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Note: This plot summary only covers the content in the original Persona 4.

Golde
n-exclusive plot content such as Marie is not listed here.
Set in 2011, the game starts with the protagonist (who is named by the player) b
eing sent to the rural town of Inaba from the big city, since his parents are wo
rking abroad. He is living with his uncle Ryotaro Dojima and his younger cousin
Nanako Dojima, and attends Yasogami High School, where he becomes friends with C
hie Satonaka, Yukiko Amagi and Yosuke Hanamura. His uncle Dojima is a police det
ective, whose primary assistant is a man named Tohru Adachi.
On his first day arriving in town, the protagonist has a strange dream that teac
hes him to use a Persona, specifically his first one Izanagi, in battle. Through
Chie, the protagonist and Yosuke come to realize that an urban legend called th
e Midnight Channel is true; if you stare into a turned off TV at midnight on a r
ainy day, you will see a strange figure in there. Shocking the once sleepy town,
a TV announcer, Mayumi Yamano, is found dead, hanging upside-down from a teleph
one pole. When the protagonist first watches the Midnight Channel after hearing
the rumor from Chie, he finds that he has the power to physically go into the TV
, but his TV is too small to support him.
Saki antenna
Saki Konishi's corpse on the antenna.
When the protagonist reports this to his friends the next day, all three of them
decide to then go through one of the large TVs at Junes; all of them make it th
rough, and subsequently find a strange bear named Teddie; the group is let out b
y this same bear after wandering the strange world in fear, as well as finding o
ut there are no exits except for the bear's T.V.'s that he can create. The next
day, the body of Saki Konishi, the girl who discovered the body of Mayumi, is fo
und dead on an antenna as well. This greatly upsets Yosuke, Saki's co-worker at
Junes. Yosuke and the protagonist plan on returning to the television the next d
ay, with Chie acting as a rope lifeline.
Shadow Yosuke16:34
Yosuke hears Saki's thoughts.
Inside the TV, the protagonist and Yosuke find that there is a pathway to an are
a resembling Inaba. There, in this realm created by the true feelings of Saki ca
lled the Twisted Shopping District, Yosuke's repressed feelings of how he was no
t really liked by Saki, whom he harbored an unrequited deep crush on, manifest i
nto a clone-like figure of himself. Yosuke's inability to accept the clone's cla
im that he did not enter the realm for Saki's death (and how it was all about ad
venture for him) allows it to become Shadow Yosuke. When the player defeats it w
ith Izanagi, Yosuke accepts his true feelings, allowing the Shadow to manifest i
nto Yosuke's Persona, Jiraiya. The player learns that he has a special power nam
ed the Wild Card which allows him to wield multiple Personas (unlike all the oth
er party members who only have one).
Shadow Chie15:59
Shadow Chie.
Eventually, a shadowy figure begins to appear on the Midnight Channel, which is
feared by the group to be Chie's best friend Yukiko who just made a recent appea
rance on the news, though she is still present in the real world. Unfortunately,
Yukiko is kidnapped eventually, and afterwards clear and vivid images of her ap
pear on the Midnight Channel. With Teddie giving analytical support, the protago
nist and Yosuke decide to venture into the TV World (specifically Yukiko's dunge
on Yukiko's Castle) and use their Personas to fight. They both warn Chie that sh
e shouldn t enter since she lacks a Persona, though she ignores the warning. On th
e 2nd floor of the castle, Chie is caught up with and her emotions manifest and
battle the pair as Shadow Chie; though after its defeat, Shadow Chie turns into
Chie's own Persona, and Chie joins the trio as the third combatant.
Shadow Yukiko15:19

Shadow Yukiko.
The trio eventually finds Yukiko, along with another 'Yukiko': Shadow Yukiko. Sh
adow Yukiko expresses her disgust with inheriting the inn, and playfully confess
es to the protagonist, Yosuke, and Chie. Calling Chie her Prince Charming, Shado
w Yukiko asks her Prince Charming to take her somewhere far, far away to escape
her fate of inheriting the Amagi Inn. Confused and shocked, Yukiko begs the Shad
ow Yukiko to stop. Ignoring Yukiko's pleas, Shadow Yukiko taunts Yukiko, asking
why she would want her to stop confessing her true feelings. Shadow Yukiko excla
ims that she is Yukiko, and is merely expressing her thoughts. Yukiko denies Sha
dow Yukiko's claims, and tells her that she is not her. Fueled by Yukiko's denia
l, Shadow Yukiko transforms into a caged bird and attacks the party. The trio ev
entually manages to fend off the shadow, and with Yukiko eventually willing to f
ace herself, the shadow transforms into Yukiko's Persona.
Shadow Kanji15:53
Kanji accepting his Shadow.
The protagonist and the group see another strange figure appear on the TV, and s
uspect it to be a biker who recently appeared on the real-world news; Kanji Tats
umi. While looking for the boy, the group spots a strange, blue-dressed slender
young man who seems to be following him. They are unable to keep close enough an
eye on Kanji to prevent him from being kidnapped, and once he is, he begins to
appear clearly on the channel. After Kanji is rescued from his dungeon, the Stea
my Bathhouse, he joins the group.
When Kanji is rescued, the group comes to realize that all 4 of the kidnap victi
Yamano, Saki, Yukiko and Kanji
appeared on real-life TV before appearing on t
ms
he Midnight Channel. Additionally, Yukiko and Kanji's first appearances on the c
hannel were blurry and out of focus, though those appearances happened before th
ey disappeared. After they disappeared, their appearances on the Midnight Channe
l became clear and in-focus and representative of their inner emotions. Therefor
e the group concludes that the victims will first appear on the real-world TV, t
hen appear in a blurry form on the Midnight Channel, then they will be kidnapped
, then have vivid appearances on the channel until they die on the next foggy da
y. Also, the Shadow forms of the victims are their true emotions, which gain the
ir power from their host's inability to accept them (since each victim denied th
eir Shadow form).
Shadow Rise and Shadow Teddie28:47
Shadow Rise and Shadow Teddie.
It comes to the attention of the town that a local celebrity model, Rise Kujikaw
a, is coming to Inaba. However, the group becomes worried when they see an indis
tinct silhouette on the Midnight Channel that seems to resemble Rise. The group
is unable to prevent her from disappearing, and after she is abducted, she begin
s to clearly appear on the Midnight Channel. When she is confronted in her dunge
on, the Marukyu Striptease, she refuses to accept her shadow form; it engages th
e group in a battle, but eventually, it uses the move Supreme Insight to become
invincible.
Shadow Teddie
Shadow Teddie, Teddie's existential nightmare.
The group is unable to do a thing about it, but Teddie steps in and uses his inn
er power to destroy the monster. This results in his body being completely and u
tterly flattened, almost killing him. Eventually, Teddie's inner emotions about
himself manifest and create Shadow Teddie, which battles and loses to the group.
Teddie gains his own Persona after its defeat, and so does Rise. Rise takes ove
r Teddie's role as the analytical support, while Teddie joins the group as a pla
yable character. Teddie also gains a human body in the real world. The group, fo
r the second time now, encounters the slender teen from before, who has now take
n an interest in Kanji, the next victim.

After Rise's rescue and recovery (and Teddie doing "training" in the TV World to
repair his exhausted body and prepare him to be a playable combatant), the foul
-mouthed and largely unpopular schoolteacher Kinshiro Morooka
despite never appe
aring on either the news or the Midnight Channel beforehand was found dead in a
manner similar to the first two victims. The group is shocked at how the killer'
s pattern has completely been abandoned. The strange slender teenager the group
encountered before reveals himself to be Naoto Shirogane, a young, aspiring dete
ctive whom is assisting the P.D. in the case. He comments that the police have f
ound a suspect who has confessed his guilt, though they have not yet revealed hi
s identity Naoto does say that he is a student from another high school.
Shadow Mitsuo13:02
Shadow Mitsuo.
As summer break starts, a clear and vivid image appears on the Midnight Channel
showing a strange boy taunting the protagonist's to "come and get me". An invest
igation around town by the party to find the boy's identity reveals him to be th
e suspect being sought after by the police (and a student from another high scho
ol) named Mitsuo Kubo. When he is confronted in his Midnight Channel dungeon, Vo
id Quest, his shadow form attacks the group and is defeated, and he is pulled ou
t of the TV and handed over to the police as the true killer. However, the group
suspects that something isn't right with the theory that he is the killer due t
o the large incongruities in his profile (as well as how Morooka was simply beat
to death with a blunt object). The group tries to piece together any evidence t
o confirm or disprove the theory that Kubo is the killer.