Now, I’m not really a JRPG sorta guy – I had played Japanese-inspired games, sure, but a JRPG just seemed like a huge commitment of both time and energy. A friend of mine recommended Persona 4 a few months ago, and within hours I had fallen in love with the story and the characters.
I loved this game so much that I replayed it again recently, except this time I was determined to go for the true ending. I can now say I’ve beaten all 9 dungeons in the game, and while I found the whole experience to be enthralling there were certainly some dungeons that felt undercooked compared to others. How would I rank all 9 dungeons in Persona 4 Golden?
You can check out some of my other related lists below:
Also – spoilers for every dungeon (duh), as well as for a few main plot points up to and including the true ending.
9 – Marie’s Hollow Forest
Ask any Persona 4 fan what the worst dungeon in the game is, and it would surely be this one (apart from gaming hipsters or masochists that like the pain this dungeon brings).
“But it’s a welcome challenge! I like the change of pace!” Well good for you, but this dungeon is clearly designed to be as aggravating as possible.
Not being able to bring your gear that you spent so long obtaining? Check. SP halves after every battle? Check. Boring dungeon layouts? Checkmate.
8 – Naoto’s Bunker
I really like Naoto’s character and arc throughout the game, but her dungeon is boring as heck.
The textures and environments are way blander than I know the developers could have come up with, and this dungeon has to be the worst offender in terms of doors – they open soooo slooowlyyyy.
7 – Rise’s Striptease
Well, I certainly wasn’t complaining when I found out what the theme of Rise’s dungeon was.
That being said, I feel it relies a bit too heavily on the perv factor, and just hopes the player can look past just how run-of-the-mill the dungeon is. It’s a perfectly passable dungeon, but nothing to shout about.
6 – Kanji’s Bathhouse
Alongside Naoto, I think Kanji’s arc was the best in Persona 4 – except this time the developers came up with an actually interesting dungeon to show Kanji’s inner conflict.
It was never going to rank too highly (it’s just a plain bathhouse after all), but the inferences that it has on the story is too good to ignore.
5 – Yukiko’s Castle
The first dungeon in the game, and I think it does an excellent job of providing the scope and spectacle for the player to expect across the whole story.
It’s a very classic dungeon with simple layouts and bosses, you don’t get more cookie cutter than this.
4 – Izanami’s Realm
I can imagine most players ranking the final dungeon – the most epic in scale – within the top 3 spots, but if I look past the spectacle and emotional weight then the dungeon itself isn’t too crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still awesome though, and that sort of ethereal / out-of-bounds approach that the dungeon takes is perfect. It also helps that the loot from this dungeon is godly.
3 – Adachi’s Hellscape
I think even more so than Izanami’s dungeon – especially during my first playthrough – Adachi’s dungeon felt like the epic boss battle stage that this sprawling story deserved.
“Hellish” is the only word I could use to describe this horrific place, and the designers did an excellent job of practically flipping Inaba upside-down and inside-out. I felt so uneasy traversing these streets, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2 – Mitsuo’s Videogame
I absolutely love how the developers of the Persona games aren’t afraid in the slightest to take creative risks, and they just make the dungeons that they want to make without worrying if it makes sense or not.
It also comes at an intense peak in the story, as chasing down Mitsuo – the presumed killer – makes this one of the most urgent dungeons in the game. With an incredible dungeon layout, aesthetic and final boss, it could have easily come in first place.
1 – Nanako’s Heaven
For me, the story of Persona 4 peaked throughout the whole Nanako arc. It was one of the most thrilling yet sombre gaming experiences I’ve ever had, and that’s reflected perfectly in this heavenly dungeon.
The music and childish vibe are surprisingly unsettling in context, and the race to find Nanako’s kidnapper before something terrible happens had me zooming through this dungeon at lightning speed. I was the most invested during this dungeon, and coupled with the awesome design I think that’s enough to bump it up to number 1 on my list.
Aaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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