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Shadows (Persona)

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I am a shadow, the true self...
~ Shadow pre-battle quote (Persona 4)

In Persona 2 Innocent Sin, the Shadows (Shadow Selves) were created by the protagonist's subconscious during events after King Leo's defeat. Even if the heroes accept their flaws and understand their own weaknesses, they will still fight the heroes. In Eternal Punishment, Nyarlathotep creates them when the protagonists arrive in Monado Mandala. In the Persona 2 duology, the Shadows use the Reverse version (Palette Swapped versions) of the protagonist's main Personas each using the signature attacks the protagonist's personas use.

In Persona 4, the Shadows represent the heroes doubts and hidden thoughts about themselves become manifest upon entering the TV World. They will try to kill the heroes if they are not accepted.

Characteristics

Much like majorities of monsters in Silent Hill, shadows are physical manifestation of everyone's repressed memories, the things they don't want to say out loud nor think about, deepest desires, fears and emotions.. Strong-willed Shadows attract lesser Shadows, which later create stronger Shadows.

Persona 3



List of Shadows and representations

You just came because you thought it sounded like a good time! What else is there to do out in this shithole?
~ Shadow Yosuke
  • Shadow Yosuke - Shadow Yosuke appears in the ruins of the Midnight Channel's version of Saki Konishi's family store, openly stating Yosuke's motives in joining the Protagonist were purely self-gratification and indulgement in something new and exciting. He also dismissed the death of Saki as Yosuke's excuse for the excursion into the Channel, an unimportant event that led to something far more interesting. Yosuke's rage at the Shadow's words led him to deny it, prompting the Shadow to power itself up and try to kill him.

What Shadow Yosuke represents

Shadow Yosuke appears as an animated frog with a whimsical body on top, an allusion of a proverb "frog in the well". Yosuke's Shadow represents his animosity toward living in a confined country town, as well as his wish for something of interest to happen. Shadow Yosuke, like the rest of the shadows to come, represents the reverse of his Arcana, the Magician. The reversed Magician represents one with power, but who is cruel and misuses that power. Shadow Yosuke has the power of insight into Yosuke's motives, but uses that power to mock and humiliate him. Upon transformation, it also tries to destroy the protagonist with its new strength, describing him as "(something) that bores me". 

*chuckles* That's right. I'm the one who can't do anything alone... I can't win as a girl, let alone as a person... I'm pathetic. But Yukiko... She depends on me...*chuckle* That's why she's my friend... I'll never loosen my grip on her... She's too important to me."
~ Shadow Chie representing Envy
  • Shadow Chie - In the midst of their rescue mission, where Chie, Yosuke and the protagonist attempted to save Yukiko, Chie ran off on her own ahead, and encountered her "other self". A voice over of a saddened Yukiko is heard, stating how useless and worthless she is and how Chie is always by her side to save her, a remark to which the "Other Chie" scoffs at, stating (the real) Chie herself is obsessed with dominating over Yukiko. When the "Other Chie" continued to taunt Chie on her negative traits and hidden thoughts, Chie refused to accept it, which empowered the Shadow and caused it to reveal its true self. The Shadow became enraged and confirms that things are different now and that after the battle, only the Shadow will be left standing. The Shadow hopes Chie wouldn't mind: "After all, I'm still you."

What Shadow Chie represents

Shadow Chie represents the reversed Chariot Arcana The reversed Chariot symbolizes envy, addiction, low self-confidence, and abusive control. These qualities come from her relationship with Yukiko: she is jealous of Yukiko's beauty and addicted to how Yukiko depends on her. While her bond with Yukiko may not be physically abusive, Chie emotionally controls the friendship; this is the reason the dominatrix theme brings physical form to emotional bondage felt by both Yukiko and Chie.

Historic inn? Manager training!? I'm sick of all these things chaining me down! I never asked to be born here! Everything's decided for me! From how I live, to where I die! I'm so sick of it! To hell with it all!
~ Shadow Yukiko
  • Shadow Yukiko - The team entered Yukiko's Castle in the Midnight Channel; while they had already previously encountered Yukiko's Shadow, Chie's exhaustion, coupled with the awakening of her Persona and how Teddie told them there was little risk to Yukiko until the fog lifted in the Channel, made them choose to retreat and return in full force later. When they returned, they found the awakening Yukiko in the Castle, just as she was being confronted with her Shadow (a flamboyant "princess" searching for her "Prince") someone to whisk her away from Inaba and leave the life that had been drawn for her since birth. Particularly, she acknowledges her dependency on Chie, calling her "a strong prince" - until the realization she could not help her leave Inaba. She also exaggerates her own helplessness, making fun of not being able to do anything about her lot in life.

What Shadow Yukiko represents

As Yukiko represents the Priestess Arcana, Shadow Yukiko represents the reversed Priestess. Being unable to make decisions and having a conflict of intellect are two things that are represented by the reversed Priestess. Shadow Yukiko represents Yukiko's inability to be independent. She wants to get out of the town, but insists on someone helping her do it. Her instinct and intellect conflict as, while she wishes to be saved from her life, she runs from the party upon their first and second encounters. One who wants to be rescued keeps running from what she really wants.

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