Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’s Golden Arena Mode explained
posted on 04.25.14 at 06:16 AM EST by (@iiotenki)
New details from arcade version distributor Nesica.

With the Japanese arcade version of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax getting updated to version 1.10, Nesica, the game’s arcade distributor, has profiled the newly announced Golden Arena Mode, which was added to the game along with the update and will be packaged with the console ports when they launch this summer.

Check out the details below. While a handful of specifics will clearly only apply to the arcade version, most of the general gameplay details should likely remain intact in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.

Golden Arena Mode
Golden Arena Mode is a new mode that players can enjoy in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax as of version 1.10, selectable from the mode selection menu. In it, players take a fighter and journey down to the deepest floor of a dungeon in the hopes of taking down the boss that awaits them. As they make their way further and further down, players will raise their selected character as they like, as well as engage in Social Links with their navigator partner.

  • Characters in Golden Arena Mode cannot take their acquired skills in other modes or use them in versus matches.
  • Players without a Nesica card can play, but their levels and progress won’t be saved. [Nesica cards are used with arcade games in Japan that are distributed by Nesica as a means of saving player data across machines. For Persona 4 Arena, this has predominantly been limited to things such as custom fighter titles and unlocked color palettes.]
  • Golden Arena Mode can be played for either a set period of time or until 20 floors are cleared. [Screenshots indicate that at least on Normal difficulty level, there are 50 floors per dungeon. Ultimate level is unique, the reasons for which are explained below.]

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Leveling Up
Experience points in Golden Arena Mode are gained by defeating opponents as they appear in matches. Naturally, once you accumulate a fixed amount of experience points, you’ll level up, enabling your character to get stronger! You can freely decide how your character will grow, allowing you to mold them as you please. [Status parameters that can be leveled up are, in order from top to bottom on the Chie screenshot, Strength, Magic, Endurance, Technique, and Luck.]

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Furthermore, hitting certain levels will unlock Special Skills that you can equip to your character. Special Skills grant effects such as strengthening moves and making characters move faster and you can have up to four skills on your character at a time. Skills can also be acquired by defeating boss characters that appear on every fifth floor within a dungeon and there are over 100 in all to find!

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Partner Characters
Upon starting off in Golden Arena mode, you can also pick a navigator character to bring along with you as a partner in addition to your fighter of choice. Partners have strong skills of their own and fighting alongside them will raise their Social Link level. As a partner’s Social Link level goes up, they’ll learn how to pull off other skills and becoming increasingly helpful in your adventures.

  • A navigator character must already be unlocked ahead of time in order to use them as a partner in Golden Arena Mode.
  • Navigator characters can be acquired by visiting the Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Players Guild here. [This is likely an arcade-only feature. The original Persona 4 Arena had a similar unlock system for the arcade version done via a web site whereby players could pay for aesthetic unlocks using points accrued by playing the game if they did so with a registered Nesica card. All of that content was available either as DLC or by unlocking them in the console versions.]

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Ultimate Level Course: Heavenly Paradise
The Ultimate Level Course, Heavenly Paradise, is the final and hardest course that players can enjoy, featuring only the strongest opponents. Compete with other players throughout all of Japan to see just how many floors you can manage to clear out!

Thanks to NeoGAF for pointing out this update.