My VG Music Picks #27 – Fool or Clown? (Persona 4 Arena Ultimax)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Persona 4 and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

I have a funny relationship with most fighting games. I’m terrible at them and whenever a new one is announced, I barely bat an eyelid unless it’s Super Smash Bros. At the same time, however, a lot of them have certain aspects that greatly appeal to me and make me want to play them, even though I’d get fed up with them in a couple of days because I just can’t learn how the damn controls work. When Persona 4 Arena came out, I very nearly caved. A follow-up to one of my favourite RPGs ever? Like, a direct sequel story-wise? If it wasn’t for the fact that I wouldn’t have had much fun playing it, I would’ve bought it.

Then the sequel got announced. I wasn’t worried though. If Atlus couldn’t convince me to buy the first one, what made them think I’d get a sequel? The answer was simple. Bring back my favourite character and make them playable. A character so spoiler-y, that I’ve had to hide the video after the “continue reading” bit.

Mother fracking Adachi. I could write a whole article about why I love this asshole (I probably will someday) and his return kicked my hype thrusters into overdrive. I didn’t even care that he was DLC. Hell, he was going to be free for a limited time so long as you bought the game on launch. I didn’t in the end, but there was still a lot of mental back and forth going on in my head. But this is a music pick; I should get to the actual subject – his theme.

I’m a big fan of characters having their own leitmotifs; musical themes that perfectly match their personality and characterisation. The kind that could actually tell you a lot about the character in question. And this track fits Adachi to a tee.

The jazzy, almost jaunty nature befits his fun-loving personality. You get the impression that this is a guy that doesn’t care and is just rolling along with the madness surrounding him. At the same time, it almost sounds goofy. You can’t fully take him seriously because of it. But therein lies the trap.

Listen to the track again and you will notice an underlying darkness to it, especially at the beginning. That string of piano keys hints towards the hidden cruelty that resides in Adachi. The side of him that he expertly keeps hidden away. The side that reveals his true nature as being a complete and utter bastard. A fantastic track for a fantastic character.

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