Shadow Labrys Always Has Her Persona At Her Side In Persona 4: Arena

By Kris . June 11, 2012 . 5:00pm

Although E3 was the first chance I had to get my hands on Persona 4: Arena, I decided to play as the new character, Shadow Labrys. She was different from the other characters due to the fact that Asterios, her giant metallic bull of a persona, was constantly onscreen.


While one might think that not having to summon a persona would make its attacks a little faster, there was a sizeable delay any time I tried to use Asterius. Use of the light persona attack (C) took a second to charge up before the bull used a lunging punch on the opponent, but it took away a lot of my opponent’s health (he was using Aigis) The heavy persona attack (D) simply acted as a way to block the always-onscreen creature from damage, since his continual presence left him open to damage. While I was still trying to wrap my head around the game itself, I started toying with ways to incorporate Asterius into combat.


Mashing light attack (A) for an auto-combo seems to be a good thing to do with any character when you don’t know how they work in Persona 4 Arena. Whenever I thought I would have a chance to connect with A, I would use QCF and one of the persona buttons to make Labrys’ persona charge and fire a screen-spanning laser. Connecting with A just after inputting the laser command would catch the opponent in the laser mid-combo. The laser ended with an explosion that launched my opponent into the air, but with my brief experience, I was never able to follow it up with anything interesting.


QCB+persona was an overhead smash that took a similarly long time to charge up. To get the most out of this, I tried to attack low as Asterius shook in preparation for his two-fisted smash. I found it to be the most useful while I was trying to keep my opponent in the corner, acting as a nice way to protect Shadow Labrys as she recovered from one of her special attack animations.


Much like everything else about Asterius, double QCF+Persona was a hard Super to get used to, but it looked incredibly cool. Asterius would simply punch the screen and whatever was directly in front of him. The overall effect of the punch was really cool, as it seemed to shatter part of the TV screen and caused a moment of static, but the range felt very limiting. Sure, I could simply mash A until the super connected automatically, but once again, I had a challenge connecting the attack outside of a corner.


Food for Thought:

I really like the fact that P4A’s bursts work more like the ones from Guilty Gear than the ones from BlazBlue. Being able to use a burst on a non-attacking opponent and gain full meter just feels good.

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  • Herok ♞

    I can’t wait until I can try this stuff myself.

  • Its kinda weird…
    I mean…She is a Shadow…
    But she has…A Persona???
    So…His Shadow accepted another shadow so she (shadow) can have a Persona??

    Lol…I think Asterios is a Demon..A Demon who control Labyrs shadow….Not A Persona IMO

    • revenent hell

      I figured as much myself…actually wasnt that hinted at somewhere? hmmmm I cant remember

  • Cephrien

    I don’t think Shadow Labrys is using a Persona but rather her transformed self. 

  • Shadowman

    So even if you did hit Asterios as many time as you can that still counts as a persona break right? That almost biggest advantage you have when fighting against her.

    • Kris

      Yeah, but that’s why it uses D as a block button!

  • Crevox

    Shadow Labrys = my main

    And yes, Asterios, the creature at Shadow Labrys’ side, is NOT a persona. The official site specifically avoids calling it a persona because it’s a shadow.

    • So who’s controlling who here if it’s her “shadow”?

      • Crevox

        It is stated that Asterios is an extension of her body.

  • Corey Letcher

    i wouldn’t call Asterios a persona per-say, id say he’s closer to the Prince Charming that Shadow Yukiko summons or Tough and Nice Guy that fight with Shadow Kanji. 

    a extension of the shadow self rather than a persona the shadow self uses.

  • Levin_Scorpius

    But if she’s a shadow, why is she completely normal looking? Has this questioned been answered any were? Why isn’t she as crazy as Dominatrix Banana Head or Satellite Stripper Face or ~*Fabulous*~ Macho Man? Why do you deny my need for personal issues turned real playable insanity, Atlus?  

    • Crevox

      She herself looks like them before they transform. The creature next to her, however, is the shadow itself. So… it’s both, technically.

  • The game looks to be an amazing fighter i can’t wait to pick it up on launch for my ps3.

  • neetyneety

    Ohhh, it’s pretty interesting how she and her persona(?, isn’t Asterios more like the shadow itself, or an extension, like Corey Letcher said below) work. It kinda reminds me of Carl and Nirvana, since using Nirvana leaves her open for attacks and such.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this game, but I seriously hope it gets ported to the Vita, as I don’t have an HD console. (that’s what waiting for the Wii U gets me, a lot of games out of my reach)

  • Historiata

    Labrys’ persona is da bomb! A bomb in her bull just makes her abominable! Waha ha!

    On a side note, the game really doesn’t seem to give terribly much in terms of combo paths compared to GG and BB, but it’ll do, I suppose. I hope my senses are assaulted enough by special effects and music so I don’t notice, haha ha.

    • Crevox

      The game is, at the surface, approachable and not complicated at all. This is intentional so fans of persona aren’t immediately turned away by a complex fighter. Everyone can enjoy it.

      If you really get into it, yes, it gets technical and combos open up.

  • Code

    Between that axe and Asterios she’ll be interesting, although can’t help but feel like Asterios will be in Carl territory and take lots of coordination to really benefit from, so not particularly concerned o3o~ Although I haven’t watched much footage of her. I think in general the game shares a lot with GG, and BB, but still remains fairly different to watch with so many characters with large detached hit boxes. I have to admit though, a few characters I’ve seen could benefit from extra variety in their combos >o>;

    From what I’ve seen so far, can’t help but feel like Chie, Yukiko and Naoto could all use some buffs though, they all seem to lack the the punch of other characters, which is a shame. I haven’t been paying attention but any idea if the console version will be coming out on the most recent balance, or if it’ll have it’s own balance?

    • Actually in Japan chie is top tier, her damage was off the charts and she was able to fatal counter off of 5b.  They didn’t strip her damage from her in the new version but they did remove the 5b fatal so getting to that high damage won’t be as normal.  Yukiko was definitely the worst character in the original, while naoto was around midtier and had some really strong tech to make up for her less than stellar meterless damage.  Mudo is quite good even if it isn’t used for the kill since it prorates well and leads into high damaging combos for naoto.  Definitely stuff that you’ll see as you get more used too the characters.  

  • DAT AWKWARD MOMENT, when the team realise they got pawned by S!Labrys even though they got through the true end……..

  • Brandon001

    damn i want arena mucho mucho

  • I fucking hate that a character slot that should’ve gone to a persona villain went to this terribly designed copy of Aegis. 

    • It’d be cool to have a playable villain… if it weren’t for the fact most of them are dead or in prison.

      • LynxAmali

        I’m still hoping for DLC Adachi in the future (not having any connection with the Arena storyline)

        That’s one piece of DLC I would buy and I tend to not buy DLC.

        • Spoiler: That’s not Narukami: it’s actually Adachi in disguise!
          That’s why they sound exactly alike!! XD
          Kidding aside, I’d love to see Adachi as a pseudo-clone of Narukami; the Luigi to his Mario, the Ken/Dan/Sakura/etc. to his Ryu.

    • haqua

      /remembering that one time complaining about it changed anything

      Her “terrible design” is your own opinion, but how is she a copy of Aegis? She looks and acts nothing like her. Is Metis suddenly a copy, too, becuase they’re both robots? I swear, some of you people. . . 

      Ahh, it’s hard to keep calm sometimes.

    • MaruluGames

      This character isn´t a wast of a slot since the character has already been introduced into the persona universe like a year ago via the audio drama and I think it is nice to finally be able to see how this character looks.

  • NorthernPatches

    Never even played a Persona game, yet I really want to play this one.   Though I get the feeling I’d be missing out on a lot.

    • Corey Letcher

      not necessarily, each game aside from both the persona 2’s stand apart, existing in the same universe yet don’t cross over with the exception of a fan service cameo or two.  

      one of the mods on the Atlus forums has even stated that aside from a mention or two to the previous games stories, the story in this is its own contained story. 

      now considering the characters they are including i wouldn’t exactly take that as a sure thing but with said characters it would certainly be a good start for someone to be introduced to this universe and may stir enough curiosity for you to check out the previous games, they are pretty good games with 3 and 4 being a better introduction than 1 or both the 2’s but if you were to enjoy 3 and or 4 then 1 and both 2’s would be enjoyable, there different from 3 and 4 but full of mythology and weirdness that shines in this series. 

      • MaruluGames

         I have already played persona 4 arena in the arcade and I know its a direct continuation to persona 4 if you want to enjoy the story you should at least watch Persona 4: The Animation

  • haqua

     Ah, each Arena article just wants me to have the game even sooner! There’s a few, tiny things I don’t understand, but lasers and explosions and punches always sound fun ~ !

  • Hmmm, this is an interesting character much like Carl, though she would be a pain to master and then when somebody does an even bigger pain to fight,especially with how huge Asterius is.

    Also cue Master of Puppets!

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