So as a total Persona Lorefag, I thought I might go over some of the things we found out about the new P4A sequel today. If you want game details and stuff, go here instead: http://shoryuken.com/2013/08/15/new-version-persona-4-arena-to-include-yukari-takeba-and-junpei-iori-from-persona-3-location-tests-scheduled-for-august-16-18/. That’s a pretty well-done article covering everything we know.
This post will be geared more towards a story and character perspective.
Part 1: Junpei and Yukari
Alright, so straight up, let’s get into these two. Junpei is now apparently a baseball player, even down to his game mechanics simulating runners going around a pitch. Not sure if he’s pro or a hobbyist, but it’s definitely a thing.
Yukari we have a bit more to go off, since we have a screenshot of her character profile on the Char. Select screenshot. She is now a model and actress, and stars in a “Hero Show”. Going off her outfit, she appears to be the current Pink Neo Featherman.
Both of these characters retain their Ultimate Personae, Trismegistus and Isis respectively. This means that they are both still active Persona Users on the side of their current work. Thanks to a CG from the original P4A, we can safely assume they are both members of Shadow Operatives.
Part 2: The Dark Hour
From screenshots, we can see that a new stage added is Entrance to Tartarus.
This has been read to represent Junpei and Yukari’s “Dungeons” in the TV World that were created for them, however, take note of this screenshot as well:
This screen shows the Yasogami High Entrance, however it is basked in a green glow and behind the gate, Yasogami High seems to have spawned a Tartarus-esque tower. I think this can be used as evidence for one of two potential scenarios:
1. The Dark Hour has returned, or
2. The Dark Hour has merged with the TV World.
In Mitsuru’s story mode in P4A, it was shown that the Kirijo Group has created a way to recreate the Dark Hour via an object. I believe it was some sort of box or chest. The point is, the Dark Hour can be recreated. Now, due to the events involving Malevolent Entity (Nyarlathotep) and the Mysterious Voice, it is speculated that since they had the technology to control Labrys, the Voice may be an member of Kirijo Group. If that’s true, that makes it easily possible that the two worked together to either restart the Dark Hour, or have the Entity move it into the TV World.
This may become a part of the story arcs for Yukari and Junpei’s involvement. If it’s an addition to the existing story, then Yukari and Junpei may be both out on a mission to investigate this. If it’s a full-blown sequel, it may become a central plot point for the new story.
Part 3: Additional Characters
Now, based on the new character select screen, there are two empty gaps along the top row, above Yukari and Junpei’s icons. I want to give an opinion on the possibility of who these new characters may be based on the story/character view.
First up, Yukari. Yukari, as noted, is now a model and actress. There is one other character in the Persona series who is a famous model after her original appearance:
Eriko Kirishima, or Elly, is one of the members of the original Persona cast, and was also a returnee party member in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. Due to already having a status as a returnee character, and the fact she works in the same industry as Yukari, she could be re-introduced into P4AC after taking interest in Yukari’s behaviour. Maybe she gets suspicious of her absences, or somehow comes across her status as a Persona-user. Regardless of how it starts, Elly could follow Yukari in, either with her or unknown, and join the fight.
Elly’s Persona would be Gabriel, like she used in Persona 2. While the specifics on her gaining Gabriel are unclear (Maybe it’s a 3rd Tier Persona?), it is her currently known permanent Persona, rather than her original Nike in Persona 1.
The only clash with Elly joining the roster would be that she uses fencing swords, and that is Mitsuru’s weapon. This could be worked around by just making Elly’s moveset different enough though.
Secondly, for the other slot, depending on how the story goes, we could see the Mysterious Voice and Malevolent Entity themselves team up as a Fighter/Persona pair. It will probably work similar to Shabrys, where Nyarlathotep acts as a Persona but stays on the field at all times. The Human, as a member of the Kirijo Group, could use some sort of gadget to fight. Dunno what though.
I’m not much of a fighter player, so I’m not really sure what type of character they as. We already have good ranged, close-ups, grapplers, etc. So I dunno.
I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that, if it’s a sequel and not an update, there will probably be an additional three or four characters on top of Yukari, Junpei and those two slots. For who they are? No idea. Nanjo from P1 is usually alongside Elly in appearances, so he could be one. We could throw some Persona 2 characters in there, like Tatsuya, Katsuya, or Lisa. Maybe add in Margaret, or even Philemon. And maybe a Persona 5 character who starts off in here, and then serves as a bit of an expert character in 5 like Mitsuru and Akihiko did.
Anyway that basically wraps it all up. If there’s anything else I think of based on more location testing coverage, I’ll edit it in. Thanks for reading!