- Persona 2: Innocent Sin
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- Persona 3 FES: possibly Metis
- Persona 4 / Golden
- Persona 4 Arena
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
- Persona 4: Dancing All Night
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona 5 Strikers
- Devil Survivor 2 / Record Breaker
Unlike the lesser Shadows, they appear as twisted Jungian archetypal mirror entities of the person they represent, often with red or golden eyes. Shadow Selves often embody the repressed negative qualities of their human counterparts and wish to kill their originals and take their place in the world. Shadow Selves fight either with a "Reverse" version of their counterpart's initial Persona or ultimate Persona, or they transform into a large twisted version of the Persona they will become once accepted. Any being with an ego, regardless of species can have a Shadow Self. A Shadow Self is not to be confused with a Cognition, although some Shadow Selves can take traits of how people perceive them, and some Cognitions are very similar to being one's Shadow Self.
Megami Ibunroku Persona
A prototype of the Shadow Self concept is Pandora, the ultimate manifestation of Maki's nihilism and repressed negative thoughts, much like how an actual Shadow Self is. In fact, she can even understand acceptance and merges with the ideal Maki, sending all party members back to the real world.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin
Following the defeat of King Leo, Maya Amano has the children saved from the Sky Museum spread a rumor counter to the rumor spread by the Masked Circle blaming them for the bombings. Due to the two rumors circulating, the party was spared conversion to the Masked Circle, though five Shadow Selves were created from their subconscious.
Shadow Maya infiltrates the party after they regroup at the Kuzunoha Detective Agency, and attacks them at Mt. Iwato, but is blocked by the real Maya and is killed in battle. Shadow Yukino is confronted at the Caracol and, depending on the player's earlier choices, is either defeated by Yukino Mayuzumi and Anna Yoshizaka, or commits suicide alongside Anna. The remaining 3 Shadows spread to three of the four Zodiac Temples, guarding the Crystal Skulls within, but are defeated by Tatsuya's party.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
The Shadow Selves in Eternal Punishment are directly created by Nyarlathotep to kill Maya Amano's party as they journey through the Monado Mandala. Unlike the Innocent Sin Shadow Selves, they are fought two at a time, and their strength varies depending on the decisions Maya's party made in the scene prior to fighting them.
In the special scenario included in the PSP rerelease of Eternal Punishment, the Shadow Self of Shiori Miyashiro appears in the form of a masked version of herself.
Persona 3 FES
While Shadow Selves are not directly mentioned and do not directly appear, Metis is heavily implied to be Aigis' Shadow, as she represents Aigis' suppressed negative emotions of the wish to return into a machine to cope with the loss of the protagonist, a figure resembling her is seen emerging from Aigis in the memory the surviving SEES members view right before the fight with ???, and, much like characters who initially obtained their Personas by accepting their Shadow, Aigis suffers extreme physical and mental fatigue when she accepts Metis as a part of herself.
Persona 4 / Golden / Manga / Animation
"I am a shadow... The true self..."
Shadow Selves appear before people thrown into the Midnight Channel, and kill them if the fog over the TV World lifts before the person accepts them or before they are rescued. The ones fought in the game all represent repressed negative thoughts and impulses of their real life counterparts, only uninhibited and amplified to threatening proportions. The Shadows of those who become famous can also adopt eccentric personality traits, mannerisms, and attire, as a dramatic display to confirm rumors about the person that have some truth to them.
Unlike Shadow Selves in the Persona 2 duology, these Shadows transform into larger, more monstrous forms to fight and transform into Personas when accepted. In The Animation, despite their desire to kill their originals and take their place in the world, some of the Shadow Selves seem to show happiness upon being accepted; while others maintain a neutral expression.
The Shadow Selves fought in the Persona 4 anthology include:
- Shadow Yosuke
- Shadow Chie
- Shadow Yukiko
- Shadow Kanji
- Shadow Rise
- Shadow Teddie
- Shadow Mitsuo
- Shadow Naoto
- Shadow Yu (Anime Only)
Persona 4 Arena
Shadow Labrys, the Shadow Self of Labrys, is the final boss of the game. Just like the Shadow Selves of the Investigation Team, she is born from Labrys' repressed negative thoughts, but is exaggerated to life threatening proportions. Unlike the Investigation Team's Shadows, she does not transform into a monstrous form to attack.
The Shadow Selves of several of the other fighters appear, including those who never faced their own, namely Shadow Mitsuru, Shadow Akihiko, Shadow Aigis and Shadow Yu, but they are later revealed not to be Shadows, but the Malevolent Entity taking their form. However, Teddie and Elizabeth do not face their "shadows" in their story modes.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
The Shadow Selves of all characters will also be playable as alternate forms of their other selves known as "Shadow-Types", with a new ability called "Shadow Rampage" which replaces the "Burst" ability. Elizabeth, Margaret, Adachi, Marie, Shadow Labrys, and the two versions of Sho do not have Shadow-Types. However, a Shadow Marie exists in the game's coding. Labrys also has a Shadow-Type that is distinct from Shadow Labrys, which notably uses Ariadne instead of Asterius.
It is revealed that they are fakes created from regular shadows by the Malevolent Entity, as they state that they are perfect copies based of the Investigation Team's and Shadow Operatives' personal data, and are able to perfectly mimic their fighting styles and shadow personalities. Due to this they are extremely hostile even to those who aren't the person they were transformed into the Shadow of. They are only able to exist within the Red Fog and even then their existence will only last for a certain amount of time. Upon defeat they dissolve into black goo, while Persona Fragments appear and flow into the sky to Yasogami High School. Certain Shadows like Shadow Ken and Koromaru are able to survive a fight until hit with a lethal attack. They can also hide their yellow eyes until they reveal their true nature. However, they take no effort in trying to hide the fact that they are fakes in order to draw their originals into fighting them.
Their goal is to extract Persona Shards from Persona users, in which the Malevolent Entity absorbs to grant him a body to unleash worldwide destruction.
Despite being fakes, they are very similar to the original and in some cases even have humanizing points. One example is that Yu Narukami realized Shadow Aigis sought to recruit Labrys in order for her to bond with her master Sho Minazuki, who is also a lonely being hurt by the Kirijo Group's experiments. Another is that when defeated in the P4 story line, Shadow Ken states that they never originally wanted to fight, with the notable exception of the highly aggressive Shadow Aigis, and was only forced by the Malevolent Entity.
Although not including with the rest, fake Shuji Ikutsuki's are also made, but have no fighting capability and are mostly used by Sho to vent his anger towards his adoptive father. In Adachi's chapter Sho reveals he intended on taking Magatsu-Izanagi and forcing it to become a shadow via some unknown method, but his plans were foiled before he could show how to achieve this.
The full cast of Shadows, listed by Arcana, is as follows:
- 0 - Fool - Shadow Aigis, Shadow Yu
- I - Magician: Shadow Junpei, Shadow Yosuke
- II - Priestess: Shadow Yukiko
- III - Empress: Shadow Mitsuru
- IV - Emperor: Shadow Akihiko, Shadow Kanji
- VI - Lovers: Shadow Rise, Shadow Yukari
- VII - Chariot: Shadow Chie
- VIII - Justice: Shadow Ken
- X - Fortune: Shadow Labrys, Shadow Naoto
- XI - Strength: Shadow Koromaru
- XVII - Star: Shadow Teddie
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Bizarrely, the Midnight Stage acts as the Shadow Selves of the characters, with each member of Kanamin Kitchen having their own stage that embodies them. When they succumb to the stage's brainwashing and discard their 'self' to be the 'self' others want them to be, the stage captures them in the ribbons used by the antagonist. Then a black miasma wrap them in a cocoon, which transform them into a Shadow which represents how people want them to be. The Investigation Team must dance in order to free them and revert them back to their original selves.
- Shadow Tamami (Tamami the Clown)
- Shadow Tomoe (Sexy Woman)
- Shadow Sumomo (Li'l Doll)
- Shadow Nozomi (Prince Charming)
- Shadow Ochimizu (Mechanical Puppeteer)
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Shadow Selves exist for many people in Mementos. Most are chained behind the Depths, although those belonging to a corrupted individual will come out of it. The vast majority of corrupted Shadow Selves merely wander around open Mementos and take the form of a mythical figure, except slightly stronger, but those with Personalized Palaces take a distinct form or outfit compared to the rest. Much unlike their real selves, hostile Shadow Selves are generally honest about their selfish motives and will blatantly admit to and flaunt their corrupt/amoral actions. Not all hostile Shadow Selves encountered are motivated by pure malice however, for some only represent people with destructive bouts of depression or general public misconduct. The majority fight against the Phantom Thieves of Hearts when confronted; however, some such as Shadow Futaba and Shadow Mishima act as outliers. The Phantom Thieves' Shadow selves only appear as a disembodied voice speaking out to them, and theoretically, if a Shadow Self is converted into a Persona, it is freed from the chains of Mementos.
Particularly strong, corrupted Shadow Selves have a dedicated Palace wherever their distorted thoughts are associated to their corruption. This happens because a person's distorted desires had became so severe, that open Mementos can no longer contain them and they must be isolated in their own personalized spaces, where they ironically monitor and prevent most Shadow Selves from escaping the Depths. Unlike the more common Shadow Selves found in Mementos, Shadow Selves in Palaces have a stronger distortion of how they view themselves which affects not only how they appear, but also how their Palace and Shadow guards appear for them. Those whom the Palace Rulers know personally may take monstrous forms, become no different from objects, appear as well-fleshed out people or even outright not exist despite the other party's existences are acknowledged.
The outlier of the Palace Rulers was Futaba Sakura's Shadow Self, Shadow Futaba. Because Futaba's palace was not generated out of malice but an extreme form of depression, she was noticeably more kind and desired to have her confront her misinterpreted past due to being partially consisted of positive thoughts, as opposed to most other Palace rulers who are completely consisted of negative thoughts and corruption. In the end, by accepting the truth that the suicide note that ruined her life that others had manipulated her into believing in is a lie, Futaba was able to transform her Shadow Self into a Persona in a similar fashion to the Investigation Team in Persona 4.
In a sense, the Shadow Self is directly tied to their real world version. Due to this link, what happens to their Shadow Selves directly affects their real world selves, although the real selves are usually oblivious to any intrusion of their hearts encountered by their Shadow Selves, and a Shadow Self that has encountered Morgana will not make their real selves capable of hearing him talk.
When confronted by the Phantom Thieves, hostile Shadow Selves will attempt to fight and kill them to continue to hide their wrong doings and/or to protect the Treasure they are defending. In defeat, rogue Shadow Selves in Mementos are goaded into admitting their guilt by the Phantom Thieves and within a short while after the Treasure is stolen, their real person will undergo a Change of Heart and their real world self repents their former actions and make amends.
However, instead of atoning as designated, a Palace ruler undergoing a Change of Heart because their treasure was stolen are usually reduced into weeping husks and turn themselves into the authorities to admit their crimes in guilt without doing any actual efforts to redeem. The process is often described as a sharp and sudden personality change that is nearly impossible to investigate or understand by outsiders, making the Phantom Thieves of Hearts very difficult to capture and track down by regular law enforcement. This is actually not normal post-Change of Heart behavior, and this happens because their Shadow has "became one with the public" and has thus became apathetic just like the rest. Creating this condition is required for Yaldabaoth to advance his control plan by removing all chaotic elements of society that he set up himself.
It is possible to kill a Shadow Self. If this happens, the real world version of themselves will experience what is described in-game as a Mental shutdown. A Shadow Self who experienced a Mental Shutdown will cause the real world person to experience a heart attack-like affliction. The experience is noticeably painful for the individual as they gasp in intense pain while their eyes roll back and black liquid leaks from their eyes, nose, and mouth before finally collapsing on the spot, dead. Loki may also inflict a Psychotic Breakdown upon anyone its user tells it to, resulting in that person behaving erratically in all of a sudden.
- Palace Rulers
The Palace rulers act as the game's bosses [with the exception of Shadow Futaba]. They were modeled after the seven deadly sins.
- Suguru Kamoshida: Asmodeus [Lust]
- Ichiryusai Madarame: Azazel [Vanity]
- Junya Kaneshiro: Bael [Gluttony]
- Futaba Sakura (Shadow Futaba) [Wrath]
- Kunikazu Okumura: Mammon [Greed]
- Sae Niijima: Leviathan [Envy]
- Masayoshi Shido: Samael [Pride]
In Persona 5 Royal, Takuto Maruki is in the unique situation of being the ruler of a Palace without the presence of a Shadow Self at all, instead possessing the Persona Azathoth, which evolves into Adam Kadmon. He represents the "eighth sin," Sorrow.
See Mementos Requests for list of Shadow Selves that only appear in Mementos.
Persona 5 Strikers
Shadow Selves in this game are represented by "Monarchs" ("Kings" in the Japanese version) ruling over Jails. Unlike the Palace rulers in Persona 5, Monarchs are not inherently malicious people, but are resentful and wronged people who used the EMMA application for revenge against their oppressors and to artificially inflate their ego by stealing the Desires of everyone they can. Anyone who requests the EMMA application to save them can become a Monarch if EMMA wishes it to be so, regardless of their current position or social status, unlike the Palace rulers in Persona 5, who are almost all individuals of great personal power or social standing that abuse their authority. EMMA will automatically create a Jail within the city the person lives in and turn their Shadow Self into the Monarch where EMMA gains influence over that person's real self using their Shadow.
The Monarch in real life would behave normally on the surface only to expose their distortions when being reminded of their past, usually by replicating their traumatic events by some way or another. These distortions, unlike their counterparts in the original game, are artificially inflated and might express themselves via blatantly indecent or unacceptable ways. (i.e. stepping on and humiliating someone in a public building), but their Shadow Selves will become flanderizations of their negative traits as usual. As seen in the case of Akane Hasegawa, the personalities of Monarchs can be twisted by Akira Konoe, the (apparent) conductor of the Jails, or by EMMA itself, to suit their needs.
Anyone who types in the Monarch's keyword to "friend" them on EMMA will instantly have their Shadow Selves transported into the Jail, where they are vulnerable to Shadows attacking them and stealing their Desires. The Monarchs took advantage of this, giving their EMMA keyword to everyone they can and mesmerizing an entire city to adore them. Only a person or entity who has awakened to a Persona can enter the keyword without getting their heart stolen, and Shadows cannot steal the hearts of Persona users, instead having to defeat them in combat. If anyone were to have their Desires stolen by a Monarch, they will experience a Change of Heart to a significantly stronger degree than those the Phantom Thieves of Hearts can create, virtually rewriting a person's entire personality and causing them to fall into obsessive adoration with the Monarch.
Unlike Palace rulers who commit malevolent actions themselves, the damages that most Monarchs cause while being influenced by EMMA are mostly limited to vandalism and violent incidents caused by the Monarch's worshipers.
Unlike Shadow Selves from Persona 4 or Persona 5, the Monarchs do not represent anything from the real person due to the way EMMA brainwashes them and may act completely out of character compared to the person's actual behavior. They represent suppressed traumas of their real selves, and their behavior, in and out of the Metaverse, are all based on heavily distorted worldviews based on these traumas. Monarchs also usually transform into monstrous forms to attack, although there are notable exceptions. Furthermore, the Monarchs can also possess physical features that are different from their real life counterparts. For example, a Monarch's Shadow Self can be taller than their real person, or morbidly obese while the person in reality is not. All Monarchs in-game take the form of fairytale characters or other fictitious stereotypes.
Furthermore, unlike the Palace Rulers, the Monarchs do not have full control over their own space in the Metaverse. In fact, only EMMA itself has full control over it. The Monarchs are all subject to its control, and were being driven to do so with a "Lock Keeper," a creature that locks off the topmost section of the Jail by shutting the Monarchs in their personal traumas, which creates a structure that resembles a massive bird cage. The Monarch is confined within this space, and any time they attempt to leave, their traumatic memories will come flooding back, which is the way EMMA encourages the Monarchs to behave in a way resembling their oppressors by locking their Shadows inside the cage that constantly reminds them to not fall back into their weak former selves. The Lock Keeper itself resides inside a "Trauma Room," an area connected to the Jail that has something to do with the Monarch's trauma, and killing the Lock Keeper is the only way to remove the seal around the Monarch's location.
Monarchs do not have a Treasure due to their unnaturally induced distortions. Instead, their cage is filled with all the Desires that they stole from everyone whose hearts they changed. Once a Calling Card is sent to the Monarch's real self, these Desires will take physical form, that of a single massive gem. The only way to release this mass of Desires from the Monarch's control is to convince them to take off their crown. Once they do so, the Desire gem breaks apart, returning every victim of the Monarch to normal back in the real world, and encouraging the former Monarch to confess for their crimes. Once freed, the victims of the Monarch will also instantly act like as if the brainwashing never happened in the first place.
Unlike the Palace rulers who are (generally) reduced to apathetic, weeping husks, the Monarchs actually completely return to their former selves after having their heart changed due to the lack of external influences that alter the outcome. However, if a Monarch is killed before this process can complete, the whole population will remain entranced, and the Jail's Lock Keeper will become the master of their desires instead.
The list of Monarchs include:
- Alice Hiiragi of Shibuya
- Ango Natsume of Sendai
- Mariko Hyodo of Sapporo
- Shuzo Ubukata of Okinawa (Deceased)
- Akane Hasegawa of Kyoto
- Akira Konoe of Osaka
Devil Survivor 2
Shadow Selves of every recruitable character in the Septentrione Arc except for the protagonist and the Anguished One will appear during the second phase of the battle against Polaris if the player chooses to restore the world to its previous state. All of them must be defeated before the battle will progress to the final phase.
The Shadow Selves fought here are derived from:
- Daichi Shijima
- Io Nitta
- Makoto Sako
- Yuzuru Akie
- Yamato Hotsuin
- Keita Wakui
- Hinako Kujou
- Airi Ban
- Jungo Torii
- Ronaldo Kuriki
- Otome Yanagiya
The Persona 2 duology and Persona 4 have dedicated musical themes played during the appearances of Shadow Selves.
- Main article: Shadow Self/Gallery
- In the Persona 2 duology, Shadow Selves' portraits have red glowing eyes. Originally in the first Japanese trailer of Persona 4, Shadow Yosuke also featured red eyes, but this was changed to golden eyes in the final version.
- In the arcade and story mode of Persona 4 Arena, various characters say that a Shadow Self and a Persona cannot coexist because they are one and the same. This contradicts the Persona 2 duology in which the cast fights their Shadow Selves with their own Personas, with Yukino Mayuzumi even having her self dragged into the abyss should her Shadow commit suicide. Hades also declares that Shadow Eikichi and Reverse Hades are only a part of Hades.
- Shadow Marie is included on the disc, but no such Shadow appears in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
- Unlike most characters who confront their Shadows, Maya Amano, Mitsuo Kubo and Rei never admitted them to be a part of them.
- In Persona 4, it is possible that Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi faced their own Shadow Selves before their deaths. However, this is not confirmed in any Persona 4 related media, although it is implied Saki faced her Shadow in Persona 4 The Animation.
- In Persona 5, the Shadow Selves of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, with the exception of Futaba Sakura, never appear physically. Instead, they appear as disembodied voices calling for a contract and later become their masks. Futaba, who did end up meeting her Shadow Self, gained her Persona in a similar fashion to the Investigation Team from Persona 4.
- The situation with Rei in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth indicates that even if a person has been deceased, their Shadow Self will still remain, but not vice versa as seen below.
- There can be slight inconsistencies regarding the state of a human after their Shadow Self dies. In the case of Yukino Mayuzumi in Persona 2: Innocent Sin, where her Shadow commits suicide, she ends up in a vegetative state while some characters in Persona 5 end up going berserk like in the case of Wakaba Isshiki who threw herself into traffic causing her death, have a heart attack and die like the SIU Director and Kunikazu Okumura, or staying catatonic like Principal Kobayakawa before being run over by a truck. In Persona 5, it is mentioned that advanced age may be a factor regarding the severity of one's reaction to their Shadow Self being killed.
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is the first combat-based Persona game after Persona 3 without any Shadow Selves or implied Shadow Selves at all, although cognitions with Shadow Self-like traits do appear in the game.
- Mai and Aki from Persona 1 could be considered the collective Shadow Self of Maki Sonomura. Likewise, the ideal Maki in the team could be considered a Cognition.
Appearances in Other Media
- Kyoutou Kotoba RPG
|Kyoutou Kotoba RPG|
|Playable||Rise Kujikawa - Yu Narukami - Kanami Mashita - Yosuke Hanamura - Chie Satonaka - Kanji Tatsumi - Teddie - Yukiko Amagi - Naoto Shirogane - Nanako Dojima - Margaret - Marie - Tohru Adachi - Hatsune Miku|
|Non-playable||Protagonist - Ryotaro Dojima - Minoru Inoue - Sumomo Ujima - Tomoe Sayama - Tamami Uesugi - Nozomi Nakahara - Kyoka Ochimizu - Dance Instructor - Yuko Osada - Mikuratana-no-Kami - President Tanaka|
|Other||Velvet Room - Yomotsu Hirasaka - Takura Productions - Inaba - Midnight Channel|
|Midnight Stage||Kujikawa Rise (Stage) - Circus Tent - Sultry Lounge - Doll House - Romantic Castle - Mechanical Castle - Event Space - Mikuratana-no-Kami's Realm|
|Albums||Persona 4: Dancing All Night Original Soundtrack|
|Songs||Dance! - Calystegia|
|Terminology||Persona - Persona User - Shadow - Kanamin Kitchen - LMB Festival - Shadow Self - Investigation Team - Apathy Syndrome|