You don't have to be an expert chef in real life to make it work, though. Our Persona 4 boxed lunch guide has the best method for preparing each meal so you don't have to worry about it.

Persona 4 Boxed Lunch Guide: How to Make the Best Boxed Lunches

Why Make Persona 4 Boxed Lunches?

Make boxed lunches in your kitchen to take to school the next day.

When you go home for the evening, you'll occasionally have Nanako pop up and say she went shopping that day (yes, an elementary school kid does your shopping for you; it's a thing). That's your cue to get busy in the kitchen, because the fridge is stocked and won't be full until Nanako goes shopping again.

Go into the kitchen and interact with the fridge; look and see what ingredients are there and what you can make. Making a boxed lunch takes up your evening, so keep that in mind if you've got something pressing you need to do, such as increasing your Knowledge for exams.

If not, it's worth spending the time making a boxed lunch because you can share it with a friend during lunch at school the next day. Doing so increases your Social Link levels with them, which ultimately saves time later if you need an extra boost to get to the next Social Link rank.

Best Method for Making Each Persona 4 Boxed Lunch

Some methods for making boxed lunches are better than others.

Here's all the different Persona 4 boxed lunches you can make and the best way to make each.

Dish Prep Method
  Broiled Fish  Wrap it tightly
California Rolls  Mix and cool simultaneously
  Carrot and Burdock Root Kinpira  Add soy sauce and mirin
  Chakin Sushi Thinned eggs
  Creamed Stew  Dump in all the cold milk
  Croquettes  High
  Curry  Simmer
  Daigaku-Imo  Deep fry them
  Fried Chicken  Potato starch
  Ginger Pork  Score it with a knife
  Grilled Fish  Strong heat but from far away
Gyoza  Olive oil
  Hamburgers  Cut a hole and look for juice
  Kakuni  Mirin, sugar & sake
  Marinated Spinach  Strain it
  Meat Stew  Simmer with a dropped lid
  Mentaiko Pasta  Mayonnaise
  Oden  Keep on a low flame and don't boil
  Potato Salad  Smash while still hot
  Pudding  Vanilla extract
  Sweet & Sour Pork  Potato starch
  Tonkatsu  Flour, egg, then panko
Vichyssoise  Add lots of milk
  Yakiniku Bento  Use soy sauce


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And that's all you need to know for making the best Persona 4 boxed lunch possible. Be sure to check out the links above for more tips, and if you're looking for more help, try our Persona 4 guides.

Persona 4 Class Answers Guide: All Exam and Class Questions Thu, 18 Jun 2020 16:55:53 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Playing as high school students in RPGs is nothing new, but Persona 4 Golden — like other modern Persona games — takes it a step further and actually makes you go to school. That means answering random questions from your teachers and taking exams. If you haven't studied, don't worry. Our classroom answers guide is here to provide all the Persona 4 class answers and Persona 4 exam answers.

Even with our handy cheat sheet, you’ll still need to read books to increase your Knowledge stat in the game itself. Otherwise, you won’t manage to score in the highest percentile on your exams, regardless of getting the answers right.

Finally, your classmates will occasionally call on you for help with a question. Answer it correctly to boost Expression and your S. Link levels with that friend.

Persona 4 Class Answers Guide: All Persona 4 Exams and Class Questions

Persona 4 Class Answers: April

There are only class questions and answers in May, no exams.

April 14

  • Question: What is the year before 1AD called?
  • Answer: 1 BC

April 18

  • Question: The word alphabet comes from the word "alpha" and what other one?
  • Answer: Beta

April 20

  • Question: How many parts are there in Murakami's "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"?
  • Answer: 3

April 23

  • Question: What was the first economic bubble incident in the world? (or Yosuke's question to you: What's this ergonomic bubble she's talking about?)
  • Answer: Tulip mania

April 25

  • Question: What's it called when you gain more muscle after getting sore through exercise?
  • Answer: Overcompensation

April 26

  • Question: Which property of whole numbers doesn't exist? (Chie to you: I don't think I've heard of any of these?)
  • Answer: Marriage numbers

April 30

  • Question: What is the greatest canyon in the solar system?
  • Answer: Valles Marineris
Persona 4 Class Answers: May

May is the first time you have exam questions in Persona 4 Golden.

Most of May is taken up with your first exams, the midterms. There's just one normal question to answer before that and one at the end of the month.

May 7

  • Question: Do you know how Soseki Natsume translated the English phrase “I love you” into Japanese?
  • Answer: The moon is beautiful, isn't it?

May 26

  • Question: Tell me how the theory that the pyramids were built by slaves was disproven!
  • Answer: Attendance logs
Persona 4 May Midterm Exams: 5/9-5/12

The midterms are mostly comprised of questions you already answered earlier in the term, plus some extra questions based on topics covered during the term that weren't related to questions.

However, you won't be able to pass the final day of the exam until New Game+, since it requires a Level 4 Knowledge stat. Keep in mind as well that you can't do anything else during the exam period.

Midterms 5/9

  • Question: What is it called when muscles grow after exercise?
  • Answer: Overcompensation

Midterms 5/10

  • Question 1: Which of these numbers does not exist?
  • Answer: Marriage numbers

  • Question 2: Who translated "I love you" as "The moon is beautiful, isn't it?"
  • Answer: Soseki Natsume

Midterms 5/11

  • Question 1: Who said, “As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom?” 
  • Answer: Pythagoras

  • Question 2: Which of the following is the highest mountain in the solar system? 
  • Answer: Olympus Mons

Midterms 5/12

You don't have to answer anything here, but again, unless you're on New Game+, you can't earn the top spot on the exams.

Still, you'll land in the Top 10 assuming you followed this guide. After the exam scores are posted on May 19, talk to your teacher, Dojima, and Nanako for some extra rewards. If you did end up in the Top 10, you'll get +2 for each Social Link as well, +3 if you do manage to land in the top spot.

Persona 4 Class Answers: June

There are only class questions in June.

June 8

  • Question: What sport is heikin-dai?
  • Answer: Balance Beam

June 13

  • Question: What kind of exercise is a sprint classified as?
  • Answer: Anaerobics

June 15

  • Question: Tell me what morale is!
  • Answer: Cheerfulness of a group

June 20

  • Question: What period did Japan first implement bonus pay?
  • Answer: Meiji

June 27

  • Question: What is identity?
  • Answer: Individuality

June 30

  • Question: Which one of these is the name of a real river?
  • Answer: Pis Pis River
Persona 4 Class Answers: July

July has class questions and final exam questions.

July has a bundle of normal questions to answer, and it's also time for your finals.

July 4

  • Question: Who said this: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed?” 
  • Answer: Pascal

July 7

  • Question: What is the beginning of “Gakumon no Susume” a reference too?
  • Answer: The U.S. Declaration of Independence

July 13

  • Question: What is the medical term for brain freeze? 
  • Answer: Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia (choice 3)

July 14

  • Question: Which famous Heian-era monk famously used a wrong version of this specific kanji?
  • Answer: Kuukai

July 15

  • Question: Which line can a typhoon never cross?
  • Answer: The Equator

July 16

  • Question: Tell me what makes the king of hearts look different from the other kings in a standard deck of cards?
  • Answer: He has no mustache
Persona 4 Finals Exam Answers: 7/19-7/23

Now it's time for your finals. Like the midterm period, you can't do anything else during the exams. Unlike the midterms, there aren't really any curveball questions here, though Level 4 Knowledge is still required to ace the last day of the finals.

Finals 7/19

  • Question 1: What is morale?
  • Answer: Cheerfulness in a group

  • Question 2: What sport is heikin-dai?
  • Answer: Balance Beam

Finals 7/20

  • Question 1: It is said, “Even Kobo made mistakes in writing.” Which Kanji did he make a mistake on? 
  • Answer: First choice

  • Question 2: In which period did Japan first implement bonus pay?
  • Answer: Meiji

Finals 7/21

  • Question 1: Which king in a deck of cards is missing a mustache? 
  • Answer: King of Hearts

  • Question 2: Who said this: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed”?  
  • Answer: Pascal

Finals 7/22

  • Question 1: Which one of these is the name of a real river? 
  • Answer: Pis Pis River

  • Question 2: What is the beginning of “Gakumon no Susume” a reference to? 
  • Answer: The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Finals 7/23

The last day of the final exams requires no answers from you. Scores are posted on July 25. If you've been diligent and did manage to get your Knowledge to Level 4, you'll get a honkin' chunk of cash from Dojima for acing your finals — 40,000 Yen — and +3 for every Social Link. If not, you'll still get in the top 10 and earn +2 for each Social Link and 20,000 Yen from Dojima.

Persona 4 Class Answers: September

Back from summer, there are only class questions in September.

Enjoy your two months off from school, 'cause it's back to the grind in September.

September 4

  • Question: "Venison" is the meat of which animal?
  • Answer: All of the above

September 5

  • Question: Which of the following is a kigo for fall?
  • Answer: Brisk

September 17

  • Question: How short was history's shortest war?
  • Answer: 40 minutes

September 20

  • Question: What do you call somebody who’s between ninety and one hundred years old?
  • Answer: A nonagenarian

September 28

  • Question: What part of the human body has an apple in it? (Friend question: Do you know the answer?)
  • Answer: Throat
Persona 4 Class Answers: October

October brings class and exam questions in Persona 4 Golden.

October brings with it a new set of midterms as well as plenty of questions.

October 4

  • Question: Which of these sports also uses an anchor?
  • Answer: Tug-of-war

October 5

  • Question: Where would you find Japan on a map made in a foreign country? (Friend question: Did you know the answer?)
  • Answer: The right edge.

October 8

  • Question: Tell me what bird's name means "coward" in English!
  • Answer: Chicken

October 11

  • Question: What did Napoleon have invented?
  • Answer: Glass jars

October 12

  • Question: Do you know what vegetable was used to make the first Jack o’ Lantern? 
  • Answer: Turnips

October 13

  • Question: What kind of fish was I talking about? 
  • Answer: Ojisan
Persona 4 October Midterms Exam Answers: 10/14-10/20

Next up is a full week of midterms. Like before, you need level 4 Knowledge to pass the final day, but that shouldn't be a big deal by this point in the game.

October Midterms 10/14

  • Question 1: What part of the body contains the “Adam’s Apple”
  • Answer: Throat.

  • Question 2: Where would you find Japan on a map made in a foreign country?
  • Answer: The right edge.

October Midterms 10/15

  • Question 1: How short was history's shortest war?
  • Answer: 40 minutes

  • Question 2: "Venison" is the meat of which animal?
  • Answer: All of the above

October Midterms 10/17

  • Question 1: What is the Japanese name for “panda”?
  • Answer: Black and white bears

  • Question 2: Which bird is falsely known for being cowardly in the English phrase “to stick one’s head in the sand”?
  • Answer: Ostrich

October Midterms 10/18

  • Question 1: What was the name of the Wasan textbook that came out in the Edo period?
  • Answer: Math Girl

  • Question 2: What did Napoleon have invented?
  • Answer: Glass jars

October Midterms 10/19

  • Question 1: Which season is the adjective “brisk” a kigo for?
  • Answer: Fall

  • Question 2: What is “Dragon’s Blood”?
  • Answer: Plant resin

October Midterms 10/20

You know the drill by now. No questions for the last day of exams, and the results go up on October 24. If you aced it, you get 50,000 Yen from Dojima, +3 for Social Links, and items from Nanako and your teacher. Placing in the top 10 gets you 25,000 Yen and +2 for each Social Link.

Persona 4 Class Answers: November

November has class and exam questions as well.

You're nearing the end of the year, but there's still plenty of questions to answer and another round of finals.

November 1

  • Question: Tell me what the “figure” in “figure skating” refers to!
  • Answer: Geometric shapes

November 4

  • Question: Who can tell me what kind of bird a kanko-dori is?? (Friend question: Sorry, I have no idea)
  • Answer: A cuckoo

November 7

  • Question: Which country do you think the South Pole belongs to?
  • Answer: No country

November 11

  • Question: What desert is the Welwitschia from? 
  • Answer: Namib

November 17

  • Question: Alcohol has to do with the roots of the word “bridal.” Do you know how? (Friend question: Is that even in a textbook? The roots of “bridal”? What…?)
  • Answer: Bride ale

November 22

  • Do you know what an atlas is?
  • Answer: A book of maps

November 24

  • Question: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13... What is this sequence called?
  • Answer: Fibonacchi sequence

November 25

  • Question: There are over 130 ancient pyramids in Egypt, but do you know who’s buried in the biggest one?
  • Answer: Khufu

November 26

  • Question: Which one of these is considered a “rice cake”? 
  • Answer: Mochi
Persona 4 November Finals Exam Answers: 11/28-12/3

This time around, you'll need max Knowledge to fully pass the finals.

Finals 11/28

  • Question 1: What does French food stem from?
  • Answer: Italian Food

  • Question 2: What does the “figure” in “figure skating” refer to?
  • Answer: Geometric shapes

Finals 11/29

  • Question 1: Who is buried in the biggest pyramid in Egypt?
  • Answer: Khufu

  • Question 2: What is a book of maps called?
  • Answer: Atlas

Finals 11/30

  • Question 1: What word has the words “bride ale” as its roots?
  • Answer: Bridal

  • Question 2: What kind of bird is a “kanko-dori”?
  • Answer: A cuckoo

Finals 12/1

  • Question 1: Which country does the South Pole belong to?
  • Answer: No country

  • Question 2: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13... What is this sequence called?
  • Answer: The Fibonacci sequence

Finals 12/2

  • Question 1: What desert is the Welwitschia found in?
  • Answer : Namib
  • Question 2: Which of these is considered a “rice cake”?
  • Answer: Mochi
Persona 4 Class Answers: December

December is a chill month; there are only class questions and answers.

School goes on, despite everything else apparently going straight to hell. Here's what you need to know for this month's round of questions.

Finals 12/3

No major allowance boost for acing or placing in the Top 10 this time for big-time spoiler reasons, but you'll still get the usual boosts for your Social Links. Check under Nanako's seat at the living room table for a special item too.

December 9

  • Question: Do you know what color a fuzzy-wuzzy polar bear’s fur really is?
  • Answer: Transparent

December 10

  • Question: What determines whether a hair grows curly or straight?
  • Answer: The cross-section

December 17

  • Question: Do you know the intent behind the phrase, “Compassion is not for the good of others”? (Friend question: Huh? What? I wasn't listening... help!)
  • Answer: Compassion makes you look better

December 21

  • Question: Which Cleopatra is the one who was known as one of the three most beautiful women in the world?
  • Answer: VII
Persona 4 Class Answers: January

January starts the new year off slow with class questions.

If you're on track for the Golden or True Ending, you get extra time in January for Social Links and, of course, school.

January 10

  • Question: What are you supposed to put on top of a kagami mochi?
  • Answer: An orange

January 14

  • Question: “Toso” is a traditional drink for the new year, but what does the name mean?
  • Answer: Bury the demons

January 19

  • Question: In the Thai and Vietnamese zodiacs, which animal is used in place of the rabbit?
  • Answer: Cat

January 25

  • Question: What color is the snow that falls in Europe in the spring?
  • Answer: Red

January 30

  • Question: What’s the next unit of measurement up from a terabyte?
  • Answer: Petabyte
Persona 4 Class Answers: February

February is short, but Advance Exam questions dominate the month.

February is the last month to worry about school answers, and you'll take your Advancement Final Exams as well.

February 1

  • Question: What color were the pyramids originally?
  • Answer: White
Persona 4 Advancement Final Exams: 2/6-2/10

Max knowledge is needed to ace these advance exams, which cover material from throughout the other school semesters.

Advance Exams 2/6

  • Question 1: The word “alphabet” comes from the words “alpha” and what other one?
  • Answer: Beta

  • Question 2: How was the theory that the pyramids were built by slaves disproven?
  • Answer: Attendance logs

Advance Exams 2/7

  • Question 1: What drink name means “bury demons”?
  • Answer: Toso

  • Question 2: What is the medical term for brain freeze?
  • Answer: Sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia

Advance Exams 2/8

  • Question 1: What is the Japanese zodiac equivalent to the “cat” in the Thai and Vietnamese zodiacs?
  • Answer: Rabbit

  • Question 2: What vegetable was used to make the first jack-o’-lanterns?
  • Answer: Turnips

Advance Exams 2/9

  • Question 1: What color were the pyramids when they were first built?
  • Answer: White

  • Question 2: What gets mixed with snow in Europe that sometimes causes it to turn red?
  • Answer: The Sahara Desert sand

Advance Exams 2/10

Same as always here, except your Social Link bonuses don't matter anymore. Results go up on Valentine's Day, and then you're free from school.


That's absolutely everything you need to know about Persona 4 class answers and Persona 4 exam answers. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Persona 4 Golden guides in the coming days. Persona 4 Golden PC is now available on Steam for $19.99, but Atlus hasn't said if the Vita port will come to the PS4. 

Persona 4 Golden True Ending Requirements Guide Thu, 18 Jun 2020 11:39:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Like Persona 5Persona 4 Golden has multiple endings. Unlike Persona 5, Persona 4’s true ending requirements aren’t that obvious — at all. You’ll know if you get the Bad ending pretty quickly; the story jumps forward from December to March, and the credits roll soon after.

Getting the True Ending in Persona 4 Golden involves a whole lot more work, but the guide below is here to lead you through the tangled web. And don't worry. Ours is a Persona 4 Golden true ending guide with no spoilers.

Persona 4 Golden True Ending Requirements

Understanding Persona 4 Golden's Endings

To get the Persona 4 Golden Ending, you'll need to max out Marie's social links.

The first thing to do is clarify what Persona 4 ending you want to get. There are five endings: Normal, Bad, Accomplice, True, and Golden.

For Persona 4 Golden, the Golden Ending is the ultimate true ending. The True Ending is a leftover from the original PlayStation 2 game, and while it's still a good ending, it's not the best. The other endings are pretty self-explanatory, except for Accomplice, which we'll get to later.

If you want the regular True Ending, then you don’t need to worry over any Social Links.

If you want the Golden Ending, you’ll need to max out Marie’s Social Link, the Aeon Arcana. We strongly recommend aiming for the Golden Ending because that’s how you’ll unlock

  • New Personas
  • An extra two months of gameplay
  • A new dungeon tying in with the game’s lore

First up, head to the Velvet Room on April 18. You’ll kick off the chain of events that lets you start Marie’s Social Link. From there, you can spend time with Marie in the real world during the day on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as holidays, unless it’s raining, in which case she won’t be there.

Head to downtown Inaba, and you’ll see her standing outside the Velvet Room entrance. As always, try to have an Aeon Persona handy to get extra points during your conversations with her. The earliest you can fuse Aeon Personas is Level 18, by performing a triangle fusion with Nata Taishi, Angel, and Pixie to fuse Ame no Uzume.

You’ve got plenty of time to raise Marie’s Social Link as well. You technically have until the end of December, but it’s best not to leave it to the last.

The only other noteworthy thing is that you’re stuck at Rank 4 until July 24, so keep that in mind.

How to Unlock the Persona 4 Golden True Ending

The conditions for the Golden Ending in Persona 4 can be done at the end of December, but should be done sooner.

There’s no other Persona 4 true ending requirements to worry about until the beginning of December, after you clear the Heaven dungeon. It’s all extremely spoiler-y stuff, so we’ll tread delicately here.

That said, you’ll know when you get to this dialogue sequence because the Investigation Team has to make some very serious choices. There are seven dialogue choices in a row you’ll be working with to get Persona 4’s True Ending, and it’s incredibly easy to get caught up and not know what’s best.

Here’s each choice you should pick (again, with no context).

  1. Pick any choice
  2. Pick “Wait a second here…”
  3. Pick “We’re missing something”
  4. Pick “Their true feelings”
  5. Pick “Something’s been bothering me”
  6. Pick “We’re missing something…”  again
  7. Pick “Calm the hell down!”

After that, time moves forward to December 5, and you’re on the right track. You might want to make a second save file here, or at least make sure your main one’s up to date, because there’s another ending split.

Shortly after, you’ll be asked to say who you think the real killer is, and you should be able to guess that by now.

If you don’t say who you think it is, you’ll get a special, slightly disturbing ending (the Accomplice Ending) that’s actually worth seeing for how it ties in with the game’s themes and character development up to that point. If you’re interested, follow it through and then re-load your save file that has you on track for the True Ending.

Choosing the right answer unlocks a new dungeon, Magatsu Inaba. You’ve got until a few days before Christmas to finish it, but be prepared. Like in Rise’s dungeon, you’ve got a double boss fight on your hands. The final bosses are Level 73 and Level 75 respectively, so you’ll need to be close to or above that level.

Persona 4 Golden: The Golden Ending

Persona 4 Golden ski trip in the Golden Ending.

With all that taken care of, Persona 4 has another possible split depending on if you maxed out Marie’s Social Link. If you didn’t, skip to the next section.

If you did max it out, you’ll see some New Year celebrations and then fall ill for several days. Once you regain consciousness, you have most of January to finish working on Social Links you might not have maxed already — except Marie. Margaret informs you Marie’s gone missing, but don’t worry about that for now.

Prioritize the Investigation Team’s Social Links. Once you max them out at Level 10, their Personas change form. After that, or if you’ve already maxed them out before January, talk to the person again the next day, and their Persona transforms into a new, third form.

Fart around until February 5, raising S. Links or doing quests or whatever you want. Try to earn money so you can stock up on items for the next dungeon, though. 

Exams run from February 6 through February 10, then the next two days are taken up with your ski trip. February 13 is the day you’ll get to go rescue Marie from the Hollow Forest dungeon, and it’s the only day you can do this. This is another case of multiple boss fights in a row at the end, all of which are at Level 77.

Completing this is technically not required for the original True Ending. But, as mentioned, the Golden Ending is the actual true True Ending, so it's worth your time to do all this.

Persona 4 Golden True Ending 3/20

The Inaba, Central Shopping district gas station in Persona 4 Golden.

Whether you cleared the Hollow Forest or just passed on Marie’s S. Link, the calendar skips to March 19 after Valentine’s Day, and it’s time for more significant choices the next day.

On March 20, you need to visit everyone you maxed out a Social Link with. They’re in the same places they were during the rest of the game, except Yukiko. Yukiko is at the Amagi Inn, but you can just take the bus to get there. 

Once you’ve talked to everyone, you’re prompted to return home to leave. Say no, or you’ll just get Persona 4’s Normal Ending. Afterward, be sure your gear is in order. You’ll be in for one final dungeon at the end of all this, and you can’t exit once you enter.

After choosing to stay, head to the Junes Food Court, and check the elevator. You’ll have more prompts to pick after that. 

  • You’ll be asked again if you want to go home. Again, say no. 
  • Then say, “I’m not finished yet.”  
  • After that, choose “Yes” 
  • And then choose, “There’s something missing”

Now, go to the Samegawa Flood Plain area and speak with Dojima and Nanako, then go into the Velvet Room to get a special item from Igor called the Clarity Orb. (If you're playing on New Game+, go back into the Velvet Room to unlock a special boss battle against Margaret).

Finally, go to the gas station at the southern part of Inaba’s Shopping District, and talk to the attendant. You’ll have several options to choose from to learn about the attendant, and there’s no danger of getting it wrong here.

After you’re done, you’ll unlock the actual final dungeon: Yomotsu Hirasaka, the place at the very beginning in the protagonist’s dreams. It’s a 9-floor dungeon with yet another multi-part boss fight at the end. This time around, the final bosses are Level 90 and come equipped with the strongest multi-target spells and Mind Charge. Keep that in mind, and cover your weaknesses. 

Once you’ve finished, you’ve completed all the Persona 4 Golden true ending requirements. Sit back, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


That's all you need to know about Persona 4's true ending requirements, but stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Persona 4 Golden guides in the coming days. Persona 4 Golden PC is now available on Steam for $19.99. Atlus has not said if the Vita port will come to the PS4. 

Face It: Persona 4 Is the Worst of the Trilogy Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:45:49 -0400 Selandrile

Atlus's Persona series is among the most beloved franchises of all time. Well-known and with no shortage of fans, Persona games are almost a genre unto themselves. A very specific and successful formula is rigorously adhered to: live the life of a Japanese high schooler whilst battling representations of unconscious human thought during your free time.

As with any series, some entries in the Persona franchise have been better than others. And though different fans have different opinions about which one is best, Persona 5 is definitely a front-runner for that title. But which Persona game is the worst of the series? I'd have to say Persona 4.

The Beginning of Persona

Persona 1 and 2 are so removed from the last three main series games that they were not even born in this millennium. They are so different, in fact, that I personally don't consider them as really being part of the same series as the others. It would be like comparing games from different genres.

The PlayStation 2 saw the rebirth of the franchise with Persona 3 -- a game which would come to define what a Persona title was supposed to be. Simulating what it means to be a teenager, Persona 3 has the player balance their high school life, friendships, and story-related drama all within a set amount of time. Take too long, and it's game over. Waste time or be inefficient, and expect to miss out on content and be weaker for it.

While sometimes brutal, the time-management and life/story balance were monumental in the Persona series' game design. In fact, these elements proved so popular they continue to form the core of the series to this day. The latest in the series, Persona 5, has become a global phenomenon -- catapulting the Persona series from somewhat-niche into mainstream acceptance. This near-perfect game refined what worked, removed what didn't, and introduced new, exciting elements that both fit and enhanced the entire experience.

So when you consider these factors, what makes its immediate predecessor, Persona 4, the weak link in the chain? 

The Weakest Link

With Persona 3 being so groundbreaking and Persona 5 being so excellent, only Persona 4 remains -- making it the worst of the series. It's important to note that "worst of the Persona series" is hardly an insult. Even 4, with its many problems, is an excellent game in its own right. But I believe it's the true weak link for mainly one reason.

It cannot be denied Persona 4 took the successful formula of 3, yet completely abandoned its tone. Persona 3 remains among the darkest of games I have ever played 00 topped only by a few BioWare and FromSoftware titles. The dark visuals, suffocating atmosphere, and apocalyptic plot all contributed to Persona 3 being such a unique and wonderful experience. In this third iteration, the player witnesses an hour of time frozen where humans transform into coffins, tempted to emerge to their deaths. Each midnight, this horror unfolds. Blood rains from the sky and the city twists into a monstrosity reaching for the sky. And it's hard to forget that ending -- perhaps the most bleak of any game ever. The central theme of Death is quite apparent.

Persona 5, the newest title, is also dark and quite possibly the most mature of the franchise. Clearly 5 was made with an older audience in mind, as there is an abundance of swearing, criminal, and controversial elements, as well as complex psychological themes.

Characters each have their own lives, all filled with very real-world problems. Women are held back by an oppressive traditional society. Outcasts are shuttered away, never to be acknowledged. And everywhere the game's central theme, Betrayal, permeates. Authority figures abuse their power for their own gain and the strong feed off the weak. If you remove the supernatural elements Persona 5 would play more like a real-world documentary of the worst parts of our society.

Persona 4 stands in contrast to these, as it's sort of built on fluff. That's really how the game feels -- like light-hearted fluff. It's a bit contradictory when you consider 4's main plot is about finding a murderer. Any seriousness brought by the plot is utterly ruined by the presentation. Light comedy lurks around every corner. Characters bumble through their lives with wacky issues that need solving. Very rarely do serious elements get addressed -- and when they do, it's hardly an accomplishment.

One pertinent example is Kanji -- the thug whose sensitive and caring side is held back by society's need for men to be traditionally masculine. This is a wonderful character premise, but the game Kanji's characteristics as a lead-in to a "joke" about him being gay. It ruins the spirit of the message.

Bitter Beginnings and Dull Combat

Perhaps one of the most telling aspects of Persona 4 are the protagonist's backgrounds.

In Persona 5, the sharp and snazzy Joker is the victim of an enormous injustice. Framed for assault after stopping a man from attempting to sexually assault a woman, Joker's life is destroyed and he is forced to leave the region for one last hope at education.

Persona 3 has its blue-haired protagonist witness his parents burn to death in front of him -- forever traumatizing him and desensitizing him so much to death that he almost welcomes it.

But in contrast to these rich stories, Persona 4's blandly-drawn hero moves to the countryside to live with his normal uncle and niece because his parents are working overseas. And....that's it. Keep in mind this tonal difference is before the game even starts -- and nothing ever happens in the plot to complicate this premise or bring the game in line tonally with others in the series. 

This trend carries over into nearly every facet. Persona 4's characters in general seem weaker than the rest of the series. Contrast 3's Misato to 4's Teddy and 5's Morgana. Only one is a bundle of slapstick chibi humor.

The main plot is hardly as engaging or deep, either. Discover the mysteries of the midnight hour and the horrors within Persona 3. Fight society's corruption by forcing criminals in positions of power to admit their own crimes while working to rebuild your shattered life and explore another world in Persona 5. Or finally investigate who is throwing some people into a TV in Persona 4. When you hold these plots up against each other, the comparisons speak for themselves. 

As if that's not enough, combat in Persona 4 is a literal copy of its predecessor with no improvements. You'll see the same randomized levels, the same enemy types, the same attacks, the same "weapons", etc. While you could finally choose your party member's attacks, it never was as important as the desperate flailing to hit the enemy first before battle.

And I swear, if I ever have to hear Persona 4's battle music again I may self-induce deafness. It's chirpy, joyous, pop-esque battle theme really hammers home that this is a lighter game.

I admit that enjoyment is subjective, and there are those that do not want a dark Persona game. If that's the case for you, then 4 is the only game that you've probably enjoyed because the Persona series is by its nature a dark, dark series.

I don't have anything but respect for those that enjoy lighter games. Gaming should always strive to be more inclusive, because a larger audience means a healthier industry and more quality products. 

Persona 4 diverged from the usual Persona path and 5 pulled it back on. But during that detour, it was still a great experience. That's why I'm happy to say that while Persona 4 may be the worst in the series, it's still very good indeed.

Why Persona 4 is a Masterstroke in Character Writing Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:13:36 -0400 Klinestife

JRPGs all have a certain writing style that tends to, well, Japanese. Most Japanese media tends to feature longwinded and unnatural exposition, is full of character archetypes, and features stagnant relationships that only ever progress through event flags.

Make no mistake, Persona 4 is no different. It falls into a lot of same traps that plague its brethren. However, the genius of its writing comes from its setting and construction. Atlus managed to create a setting that embraces and justifies these flaws in a way that's natural and believable. Note that exceptions do exist for the following observations, of course. 

When you watch enough anime and play enough JRPGs, you tend to notice a pattern to how characters develop in those stories. First, they're introduced as an archetype. Second, the writers start peeling back the layers to this character to help them evolve into something beyond a simple archetype. And third, these characters move past the flaw and come out the other side a new person. Unless it's a very long series like One Piece or Bleach, that character is typically never touched again. 

The reason I single out Japanese media, in particular, is that while Western media does follow the same general steps, it tends to sprinkle character development throughout the series or game, while Japanese media tends to focus on a few big events, or "event flags".

For those not familiar with the term, event flags refer to certain triggers that move a plot forward, build a relationship between characters, or develop a character. In gameplay, it refers to the trigger that leads to every single event, such as random encounters or leveling up. For this article, we're simply going to use the first definition.

Event flags are often instrumental in developing characters, and usually indicate a point of no return for the character. One of the most famous flags is Final Fantasy 7's Aerith death scene, where the main characters all have to deal with the impact of her death (Sorry if that's somehow still a spoiler). The party's dynamic is changed for the rest of the game.

The problem is that many pieces of Japanese media fall into the trap of lingering far too long on the first stage of development. While the first stage is indeed important for the audience (to get attached to the characters), staying in that stage too long leads to an incredibly rushed third stage. Viewers never get to truly experience the 'new' character before the series or game ends. Worse, you can't focus on the entire main cast because it would take far too long for every single one of them to undergo a full character arc, leading to many being underdeveloped.

Take Final Fantasy XV, for example. This is probably the textbook example of this problem in recent years.

The open world chapters do very little to develop the characters, being the first stage. The second stage is the majority of the linear chapters. Noctis' development arc only truly ends in chapter 13, while everybody else has their development arc off screen. Chapter 14, the final story chapter of the game, is where you get to experience the third stage of Noctis' arc. That's one chapter out of the game's 14 where you get to experience Noctis' new kingly disposition.

Persona 4, on the other hand, utilizes a 'cheat' where it can blaze through the first and second stage of a character's arc, with the third stage being the focus for the majority of the game. In fact, the third stage is often a second character arc of its own, which leads to these characters feeling far more complete than a lot of the game's competition.

The cheat is the very concept of a Persona. Unlike Persona 3 or Persona 5, where you simply have the potential or you have to ignite your "rebellious spirit" to summon a Persona, in Persona 4, you have to truly understand and embrace yourself to obtain a Persona. In other words, to obtain a new party member, they have to have already gone through the first and second stage of a character arc before they can assist you in battle.

By the time they're in your party, you already know their deepest insecurities and character flaws. Thus, the remainder of the game is the third stage, where they try to apply their new outlook on life.

Of course, doing so isn't as simple as it seems, and you'll have to help them through another conflict, squeezing a second character arc into the game and fleshing these characters out even further.

Because you can simply copy and paste this formula over and over again, it leads to every one of the seven party members feeling like a fully fleshed out character even with minimal screen time. Whereas other settings would struggle to justify a character revealing all their insecurities immediately to the player (take a look at Mass Effect: Andromeda for example), Persona 4 makes it feel natural.

Unfortunately, this setting and concept is so unique that any attempt to replicate it would come off as derivative. It would take an incredibly talented writer to have a setting where you have to dive into somebody's psyche and help them (literally) fight their insecurities without having somebody go "Hey, isn't this kinda like Persona 4?

Ranking the Persona Franchise From Best to Worst Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


Across a whole lot of genres and console generations, we just can't get enough of this oddball series that loves to fuse dating sims, monster raising, real life high school simulations, and JPRG combat.


With all these titles, you could lose yourself in Persona for countless hours before even diving into the other spin-off series!


What did you think of our listing, and how would you rank your favorite Persona games from best to worst?


Worst: Persona 4 Arena


Like the previously mentioned Ultimax, this is a fighting game spin-off, but it's not quite as polished or interesting as its sequel. It is notable for more of a heavy rock soundtrack than the other games in the series, whoever.


Frankly, other than the bigger focus on story and the presence of Persona characters, this isn't really ground breaking as a fighting game and can probably be safely skipped.


if you don't want to play a fighting game but want to know how this tale fits into the Persona universe, you can easily find all the story segments strung together at YouTube.



Persona Q


Persona goes chibi on this lone DS entry (for a look that I'm not crazy about) where the series managed to break away from Playstation to hit a Nintendo handheld for no apparent reason.


It also fuses characters from P3 and P4 into an alternate dimension taking place between those games, offering a new take on those familiar storylines and NPCs. How much you are going to dig this one depends on how much you like the handheld RPGs, as this is very much Etrian Odyssey meets Persona


Personally, it felt a little too familiar for me, and I'd have rather seen a completely different game with totally new characters, but if you can't get enough of the Persona 3 / 4 crews, then this may be worth it for you.



Persona 4: Dancing All Night


Wait, what the hell, there's a dancing rhythm game spin-off as well? Eh, after the fighting game, I guess why not just go with it?


Like with Arena and Ultimax, the bizarre PS Vita entry Dancing All Night has way more story than you'd expect from something in the same category as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.


This one takes a minor character from Persona 4 and spins off in a new direction, taking the series into the world of J-Pop. Its more fun than you'd expect, but honestly I have a hard time taking this one seriously.



Revelations: Persona


I fully came into this list expecting to put this entry all the way at the top, having very fond memories of playing this as a kid. The totally different setting from your typical fantasy RPG set Persona drastically apart from the pack.


This was also definitely the first game I played where negotiating with demons before fighting was an option, with violence completely avoidable in many random battles.


Between the game starting with a bunch of kids messing around with summoning demons, and one character's fondness for explaining the flaws in Western religion's theology, I had to play this one on the down low when my religious parents were around -- which of course just increased its mystique.


While ranking these games I went back to the original PS1 edition and a sad realization dawned on me: this game has not aged well.


Though groundbreaking at the time, It's kind of difficult to play at this point due to the clunky controls, and some of the graphics (particularly when navigating outside or through the labyrinthine hallways of high school dungeons) are sort of spectacularly bad.


Some of those kinks are worked out with the '09 PSP port, although going that route also loses some of the charm of the original sounds and cut scenes.



Persona 4 Arena Ultimax


Wait a minute, this is... a fighting game? Unlike the super ill-fated D&D fighting game spin off, this one is actually worth playing for beat 'em up fans, although maybe less so for the Persona die hards who prefer a JRPG experience.


Oddly enough, this is actually the SECOND fighting game in the series, following the previous Persona 4 Arena. What sets Ultimax apart from anything else in the genre is that there's a whole lot more story going on here than you'd expect from a Street Fighter style game.


That could be good or bad depending -- good for Persona fans who want to see these characters, but probably bad for fighting game fans who don't want to read screen after screen of text.


This one's better than its predecessor, but at the end of the day anyone playing is going to have to  ask themselves: just who is the target audience here?



Persona 2: Eternal Punishment


This forgotten classic of the series was released at the very tail end of the PS1's life cycle as the PS2 was coming to dominance, so Eternal Punishment didn't make as big an impact as it could have were it released earlier in prime PS1 RPG time.


Eternal Punishment was still figuring out its various systems and hadn't perfected them yet, but was a big jump up from the original game. Its also interesting to note that it wasn't actually the second Persona game -- it was the third.


Previous game Innocent Sin didn't make it to the U.S. on the PS1 at all and in fact didn't arrive for North American audiences until 2011 on the PSP. Obviously, the story of Eternal Punishment could be confusing at times, since none of us had ever played its predecessor.


While it may have been a bit baffling at points, it was also incredibly dark (like Rule Of Rose dark) and will always remain with those who played through as kids and had no idea what they were in for. Horror fans will particularly note elements taken from the Cthulhu mythos, like a character named Nyarlathotep.



Persona 4


The position this game takes is really a matter of personal preference, and I suspect may have something to do with which game you played first and where you started in the series.


Some fans will fight to the death over their preference of Persona 4 to Persona 3 -- and vice versa. I'm more in that second camp that prefers the earlier game. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with this entry (note its high ranking in this list), but the characters, music, and style of 3 just edge this one out.


This one had a bit of a different tone than the previous games, being more of a murder mystery. It's also notable for taking the social link system from the previous game and expanding it even further.


While Persona 4 originally came out for the PS2 all the way back in '08, a remake titled Persona 4 Golden was released on the PS Vita in 2012, bringing the series back to the forefront in the long, long wait for Persona 5.



Persona 3 FES


This entry is when the North American audiences really started to take notice of the series, which had a cult following prior but really wasn't on the same level as anything like Final Fantasy.


Persona 3 is where the series hit its stride with managing relationships to increase rankings in various abilities and in splitting your time between monster raising, battling enemies, and being a high school student in the day. While more accessible than the earlier PS1 entries, Persona 3 is also notable for being quite difficult if you were trying to do everything.


Some of those requests from Elizabeth were incredibly hard, and there were a few boss fights that could easily wipe you out if you weren't holding a guidebook in your hands letting you know which specific Persona to be fusing ahead of time.


What always strikes me most about this entry is the incredibly memorable music that bucked the trend of what you'd hear in a typical JPRG. From the "baby, baby, baby, baby" of the combat music to the operatic take on the Velvet Room, you won't ever forget these tunes. Even the high school hallway theme had an electronic beat you can't get out of your head.


It wasn't all sunshine and gumdrops when Persona 3 was first released however, as the title caused some controversy. Characters point a gun at their foreheads and pull the trigger in a representation of the death of self to release a secondary inner persona. Needless to say, parents weren't stoked about imagery of teenagers repeatedly shooting themselves.



Best: Persona 5


The latest (and many are saying greatest) entry in the series was bestowed on Western fans a full half year after the Japanese market got ahold of it. It's been a tense six months for those of us longing for more Persona, but now that it's here, the wait was worth it.


We've covered the game extensively, and for good reason: Persona 5 takes everything that made the earlier games memorable and fun to play and cranked that all up to the next level.


This entry is incredibly stylized, and every single element of the game - from conversation to crafting to battles -- just constantly keeps that style front and center, with the themes of the story constantly woven into absolutely everything the protagonist does.


Part 5 is also easily the best instance of the time management aspect of the series, where you are trying to both be a successful student with interpersonal relationships, jobs, study time, etc. and a Phantom Thief hero battling Shadows at night. Blessedly, the game also doesn't take 40 hours to give you a story like Persona 3.



For those not familiar, Persona is a totally different beast altogether than other prominent JRPG series like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.


Frequently focusing on high schoolers on Earth rather than knights in fantasy worlds, the series is known for button-pushing dark themes and stories that delve into the metaphysical and the philosophical. Throw in monster raising and some light dating sim elements, and you've got the Persona franchise.


Here we're going to cover all the games from best to worst to let you know which titles are worth your time and which can be played later after getting to the good stuff first. "Worst" may be a bit of a misnomer however, as there really aren't any actively bad Persona games, even if some are clearly better than others.


We're trying to be as complete as possible in this list, but a few spin offs are getting left out, like the defunct browser game or several Japanese-only mobile titles. Although they are closely connected, we're covering exclusively Persona branded games here and not any of the Shin Megami Tensei or Devil Summoner titles.


If you go all the way back to the series beginning in the late '80s on the Famicom, there are just way, way, way too many to cover, and many of them never got English translations. For those who ever played them though, please feel free to comment with your favorites!

September 12th is National Video Games Day! Recount Your Most Treasured Gaming Memories! Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:12:50 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Today is National Video Games Day! A special day of the year where we take a little extra time than we normally do to appreciate video games and what they've done for us. 

There isn't anything to different about today from any other day, if you play video games a lot already that is, but who doesn't love a little bit of celebration? So many people, including the folks here at GameSkinny, have a special place in their hearts for video games. It's nothing surprising really; Video Games are an art form, and like art of all mediums tend to do, video games can have a profound emotional and sentimental affect on people. 

So what are some of your most fondly remembered gaming memories? Maybe playing Pokémon helped you learn to read, or Persona 4 made you comfortable enough to come out to the world, or maybe you met your romantic partner at a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. There are so many great games out there, and so many people with so many stories to tell, we would love to hear some from you all! Comment below recounting some of your most treasured moments and experiences with video games. 

It's a small world, and who knows, you may end up meeting somebody who shares the same memories as you, but from a different time. That's part of the magic of gaming. Even if we're playing alone, we aren't the only fans of something, and a brand new Player 2 is waiting just around the corner for you to discover. Happy National Video Games Day everybody!

Game on.

The Top 5 JRPGs For Beginners Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:19:54 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905


Persona 4 (on easy)


The last game on this list is Persona 4 on easy mode. Persona 4 is a turn-based JRPG with tons of Japanese mythology and history crammed into its story and characters. While this could alienate a beginner, I think it can also just enhance the experience.


This game also has a nice blend of humorous and serious tones, and the gameplay is super simple. The most difficult thing in this game is the strategy in battle and the grinding while waiting for the rainy days to fight the bosses. While you fight, you have to maintain your school life and relationships.


Even if this sounds boring, give it a try! The meat of the game is still the fighting and the plot and these other things just help pad it out a little bit more. It helps you get invested in the characters and know more about the world around you.


Persona 4 is an all-around cool experience and a must-play for anyone just getting into JRPGS.


These are just my suggestions. There are plenty of other JRPGs to check out, so don't limit yourself to the ones on this or any other list. Beginner is a relative term, so if you're feeling up to it, just pick a game and start playing! 


Fire Emblem (on casual)


The Fire Emblem games on the 3DS are a great introduction to the series. They’re not as plot-heavy as some other games and are pretty easy to get into, even without knowing the plot to the past games. Characters drop hints of previous plots that definitely enhance the story, but aren’t necessarily needed to enjoy the game.


The gameplay can be complicated, but you can get by with just knowing the basics. And, the games are just fun. They have a good blend of humorous and serious moments and the gameplay is easy to follow along with. The main problem a beginner would probably have with Fire Emblem games is when your characters die, they’re dead forever. Therefore, I suggest playing the game on casual the first time because you can keep your characters alive.


The Tales of Series


The Tales of Series is the only game on this list that isn’t turn-based. Some people cannot play and enjoy turn-based games, and that’s okay. The Tales of Series does away with the turn-based system, but is still a pretty good introduction into JRPGs. The games have relatively simple controls and some of the later ones go out of their way to make sure players know what they’re doing, with tutorials accompanying every new game mechanic that gets introduced.


Something that may turn off beginners is the plot. Every Tales of game has an extensive plot -- and unless the player is into that, they may feel overwhelmed and need to step away from it for a while. I would suggest Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, or Tales of Phantasia as a starting point.


The Disgaea Series


For those who want a little more depth for their first go at the genre, the Disgaea series could be the way to go. There’s a story that has some connect from game to game, but it’s a loose one at best. At worst, it’s nonsensical and I love it. The Disgaea games are strategy RPGs at heart. They’re wacky, even with the more serious themes. So if you’re into weird games, this might be the one for you. From the weird weapon descriptions to the main character being physically hurt by “sexy ladies”, it’s a weird adventure. Each game adds more functions, so I would suggest starting with the first one, but it’s definitely not necessary.




With the new craze of Pokemon GO, more people than ever have probably heard of Pokemon. So why not start simple? While the newer games are trying to be more complex for more savvy Pokemon players, they’re still a user-friendly introduction into the genre. It’s simple; it’s turned-based; it’s a classic. There’s no ongoing story, so anyone can jump in at any time without missing out on key plot points. Speaking of the plot, it’s super simple. If I could follow along with Pokemon Red when I was 6, anyone can follow along with it. The game mechanics are just as easy to pick up on, so just jump right in.


JRPGs are some of the best and weirdest games I have ever played. I grew up on basically anything my dad could find at the flea market or bargain bin, so I played some pretty unique ones. I’m still playing them today though, so that probably speaks to their credit, right?


Getting into JRPGs when you’ve never played on can be a task, especially with all the different ones floating around. So, I thought I'd compile the top 5 JRPGs for beginners to help ease those new to the genre into the process. These are in no particular order because I love them all.

Why the Funny Pervert Stereotype Needs to Go Tue, 12 Jul 2016 08:28:17 -0400 cactusjudy

You know the "funny pervert" type. The teenage boy who can't stop hitting on every girl he sees. The old man who attempts to grope any woman under the age of 30 without fail. The troupe of boys who peep through the sliding door of the bathhouse to ogle their female friends' developing bodies.

The funny pervert is a character archetype in the media -- the (typically male) character who takes their sex drive to the extreme and whose lustful antics towards every female in sight are played off as humorous. He is not every boy or man who expresses interest towards the opposite sex or tries their darndest to get laid; rather, he is the one whose intense objectification of women and verbal or physical actions crosses the line into harassment.

Unfortunately, the funny pervert is still a staple in many video games -- particularly Japanese imports. Sometimes he is even the hero of the game, though more often than not he is the funny sidekick (think Yosuke from Persona 4 or Sunohara from Clannad). The problem with this character is not simply in his existence, but that, despite his icky behavior, he is still presented as an overall "good guy." 


This presentation should be concerning for all gamers, male and female alike, for three main reasons: it normalizes sexual harassment, codes reactive violence against men as humorous, and establishes an antagonistic relationship between the sexes. The consequences of such representations are harmful and far-reaching -- and as such, both consumers and producers of games need to be made more aware of the real-world issues that the funny pervert character represents, interacts with, and promotes. So, without further ado, here are the three biggest reasons why the pervert archetype needs to go the way of the dinosaurs.

1. It normalizes sexual harassment

The fact that this quiz exists speaks volumes

When sexual harassment is presented as funny, people are less likely to consider it a serious problem. Victims feel too embarrassed to report a situation they've been conditioned to laugh at, and perpetrators don't understand that what they're doing is wrong and punishable by the law. I'm sure the boys who spent middle school stalking and harassing my friends and I thought it was one big joke, until they got in trouble with the school authorities. 

The situation is made even worse when the character in question is presented as a "good guy" who, despite his gross behavior, is really a heroic person who is willing to sacrifice himself for the common good. For example, protagonist Sigma in Virtue's Last Reward spends the game making sexually explicit comments towards all of his female companions -- especially the ones who are too young/ignorant to know what's he's talking about.

Yet, he's still presented as the self-sacrificial hero of the game who truly cares about all of the women he's harassing.

In reality, the guy who tells you to bend over in a sexually explicit way is probably not someone who genuinely cares about you as a person, and not the person you want to be trapped in a warehouse with. Even if he is an all-around decent guy, that still doesn't excuse his bad behavior or mean that he shouldn't be called out on it. 

Sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical in nature, isn't a joke -- and treating it as such doesn't do anyone any good. In the real world, people get disciplined, fired, and arrested for aggressively lewd comments, groping, and stalking. Victims feel upset, angry, scared, and violated. Sexual harassment isn't normal or funny, and the media should stop treating it as such.

2. It codes violence against men as humorous

In the media, the reaction to voyeurism or lewd comments, whether deliberate or accidental, is almost always violence. The new boy at the magical school accidentally falls onto and gropes the princess, and in return she punches him in the face. In both Persona 3 and 4, the protagonist and his male companions accidentally walk in on their female friends bathing, and the girls' response is to violently attack them. 

These instances aren't meant to be seen as dangerous violence or domestic abuse; they're meant to be funny. Violence against men is coded as humorous and justified, and this becomes a problem when it spills over into the real world.

Take this video, for example. When passersby witness an instance of domestic abuse against a woman, they intervene and angrily call out the man on his behavior. When the roles are switched and the woman abuses the man in public, people laugh. No one is worried about the man getting pushed against the fence and put in a headlock; they assume that he either could fight back if he wanted, or he's getting what he deserved. 

Brock didn't deserve Misty's abuse, and neither do you.

Men hardly ever report instances of domestic abuse because they don't think they'll be taken seriously, and they're often right. Our media conditions us to see women as weak and incapable of any real harm, and men as horny idiots who deserve to be slapped every now and then. But unless someone is physically attacking you, responding with violence is a crime. Just like with sexual harassment, the media's coding of female-on-male violence as humorous causes problems for real people, justifying female perpetrators and silencing male victims.

3. It establishes an antagonistic relationship between the sexes

A man makes a lewd comment, so a woman slaps him. This is the situation played over and over again by the media, establishing men as "pervy horndogs" always on the make and women as prudish, emotional jerks. Women and men are presented as opposites, with neither side capable of understanding or meeting the needs of the other. 

In reality, there is more difference within genders than between them; science has proven again and again that men and women aren't as different as many think. Yet, gender essentialist beliefs still persist and feed harmful stereotypes of both men and women, and the media does little to refute them. 

Men and women don't automatically exist in an antagonistic relationship with one another; they are perfectly capable of respecting, befriending, and loving one another. These positive relationships are what should be encouraged by the media that we consume, instead of antiquated ideas about "the battle between the sexes." Only then can we work through issues of sexual harassment and violence against men, and start to regard people as individuals instead of gender stereotypes. 

Of course, some may counter that gaming experiences do not correlate with lived experience, and that individuals are smart enough to know that groping women and punching men in the real world isn't right. This belief, and the attitudes that go along with it, are simply not true; the media we consume affects how we perceive and interact with the world around us. 

Multiple studies have confirmed this; for example, playing violent video games has been shown to at least temporarily increase levels of aggression, and watching movies with sexually violent content leads to greater acceptance of violence against women in men. 

These correlations do not mean that we should ban all problematic or disturbing content in media; my purpose in this article is not to demand that all gaming developers unanimously end their use of the pervert archetype. Rather, it is important that consumers and producers alike recognize the affects that their media have on real people and systems of inequality and violence. 

The funny pervert is, quite simply, not funny at all.

He (or, in rare cases, she) encourages people to view sexual harassment and violence against men as normal, and constructs a relationship between men and women as inherently antagonistic, he supports systems of inequality that justifies the sexual oppression of women and violent actions against men, and he makes us laugh at and ignore situations that are truly serious in nature, and cause physical and emotional harm to many. And in a world already rife with conflict and violence, we don't need another voice telling us to ignore the suffering of others. 

The most inspiring and thought-provoking video game quotes Tue, 08 Mar 2016 16:48:04 -0500 Ty Arthur


These were the 15 quotes we found to be most interesting or inspirational from across the gamingverse. What was your favorite, and what quotes did we miss that you'd add in?



“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”


-- Shigeru Miyamoto


Just remember that the next time a game you want gets pushed back and you feel like unleashing all-caps armageddon on a forum. Better to have no game at all than to have a game that wasn't worth playing.


“One man goes into the waters of baptism, a different man comes out, born again. But who is that man who lies submerged? Perhaps that swimmer is both sinner and saint, until he is revealed unto the eyes of man.”


-- Comstock, BioShock Infinite


Another Bioshock quote that's actually sort of horrific within the context of the game (but motivational if considered alone) this is basically Comstock's way of saying your choices are your own, while making you think about fate and whether it was really inevitable that all your experiences lead to one outcome.


"Even if you run into a storm, there's always a way out, no matter how bleak things seem."


-- Vyse, Skies Of Arcadia


A relentlessly (maybe even annoyingly?) positive character, Vyse is sort of a random inspirational quote generator. I imagine when people need a motivational poster for an office, they just snag Vyse quotes.


“Although my heart may be weak, it's not alone. It's grown with each new experience. And it's found a home with all the friends I've made. I've become a part of their heart, just as they've become a part of mine. And if they think of me now and then, if they don't forget me, then our hearts will be one. I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power!”


-- Sora, Kingdom Hearts


Although more on the kitschy and cutesy side, this is undeniably a powerful moment in the Kingdom Hearts series.


“Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have.”


-- Thomas Hildern, Fallout: New Vegas


This one might seem like more of an insult than an inspirational quote at first, but I see it from the opposite side. This is a valuable reminder, especially in the social networking age of instant communication, that sometimes it's better to remain silent, or at the very least, to be uncertain of your position until all the facts come to light.


“You reap what you sow, Artyom: force answers force, war breeds war, and death only brings death. To break this vicious circle one must do more than act without any thought or doubt.”


-- Khan, Metro 2033


In a world devastated by nuclear war and invaded by otherwordly beings, is it any wonder some grow tired of perpetuating an endless cycle of violence?


"I was called here by humans who wished to pay me tribute."


"Tribute?!? You steal men's souls, and make them your slaves!"


"Perhaps the same could be said of all religions..."


-- Dracula, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night


Oh man, I can't tell you how much this little exchange between Richter and Dracula just blew my mind as a 12 year old who had no idea something like this was even allowed to be said in a video game. Inspiring? Not so much. Thought-provoking? You betcha.


"Nothing is more badass than treating a woman with respect." 


-- Mr. Torgue, Borderlands 2


The Borderlands series is chock full of some of the best quotes in all gaming history, but definitely more of the hilariously offensive variety rather than the actually inspiring kind. Then, out of nowhere, this weapons fanatic whose speech must constantly be bleeped throws out something progressive. Pandora is full of strange wonders, indeed.




“Did you ever try to put a broken piece of glass back together? Even if the pieces fit, you can’t make it whole again the way it was. But if you’re clever, you can still use the pieces to make other useful things. Maybe even something wonderful, like a mosaic. Well, the world broke just like glass. And everyone’s trying to put it back together like it was, but it’ll never come together in the same way….”


-- Moira, Fallout 3


Whoever thought you'd get something deep out of Moira, who doesn't seem to be entirely there? In between twisting your DNA like a feline with a ball of yarn or asking you to get into fights with rabid mole rats, she manages to make the end of the world not seem so horrible, without actually lessening the impact in any way of what led to the sad state of the D.C. Wasteland. It's not hard to see the personal applications of such a philosophy if applied to people who are broken as well.


"Nothing is true, everything is permitted."


"That is rather cynical." 


"It would be if it were doctrine. But it is merely an observation on the nature of reality. To say that nothing is true is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted is to understand that we are the architects of our actions and that we must live with our consequences, whether glorious or tragic."


-- Ezio, Assassin's Creed: Revelations


The eponymous creed itself is revealed in detail in this entry of the franchise, and it's definitely one to make a gamer take pause and ponder. In a lot of ways its much like the "no gods, no kings" from BioShock, but presented with a little more flair, befitting the assassin giving the explanation.


"Death is inevitable. Our fear of it makes us play safe, blocks out emotion. It's a losing game. Without passion, you are already dead." 


-- Max Payne


Take it from Mr. Misfortune himself: just simply getting up each morning, punching a clock, and ticking all the boxes sure ain't living. If you don't have something you really care about, then it's probably time to call it a day (or at least find a new game to play).


"No gods or kings. Only man." - Bioshock


In this game series, you can usually bet that if there's a giant statue with a banner or stained glass window quote, it's being said by an absolute mad man who is going to be a villain.


In this instance though, it can really be seen from another point of view, as a reminder that our fates our are own, and we are the masters of our own destiny (even if these games don't always play out that why by the time the credits roll).


“We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment...and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.” 


-- Flemeth, Dragon Age II


Sometimes the most morally ambiguous characters have the best lines in gaming, and somehow the witch Flemeth here manages to both be all gloom and doom AND inspirational at the same time.


“Strength lies in knowing oneself.”


-- Dak'kon, Planescape: Torment


There's endless interesting conversations in this novel-esque game, especially between the night hag Ravel and the amnesiac Nameless One, but Dak'kon frequently takes home the award for strongest proponent of personal development. He may be a downer at times (getting a whole city killed because of his self-doubt tends to do that to a gith), but he's got some great advice.


“It's more important to master the cards you're holding than to complain about the ones your opponent was dealt.”


-- Grimsley, Pokemon Black And White


Although this is clearly meant quite literally in the context, that's an interesting concept to teach kids through a video game -- expressing the sentiments of personal responsibility and being thankful for what you have.


While explained slightly differently, it also reminds me of the famous Louis C.K. quote:


“The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.”


Looking past all the swords and bullets, there's another side to gaming that the general public doesn't always see. Gamers are a passionate lot, and the writers behind our games tend to be even more so, putting a whole lot of heart and soul into characters who easily rival any offered up by literature or film.


There are plenty of game scenes that have resonated with entire generations of players and will never be forgotten – is there a single Final Fantasy fan who can't quote the opera house scene? While there are plenty of mindless tap-tap games or shooters without much in the way of story, even those types of games have hidden gems of dialogue if you look deep enough.


Everything from existentialism to objectivism to moral relativity all get their due in various game series when you head into the likes of Bioshock, Planescape: Torment, and SOMA. After dredging through hundreds of games with interesting themes, we've put together a list of some of the most inspiring or thought-provoking quotes to be found in any console or PC title.

Getting started: Shin Megami Tensei Sun, 29 Nov 2015 12:53:29 -0500 John Adamczyk

JRPGs come in every shape and size these days, but none quite match the fascinating style and concepts behind the Shin Megami Tensei series, which has exploded in popularity with the advent of Persona 3 and 4; with a highly anticipated fifth game due next year.

Being able to team up with Satan, Thor, and Jack the Ripper, among hundreds of other cultural figures you'll grow to love and hate is a unique and satisfying experience you won't find in any other series. And while a decade or two ago, the phrase "Satanic Pokemon" might have made people nervous, nowadays most would consider it synonymous with "awesome," which it is.

However, getting started with the series can be a little daunting, considering the spinoffs and spinoffs of spinoffs the game spawns. In case you forgot, we're even getting a Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem crossover for the Wii U. 

With so many games to choose from, it can be difficult to find a starting point; and that can keep people from partaking in one of the most fascinating series of JRPGs around today.

One of the best parts of the Shin Megami Tensei series, however, is the fact that most of the stories are self-contained. If you haven't played the first game (which nobody would blame you for, it came out in 1987), you could still play the second game without being confused. Same goes for every game thereafter, with only a few rare exceptions. So really, when it comes to starting with the series, it's all about personal preference.

Here, I'll be walking you through some of the easiest games to get started with, and while some of the games here might be a little old, that's good news. If you can't find them in stores, go ahead and look up some emulators, because most of these games can be run pretty smoothly on older hardware.

Getting Started: Persona 4

Where to play it: PS2, PS3, PSP


Chances are, if you're reading this, this is the one SMT (spinoff) game you've probably played, and now you want more. If you haven't, well, you might as well start where most of us have: Persona 4 is a charming game, but it's a huge departure from Shin Megami Tensei as a whole. The mechanics are still there, but you'll probably be left scratching your head a little when you make the move to the SMT series itself.

If you aren't quite done with Persona and need that fix of social links and personas, backtracking to Persona 3 can also prove to be a good start, and it's also available on the same consoles. Persona 3 is also a great choice if you want to start the SMT series with a Persona game, but aren't sold on 4's happy-go-lucky style.

If you're ready to go for some real SMT mainline games beyond the Persona series, or if you want some good old-fashioned demon summoning action, here are the games I'm going to recommend that are truer to the core series.

Getting Started: Shin Megami Tensei IV

Where to play it: Nintendo 3DS

If you want to get right into SMT without all the frills, this is where you start, hands-down. With one of the most compelling stories in an SMT mainline game, contemporary anti-frustration mechanics that make it the tiniest bit easier than earlier installments (but not too easy), and an intuitive tutorial, this is the perfect place to start.

Team up with demons, buy their loyalty, splice their souls together to create stronger, more powerful demons, and explore a setting that I just can't spoil for you. SMT IV is probably the most solid place to start.

Of course, there are quirkier alternatives for those of you who want something a little different to ease you into the series.

Getting Started: Devil Survivor

Where to play it: Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DS

If you're new to the series and you've got experience in grid-based combat games like Final Fantasy Tactics, this might be the best place for you to start. A fascinating blend of turn-based Tactics-styled navigation within turn-based combat, the game's base demon mechanics are pretty much the same as every other SMT game, with the crucial twist of combat taking place on an overworld grid. 

Characters adjacent to demons can engage them in combat and vise versa to begin a turn-based back and forth in traditional Shin Megami Tensei fashion, and with different objectives and story routes, you can end up with totally different challenges and endgame content that makes the NG+ mechanics very rewarding. 

Getting Started: Strange Journey

Where to play it: Nintendo DS

If you aren't totally sold on the mainline games...why are you here? Kidding, there's something for you, too. The mechanics of Strange Journey are still the same, but the game feels so wildly different from the rest of the series. 

With an emphasis on atmosphere and isolation, the story takes place in an anomalous void that has emerged in Antarctica. You're part of a special task force sent by the United Nations to explore this bizarre activity. The game has inspiration rooted in some of the best sci-fi horror films around, think The Thing and Event Horizon.

Another reason you might like Strange Journey is if you like dungeon crawls

You'll be navigating corridors and slaughtering demons while you progress through the story. Of course, if you like dungeon delves, you know that part of the fun is facing soul-crushing defeat again and again, and chances are, with Strange Journey, that's going to happen. A lot. But it's definitely something different for the series, and while it's clearly a Shin Megami Tensei game, there isn't another game in the series quite like it.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

Where to play it: PlayStation 2 and 3


If you like a challenge, here's the start for you. A bit dated graphically, but this is probably one of the best games for RPG players who want to sit down and figure out how to survive on their own. Boss fights, especially early on, will feel like puzzles, where you'll need to determine how to take advantage of enemy weaknesses (and cover up the weaknesses of your own demons), while surviving increasingly ridiculous attacks and abilities.

If you want the SMT experience without the brakes, this is the best possible start. You'll learn how to optimize your party, embrace the fusion mechanic, and prey on enemy weakness, or you'll perish.

Just don't ragequit when you reach this guy.

Any game on this list will offer you hours of gameplay, and a head-first dive into the Shin Megami Tensei series. 

The best part of starting with a series so vast is the fact that, not only do you have so many games to choose from, but once you're hooked, you'll have plenty of other options waiting for you that will sate your newfound Satanic Pokemon addiction.

From Persona to Devil Survivor to the core Shin Megami Tensei games, each title has something new to bring to the table. Even after you've completed one of these games, I'd still highly recommend playing through any and all of them.

Enjoy, and good luck.

Video Game soundtracks for studying and motivation Sat, 05 Sep 2015 17:30:01 -0400 Dalton White I

When doing work, studying for exams, and writing proposals or essays, it can be hard to find motivation or inspiration. Video game soundtracks offer music that can help, since they usually don’t have lyrics that can distract you. The five following soundtracks feature songs that can help you focus, give you peace of mind and, most importantly, psych you up to get your work done.


Austion Wintory

Journey’s soundtrack is a whirlwind of emotions, some scary and others enchanting, from start to finish. The chilling use of string instruments to their fullest potential is an awe-inspiring experience. My favorite track of the album is "The Road of Trials". It has this source of energy and movement that makes my mind race, and it naturally reminds me of the fun and gorgeous sand-surfing section of Journey.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Gareth Coker

Like Journey, Ori is an indie game that features beautiful visuals and an equally enchanting soundtrack. Ori has its own style of music that mixes vocals with a variety of percussion and stringed instruments. Usually I’m distracted when a song has a singer or lyrics, but Ori’s soundtrack has some gorgeous singing that seems to get me focused or inspires me to keep on working. As for a favorite song from the album, it would be a close call - but I would go with “Ori, Lost in the Storm”. There is just something bewitching about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.


Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Rei Kondoh, Akari Groves

I recently finished playing Okami HD on my PS3. Its dungeons, the characters, the beautifully unique visual technique, and (of course) the music were nothing short of spectacular. The music in Okami was inspired by classical Japanese works, which only adds to the unique style of the game. The plethora of music that make up Okami’s soundtrack covers a large spectrum of emotions, from fear to wonder. One of my favorite tracks is "Kushi’s Ride". It surrounds me with a sense of urgency and power.

Persona 3 and 4

Shouji Meguro and Atsushi Kitajoh (Persona 4)

The Persona series is one of a kind; it combines serious deep messages with wacky characters, amazing battles, and the unique experience of Social Links. And its music is pretty amazing, too! I tried and failed to decide if Persona 3 or 4 had a better soundtrack. Both of them have songs that add a special ambience to simple mundane activities like studying for exams and the more fantastical aspects of Persona like dungeon crawling. My favorite track for Persona 3 has to be “The Battle for Everyone’s Souls” while Persona 4 features an awesome battle theme: "I’ll Face Myself-Battle-" However my current top Persona track would be the theme used in Persona 5’s trailer - it has this epic beat that just kicks my ass into gear.

Distant Worlds: Music From FINAL FANTASY

Nobuo Uematsu

So this could be seen as cheating, but Nobuo Uematsu himself creates all these arrangements for Distant Worlds. It would be so difficult to select just one of the countless Final Fantasy games to suggest, so I found a compromise. Distant Worlds has the best of the best, the tunes that are the top-tier tracks from a variety of Final Fantasy games. The orchestra versions feel like they are giving the classic songs new life, but keeping to the original formula at the same time. At the moment, I believe there are three volumes, each featuring songs from the original Final Fantasy to its fourteenth installment. I couldn’t decide which one was my favorite so I checked to see which song I had played most on my iPod. That song was “Terra’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VI. It is a fantastic song to just walk to, and it has an invigorating beat to it.

Hopefully now you have some tracks in mind to help you slog through the essays, papers, and presentations of the future.

Did I miss any favorite soundtracks? Are there other video games whose musical scores get your adrenaline pumping? Leave a comment and add to the list!

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Social Link Guide Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:13:36 -0400 Dalton White I


Hopefully this guide has helped you with any of your Social Link problems in Persona 4 whether you are a returning player or a newbie to the Persona series. If you have any further or specific questions or comments, please leave a comment below. As always for all your Persona and gaming guides, articles and news, stay tuned to


The Moon Social Link: Ai Ebihara


Description: After getting the Strength S.L to Rank 4 there will be a cutscene with Ai. After this cutscene Ai will be in the School Lobby. In order to activate her S.L the Player needs to be able to agree to skip class with her (This requires the Player's Courage to be at Level 3 or Courage Level). After agreeing to skipping class, Ai will ask you to do it the next day during lunch. While advancing this S.L the Player can develop a "lovers relationship" with Ai. During this S.L Ai will ask you to be "fake lovers" which you must agree to in order to continue her S.L. This doesn't lock you into a relationship until the option of being True Lovers occurs.


Availability: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and some Sundays (if she calls you).


Attitude with Ai: Ai can be rather temperamental. A wrong choice of words can put her in reverse, or stopping the S.L from progressing. Usually not being too blunt, or truthful, is the best policy. Also don't refuse to ask either Daisuke or Kyo (depending on who the Strength S.L) what their type is.


Ultimate Persona: Sandalphon. This Ultimate Persona is unlocked at level 84. Sandalphon mostly has light attacks as well as healing spells. However it also has Agneystra, a powerful physical spell that inflicts "severe" damage on all enemies 1-3 times.


The Death Social Link: Hisano Kuroda


Description: After achieving Rank 4 with the Devil S.L the Player will see a cutscene with Hisano at the hospital. From then on look for her at the Flood Plain riverbank on Sundays or holidays. Every time the Player talks to Hisano it advances her S.L. However in order to get to Rank 7 of the Death S.L you have to talk to Old Man Daidara at the weapon shop. After choosing the Talk command after achieving Rank 6 in the Death S.L you will recieve Husband's Letter which allows you to continue advancing Hisano's S.L.


Availability: Sundays or Holidays if it is not raining.


Attitude with Hisano: Usually just simply talking to Hisano, most of the options or choices evoke a positive response. She appreciates sympathy and kindness about her situation.


Ultimate Persona: Mahakala. This Persona is unlocked at level 78 and mostly focuses on fire and dark attacks. All around an average Persona, but not the best Ultimate Persona.


The Hanged Man Social Link: Naoki Konishi


Description: This Social Link is able to be activated after two scenarios. On June 8th the Player will experience a cutscene that introduces Naoki. After this cutscene Naoki can be found on the first floor of the school. After talking to him around 3-4 times the S.L will activate.


Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays and some Sundays. On holidays and Sundays Naoki can be found in the Northern Shopping District near his family's Liquor Store.


Attitude with Naoki: Naoki is having a tough time with his family and their reputation around Inaba. Standing up for Naoki's family when you hear people gossiping about him and his family is always a good move. Also attempting to go for more esoteric answers may pay off.


Ultimate Persona: Attis. This Persona is unlocked at level 82. Attis attacks focus on fire and some dark elements as well as a lot of healing magic. He is decently balanced in both attack and defense.

The Odd Exceptions Group

This set of Social Links have a variety of requirements in order to activate and progress. These specific requirements usually connect to furthering other S.L and having the Player to talk to these characters multiple times before activating their S.L. These S.L's are rather difficult to start but the rewards for completing them are pretty helpful.


The Temperance Social Link: Eri Minami


Description: The Temperance Social Link can be activated after the Player has accepted the daycare assistant job on the Job bulletin board. It becomes available on May 2nd. After going to the job twice the Player will meet Eri and activate the S.L.


Availability: Monday, Friday, Saturday and only if it is Sunny or Cloudy. Since this S.L is rather uncommon during the week, it would be advisable to have a Temperance Arcana Persona in your arsenal when going to the daycare.


Attitude with Eri: Eri is a bit out of her comfort zone when trying to deal with Yuuta, her new step-son. Usually answering with definite answers and not being on the fence can gain Eri's approval. Although sometimes she appreciates you being on the fence, but these moments are rare.


Ultimate Persona: Vishnu. Vishnu is unlocked at level 73 and has multiple elemental attacks as well as the Regen 3 and Angelic Grace abilities. Vishnu is not exactly balanced, but has enough support abilities to be a real powerful force to be reckoned with.


The Tower Social Link: Shu Nakajima


Description: This Social Link is activated when the Player is able to accept the Tutor Job from the Job Board. This can be anytime after May 25th and when the Player has maxed out their Understanding. One special part of this S.L is that after achieving Rank 8 of the Tower S.L, the next time you visit Shu, he will immediately send you home, don't be discouraged and revisit him in order to complete the S.L.


Availability: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at night. This S.L is also available during the evening during holidays and some Sundays.


Attitude with Shu: Usually being very logical and straightforward with Shu works the best as that is how he normally operates. Shu is rather set in his ways and a bit rebellious so sometimes most of his responses seem negative despite how he really feels.


Ultimate Persona: Shiva. This Ultimate Persona is unlocked at level 80 after maxing out the Tower S.L. Shiva is all about the offensive abilities, as well as having no weaknesses. Shiva has powerful Almighty, Lightning and Wind attacks including a unique move known as Pralaya which deals severe physical damage to all enemies and has a 50% chance of instant-kill. If all that wasn't enough Shiva also has some solid support abilities like Enduring Soul.  


The Devil Social Link: Sayoko Uehara


Description: After May 25th the Player has to apply for the Hospital job at the Job Board. This job requires Diligence to be at Level 3 or Strong Diligence. After working at the hospital twice the Player will be approached by Sayoko.


Availability: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at night.


Attitude with Sayoko: Sayoko approves when the Player rejects her "advances". She also respects it when the Player is sarcastic or witty, however this doesn't apply when she is baring her soul to the Player.


Ultimate Persona: Beelzebub. This Persona is unlocked at level 81 and packs some serious firepower. Beelzebub has Fire, Ice, Dark and Physical attacks and its most powerful attack is Megidolan, a multi-target Almighty attack.

The Job Group

This second to last group of Social Links are directly connected to the Player taking certain jobs available on the Job Board in the Shopping District. While choosing to do these various jobs the player begins to develop S.L's. However these jobs do require the player to have a certain level of Understanding, Knowledge, Courage, Expression or Diligence in order to begin.


The Hermit Social Link: The Fox


Description: The Hermit Social Link is automatically activated May 5th. Like Margaret, this S.L is only increased by fulfilling the Fox's requests. These quests can be completed at the Player's leisure but they get very complicated and time-consuming, very quickly. I was able to find a walkthrough which helps specifically with the Fox Quests. Also once the Player has begun the Hermit S.L the Fox is able to go into the TV with the party and heal them. As the S.L progresses the price that the Fox requires in order to heal the party lowers in price.


Availability: After May 5th the Fox is available every day, no matter if it is raining or otherwise. Luckily accepting a new quest does not take up any time, so the Player can advance another S.L the same day. Reporting back to the Fox to complete a quest does take up time though.


Ultimate Persona: Ongyo-Ki. This Persona is unlocked at level 82 and has all-around solid stats. Most of its moves are all over the place and don't specialize in a specific area.


The Empress Social Link: Margaret


Description: The Empress Social Link is very different from majority of the Social Links in the game, with the exception of the Hermit. This S.L become available after May 19th, however there is a second requirement. The player must have a Knowledge ranking of 3, also known as Rank 3 or Expert. Once these two requirements are fulfilled the Empress S.L powers up every time the player completes one of Margaret’s Fusion Requests. These can be kind of tricky but I did find a website that gives fusion combinations that help with completing Margaret’s requests.


Availability: Once the two requirements are fulfilled Margaret is available every day in the Velvet Room, also fulfilling this request and advancing this S.L doesn’t take up time, allowing you to further other S.L’s at your convenience.


Ultimate Persona: Isis. Isis is unlocked at level 79 and is a Persona that has some serious healing abilities that make it a solid healing back up for boss battles.

The Request Group

These Social Links are the most complicated and at times, most arduous, of the S.L's in Persona 4. They require the player to fulfill a certain amount of quests or requests that the player can complete at their leisure. However these requests rise in difficulty as you complete them.  


The Hierophant Social Link: Dojima Ryotaro


Description: This Social Link is able to be activated by talking to Dojima at night at the Dojima's Residence any night after May 6th. Like Nanako, Dojima requires the Player to have rather high Expression scores in order to talk to them. In order to get the Hierophant S.L to Rank 2 the Player needs Level 2 or Eloquent Expression. For the Player to get the S.L to Rank 4 you will need Persuasive or Level 3 Expression. The last Expression requirement is a Level 4 or Touching Expression in order to get the S.L to Rank 5.


Availability: Dojima's appearance at the house is determined by how far the Player is in the current dungeon. If the Player has completed the current dungeon then Dojima is able to get his days off and the Player can spend time with him.


Attitude with Dojima: Dojima is not used to talking to teenagers so taking the initiative with conversations really helps Dojima become more comfortable with the Player. Dojima can sometimes be a strict parental figure, usually the best way is to negotiate and be logical when confronting Dojima.


Ultimate Persona: Kohryu. This Ultimate Persona is unlocked at level 76 after maxing out Dojima's S.L. Kohryu has a combination of high level lightning and healing powers. He also doesn't have any specific weaknesses. 


The Justice Social Link: Nanako Dojima


Description: Nanako's Social Link automatically activates on May 3rd. Although the Justice S.L is able to be advanced most days there are some requirements for advancing specific parts of the S.L. In order to get to Rank 4 the Player must have a "Persuasive", Level 3, Expression. The Player must also max out their Expression, Level 5 or Enthralling, in order to get this S.L to level 5.


Availability: The Justice S.L is usually able to progress everyday when the Player goes home. However whenever Dojima is home the Player is unable to talk to Nanako.


Attitude with Nanako: Usually being protective and kind towards Nanako gets a positive reaction from her. Trying to empathize or help Nanako understand situations she is not used to. 


Ultimate Persona: Sraosha. This Persona is unlocked at level 74 and has a lot of different attacks. Sroasha has Almighty, Light, Thunder and Physical attacks. He also has a unique ability called Angelic Grace which increases the Players evasion for any elemental attack except for Light, Dark and Almighty attacks.

The Family Group

The Family group Social Links are ones that can only be progressed during the evening with the two people that player is living with. These S.L's provide some deep connections with the Dojima family. Both S.L's require the player's stats to be rather high, so they can be troublesome.


The Fortune Social Link: Naoto Shirogane


Description: Of all of the Social Links in the Teammate category, Naoto's is the most difficult to complete. This is due to the fact that it is made available in the later half of the game (starting on October 21st) and in order to even activate the Fortune S.L the Player must have maxed out their Courage and Knowledge social qualities. In order to activate Naoto's S.L the player must talk with a Mysterious Man, which requires maxed out Knowledge, outside Aiya in the North Shopping District. Then the player must go talk to Naoto at school, which requires maxed out Courage. Once the Fortune S.L gets to level 3 Naoto gains the Ultra Trigger attack, which allows her to attack all enemies with the possiblity of inflicting dizzy or down status. While advancing this S.L the Player can develop a "lovers relationship" with Naoto. As difficult as it is to achieve, once Naoto's S.L is maxed out, her Persona transforms into Yamato-Takeru. !!In order to Max out the Fortune S.L it is advised that the Player has a Fortune Arcana Persona with them, as it increases the possibility of advancing the S.L. !!


Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. During the holidays and on Sundays Naoto is usually found hanging out in the Samegawa Flood Plain.


Attitude with Naoto: Naoto appreciates a person who is intelligent and quick-witted, much like the detectives that Naoto idolizes. She also appreciates a friend who is loyal after living a life with few friends. 


Ultimate Persona: Norn. Norn is unlocked at level 72 and has a multiple abilities that come in handy. It has the Invigorate 3 ability that boosts the Player's MP a little bit every turn and Debilitate, which severely weakens all of a single enemy's attributes. 


The Lovers Social Link: Rise Kujikawa


Description: The Lovers Social Link is automatically activated on July 23rd. While advancing Rise's S.L the Player can develop a "lovers relationship" with her. Unlike the other members of your team, Rise is a support-only character, so she never learns a follow-up move. However as you get further in the Lovers S.L she learns new support abilities. These powers, such as Enemy Scan and Weakness Scan, can really come in handy while dungeon-crawling. Once the Lovers S.L is maxed out Rise's Persona does evolve into Kanzeon and additionally grants the Player the ability to fuse an Ultimate Persona.


Availability: Rise can usually be found in school on Friday and Saturday. She can be found in the South Shopping District on both Sundays and holidays.


Attitude with Rise: Rise is a rather deep and unique character who seems really energetic and ditzy on the surface, but is actually hiding serious insecurities and questions about her how identity. When interacting with her being playful is usually a good move, however when she is serious it is for the best to follow suit and seriously try to help her with her problems.


Ultimate Persona: Ishtar. This Persona is unlocked at level 71 and packs a real wallop as it has a very strong Magic stat and has multiple healing abilities for status ailments and health problems. Ishtar is a solid Persona that can really help the Player out during boss battles.


The Priestess Social Link: Yukiko Amagi


Description: This social link is automatically activated on May 17th as the story progresses. When the 3rd level of the S.L is achieved, Yukiko gains her follow-up attack: Fan Assault. As the Player progresses through this S.L, they can develop a "lovers relationship" with Yukiko. Like all of the party members, once the player maxes out the Priestess S.L, Yukiko’s Persona transforms into Amaterasu and the player gains access to a new Ultimate Persona.


Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and rarely on Sundays. During Holidays and Sundays she is found in the South Shopping District.  


Attitude with Yukiko: Similar to Yosuke, being a decent and supportive friend usually gets a positive reaction from Yukiko.


Ultimate Persona: Scathach, which as Ultimate Persona’s go is rather good. This Persona has both wind attacks and the Amrita spell, which cures any status ailment other than being Ko’d or knocked down for the entire party.


The Emperor Social Link: Kanji Tatsumi


Description: In order to activate Kanji's Social Link you have to speak to a girl on the 2nd Floor of the Learning Building, she will be there from June 9th onward. After talking to her, you should be able to find Kanji on the 1st Floor of the Practice Building. When the Emperor S.L reaches level 3 Kanji learns his own unique follow-up move: Atomic Press, which deals critical damage to all enemies. When Kanji's S.L is completely maxed out the player gains the ability to fuse Odin and Kanji's persona transforms into Rokuten Moah.


Availability: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On holidays and Sundays Kanji is found in the Northern Shopping District.


Attitude with Kanji: Supporting Kanji and always being loyal to him is usually appreciated by Kanji. However sometimes it is better to be blunt and forward than subtle and caring, Kanji does prefer this type of attitude.


Ultimate Persona: Odin. As an Ultimate Persona, Odin is a very adaptable and powerful and is unlocked at level 74. He has a mixture of wind and lightning attacks, including the strongest wind attack known as Panta Rhei. He also has a Regen ability that gives the player health at the begging of their turn in battles.


The Chariot Social Link: Chie Satonaka


Description: After April 18th the game will automatically activate the Chariot Social Link. Once the S.L. reaches level 3, Chie learns a follow-up move known as “Galactic Punt” which knocks a single enemy out of the battlefield. When you complete Chie’s S.L the player will receive an Ultimate Persona Persona and Chie's Persona will also evolve into Suzuka Gongen. While advancing this S.L the Player can develop a "lovers relationship" with Chie.


Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Some Sundays and Holidays. On Sundays and holidays Chie can be found in the South Shopping District.


Attitude with Chie: Chie appreciates it if the Player responds to her energy and enthusiasm with more of the same. She doesn't like to feel protected or coddled, preferring to deal with issues on her own terms. Laughing and keeping a positive attitude is almost always appreciated by Chie.


Ultimate Persona: Futsunushi. Like the rest of the Chariot Arcana, this Persona focuses mostly on dealing damage via Physical attacks. It does have multiple abilities that increase the Player and the party's stats but sometimes this comes at a cost.


The Magician Social Link: Yosuke Hanamura


Description: After April 16th the game will automatically activate the Magician Social Link. Once the S.L. reaches level 3, Yosuke learns a follow-up move known as “Yosuke Strike”. When you complete Yosuke’s S.L the player does not only receive an Ultimate Persona but Yosuke’s Persona also evolves as well into the mighty Susano-o.


Availability: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and some Sundays. He is also usually at Junes during the holidays and on Sundays.


Attitude with Yosuke: When choosing your character’s responses during his Social Link, usually being a nice and supportive friend will get his appreciation.


Ultimate Persona: Mada. A Persona that uses mostly fire attacks and is unlocked at level 78. Mada is a decent persona in all aspects but one without any unique abilities.

The Teammate Group

These Social Links are directly connected to the characters who fight alongside the player character. Majority of these S.L's are activated by story progression, but not all of them. These S.L's in particular are important because as they progress, your companions gain new abilities and powers. 


The Sun Social Link: Ayane Matsunaga or Yumi Ozawa


Description: Similar to the Strength S.L, the Sun Social Link can be formed by joining either the Symphonic Band or the Drama Club. The player has the option of joining either one starting on April 25th. If the player chooses the Band then Ayane is the Sun S.L, while Yumi takes her place if Drama Club is chosen. During this S.L the Player can develop a "lovers relationship" with Yumi/Ayane.


Availability: Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Despite having so few days for furthering this Social Link, it is one of the few S.L's that can be chosen if it is raining.


Attitude with Yumi/Ayane: Unlike Daisuke and Kou, Ayane and Yumi are very different characters. Ayane is very soft-spoken and appreciates it when you stand up for her and assist her with her usually overwhelming jobs. Yumi is more independent and values a more bold approach however with personal matters she is a bit withdrawn and is prone to snap the player.


Ultimate Persona: Asura. This Persona is unlocked at level 86. Asura boasts fire, physical and light attacks so it is very versatile in battle. It also has the special ability called Unshakeable Will that protects the player from all status effects.


The Strength Social Link: Daisuke Nagase or Kou Ichijo


This Social Link can be activated anytime after April 19th by joining a Sports Club, by exiting via the West Exit on the 1st floor of the School building. If the player joins the Soccer Club then the representative of the Strength S.L is Daisuke, while joining the Basketball Club gives the S.L to Kou.


Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. During the holidays or Sunday Kou/Daisuke are normally found at the North Shopping District.


Attitude with Kou/Daisuke: Usually staying upbeat and positive gets the best reactions from Kou/Daisuke. Also being sympathetic with their problems never hurts either.


Ultimate Persona: Zaou-Gongen. This Persona is unlocked at level 90 and like the rest of the Strength Arcana has a lot of Physical attacks. Zaou-Gongen has powerful multi-target attacks like Vorpal Blade and even boasts a real handy ability called Enduring Soul which grants the player full health restoration after dying, however this can only occur once per battle.

The Club Group

This group of Social Links are pretty easy to begin as the game repeatedly reminds the player about the various clubs (both Sports and Cultural) that the Player can join. The player will have to find the right rooms in the school in order to join those clubs, but otherwise the difficulty to beginning and progressing these S.L's is rather low.


The Judgement Social Link: The Seekers of Truth


Description:  The Judgement Social Link is automatically activated on December 3rd after making the right choices and gaining "The Good Ending". This S.L levels up as the game progresses until it maxes out and gives the player its Ultimate Persona right before fighting the final boss.  


Ultimate Persona: Lucifer. This Persona is one of the best in the game. He has two abilities in particular that make him rather powerful. The first is Spell Master, which halves the cost for all magic. The second is Victory Cry which fully restores the player's health and magic after finishing a battle.  


The Star Social Link: Teddie


Description: Starting from June 24th, the Star Social Link is automatically activated and powers up as the story progresses. This S.L is only able to be 100% completed if the player is able to get the Good or True Ending. When this S.L is maxed out the player gains an Ultimate Persona and Teddie's Persona transforms into Kamui.


Ultimate Persona: Helel. This Persona is unlocked at level 87 and has some of the strongest abilities and attacks. He has a unique attack called Morning Star which causes almighty damage to all enemies and multiple healing powers. 

The Fool Social Link: The Investigation Team

Description: The Investigation Team Social Link progresses alongside the story. Basically, takes minimal effort as long as you continue the story. The Fool S.L is initiated once the “Investigation Team” is officially formed between the player, Chie and Yosuke. This S.L is only completed if the player achieves either the “Good” or “True” Ending.


Ultimate Persona: Loki. A Persona that is available via fusion once the player reaches level 64. Loki has the unique “severe” Ice attack known as Niflheim, otherwise Loki is a decent persona in the magic area.

The No-Stress Group

This first group, No-Stress, is what I would call the least difficult or complicated of the Social Links available. This category is reserved for the S.L's that progress as the story progresses, making them the easiest to complete as the player just has to proceed through the story.


With Atlus announcing that Persona 5 will come to the west in December, maybe some Persona fans might want to dust off their copies of Persona 4, or buy it digitally on PSN, and fall in love with the Persona series all over again. If you are a newcomer to these games and want to get your feet wet with all that Persona goodness and need some help with this game, that’s even better.


One of the most iconic and unique aspects of the Persona series is the idea of Social Links, the ability to gain power and abilities through interacting with people, learning more about them and helping them with their personal problems.


For those who wish to attempt a “Complete Social Link” run of Persona 4, here is a guide pointing out the more difficult or complicated social links to complete, what the Social Links unlock gameplay-wise and how good the “Ultimate Persona”, a persona that is unlocked once the Social Link is maxed out, of each arcana is. All of the social links or S.L's will also be separated into various categories Also fair warning, but this guide will have spoilers! So watch out!


With all those technicalities out of the way, let the Persona 4 Social Link Guide Extravaganza begin!

Persona 4 manga: English translation to be published this year Thu, 18 Jun 2015 07:38:18 -0400 Sam Yoo

UDON Entertainment announces the upcoming release of the Persona 4 manga adaptation in English for later this year.

Whether you have played the game already or you are new to Persona 4, the manga successfully executes the murder-mystery story all on its own and is a great read.

What is Persona 4 all about?

There is a rumor.  If you turn on the television at 12:00AM on a rainy night, you will be able to tune in to the 'Midnight Channel', a paranormal phenomenon that will show you your 'soul mate'.  

But the 'Midnight Channel' also shows people who are about to die.

A group of high school students take it upon themselves to form an investigation team to find out just what is behind the gruesome murders that have been plaguing their town.  

Inevitably, they stumble across much more than they bargained for: dark truths, intense self-discovery, and a good deal of peril.

For the veteran fans:

Because Persona 4 has a silent protagonist, his personality is largely up to the player and thus ends up appearing rather neutral and indistinct.

Adaptations, like the Persona 4 manga, result in more specific characterization that provides a different interpretation of the original game, filling in some of the spaces, exploring new details, etc.

A simple example of this is the protagonist's name.  

For the manga, Sogabe Shuuji chose the name Seta Souji.  Later on, Persona 4 the Animation presented the fans with a different name: Narukami Yu.  Both are slightly different interpretations of the same character.  

There is a different kind of richness to the character interactions when the main character has a defined name, voice, and set dialogue.  Rather than being an extension of the player like he is in the game, he becomes a character with his own story.


It isn't just about the main character, either.  The manga explores the background stories of all the characters in ways that the game does not.  

It is an entirely different mode of storytelling which lets you have a fresh experience of Persona 4.  

Even if you've already played the game, and/or watched the animated series, the manga both adds a whole new dimension and is also valuable all on its own.

A Game Narrative: The Terrible to The Terrific Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:28:23 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

A game's narrative is a fancy word for a game's story. This means if you ever see a game which is narrative-driven, or story-driven they are the same thing. A few of the best narrative-driven games are:

  • Portal (as well as great puzzle game).
  • Persona 3 and 4
  • The Walking Dead (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy)
  • Heavy Rain

Let's go on a journey through what makes or breaks a game's narrative, bearing in mind this has nothing to do with gameplay. You can have a terrible narrative, but terrific gameplay.

(Warning contains spoilers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Far Cry 3 and an early choice for Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 1)

What Makes a Narrative...

A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game...

A terrible narrative can simply be caused by bad writing, or a thin plot, but something that can really cause a narrative to fall apart is incoherence. When the narrative threads jump around with no real relevance to each other can cause you to lose interest, and confusion. You stop caring or simply don't know about what is going to happen, and any cut scenes will be boring. A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game, and that if there is a man in front of you as you must shoot them, because you must. Why? To advance the story silly.

This is often used in FPS games, specifically Call of Duty: Ghosts. There was no real coherence between actions you perform, the place you are in and the characters behaviours. The locations and set pieces influenced the story instead of both being built around each other. Another example is in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there is one mission, called Throttle, where you are randomly in a rail shooter, flying a jet through canyons then back on your feet without knowing what had happened.

A screenshot of the mission 'Throttle' in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

A cliché is a pretty terrible to use, especially when linked with the handling of motivations for any characters. One specific example is the strong male hero character has their weak female wife or girlfriend taken or killed. It's overused and really boring, you don't get invested into the characters because they are just always angry or sad, especially when the death of the wife happens before the game even starts.

One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences.

A bad narrative does not break the narrative of the game overall, it simply reminds you that you are playing a game for a split second, after that you then drawn back in. One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences. It was a novel thing to start with, however it did get tiresome after the rehash of the same ideas in every game. Most of them are so unrealistic, they take you out of the game. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, during the finale, you get stabbed through the chest. However your character appears not to care, simply pulling the knife out, casually spinning it in his hand, and throwing it with the accuracy and strength of a perfectly healthy man, the knife flies through the air and kills General Shepherd hitting him square in the left eye. It is just simply to far out of reality, and the games fiction. You can take 100s of bullets during gameplay, but one stab or gun shot during a cutscene instantly stops you doing anything until the vital moment.

A perfect throw after pulling a knife out of your chest? I think not.

The story is going so well...suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

The story is getting better, everything is advancing at the perfect pace, the writing is on point, you love all the characters on your side and hate but respect the ones you are fighting. The story is going so well, you feel it reaching the mid section crescendo and you look for the plot twist. Thinking back through each characters backstory trying to spot who will do something stupid or turn on you. The game then reaches the exciting mid section crescendo, suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

Everyone is dead and you win.

Don't you just hate that?


I find a good story often has plot twists which do something the wrong way round, they remove interesting and complex characters, and replace them with less interesting and more simplistic characters. Neither character is badly written or voice acted, and both are understandable or relatable. However due to the first character just being so good it leaves the second feeling bland. This happened in Far Cry 3, with Vaas being replaced by Hoyt Volker. If Far Cry 3 had done this the other way round, it would be under the next heading.

Vaas on the left, Hoyt on the right.

Another really good trick that writers use on you is the old bait and switch. You get really invested into one specific character who is your friend, you trust them and they are privy to sensitive information. Then suddenly they turn on you, turns out the whole time they were lying, of course the best writing leaves clues about their intentions, but does not explicitly tell you they are secretly working against you untill a pivotal moment.

Decision making like this is what games...are pefect for...

Let's now look at the very best narrative games can offer. Not only can games give you the ability to meet engaging characters, who are not just black and white but morally grey. Games can allow you to become this character, to take on the hard decisions they will have to face, Telltale's The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this. Every decision you make you dread, you know that neither is 'good' or 'bad'. They are snap decisions which will always have bad consequences. Decision making like this is what games are best at doing, they are perfect for it and with writing as strong as in The Walking Dead you can really see why.

Who lives and who dies? You pick. Not easy right?

...when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Empathy, the ability to understand or share the emotion someone else is experiencing. It's powerful stuff, when you can make a character the player can empathise with, the feeling of loss, betrayal, anger, sympathy or compassion can then all be projected onto the player, sometimes all at once. Making you, as the player, care about a character will get you invested into the story, then if that character dies (if they take a supporting role) you will feel loss, and maybe anger, then want avenge your fallen comrade. It can also be used on the player character in much the same way. Empathy is a powerful tool, and when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Have you every wondered what makes or breaks a game's narrative? Let me know your thoughts in the comments bellow.