Persona 4 Vs Persona 4 Golden: Part 4

One more thing that got a huge tweak in Persona 4 Golden is the Persona Fusion system.

In the Persona series, you use magic and more powerful physical skills in battle by using a Persona, which you can equip on your main character for different move-sets and strategies. You can obtain weaker Personas in random encounters, but the way to make stronger ones with better skills is by fusing two or more together in the Velvet Room area.

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In the original Persona 4 game, you fused Personae to make a higher level one, and it could potentially inherit some skills that the used Personae had, if they were compatible. The catch was that you as a player couldn’t choose exactly which moves would carry over, and you had to jump between menus to shuffle what skills you wanted. For a Persona that could inherit a lot of skills, this could take minutes or even an hour to stumble upon the perfect fusion result. This was frustrating for people who wanted a very specific set up for a Persona, but it did act as a sort of barrier to creating extremely powerful combos with the right fusion. The amount of time needed to make something “perfect” deterred most people after a while.

However, in Persona 4 Golden, this issue was removed. Now as the player previews the Persona they are about to fuse, they can hand select the skills that can be passed on. As long as the Persona can inherit the skill, it can be transferred easily.

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Here’s an example of a fusion preview screen.The dotted lines are the two open slots to select the skills that will be passed on. A Persona can inherent a fixed amount of skills, but they can still be chosen instead of randomized.

This alone I considered an improvement to the original system of Persona fusion, but only if the game compensated for this new feature. But on top of this change, Skill Cards were also introduced.

Skill Cards are items that can be extracted form Persona or found in a Dungeon, and then can be copied and sold in the Velvet Room. Using a card on a Persona would teach it a certain skill based on the card. What makes this so game breaking is that it allows you to teach skills that would be difficult or near impossible to get a Persona to learn by a regular fusion. And once you get a card, the only thing stopping a player from using them is how much money they want to spend.

Skill Cards, combined with the revised Persona Fusion system, make it way easier to create strong Personas at earlier levels simply by taking a lot of the randomness out of the process and giving players barely restricted access to other skills. Dungeons don’t really make up for this change in terms of enemy strength or improved AI, so battles become significantly easier once a good combination of skills is found.

-Alyssa

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