I’ve noted in the past on our site that Persona 4 Golden is my least favorite of the trilogy of 3-5. I think that I was a lot more negative on the game as a whole the first time I played it due to it being just after the much darker and more serious Persona 3, but I’m coming around to it on my current second playthrough. But even on my first playthrough, I adored one character: Rise. So, I’m incredibly excited about this Shadow Rise guide.
This Shadow Rise guide is not about the fan-favorite pop idol turned party member in Persona 4, but her shadow version, instead. In this regard, I will help you with one of the more challenging fights in the Persona series. Like the other protagonists, Rise has her dungeon dedicated to her in the classic JRPG. Shadow Rise is one of the more confusing fights, but I am going to give you my tips on how to defeat her and everything else you need to know.
Bottom Line Up Front
Shadow Rise is the shadow form of Rise Kujikawa. The beloved pop idol high schooler returns to Inaba only to get swept up in the ongoing serial murders case. In the process, she receives her dungeon, which the Shadow Rise boss runs. Within the middle of Persona 4 Golden, players must traverse the dungeon and rescue Rise from her shadow self.
Shadow Rise is a flirtatious and confident form of the character who plays take on in a tough boss battle. Once defeated, though, Shadow Rise becomes the Persona known as Himiko for Rise.
Shadow Rise Overview
There are some controversial aspects to the Persona series, not least of which stems from the fact that this series is all about high schoolers. This brings some problematic issues like simping for high school husbandos and waifus to even the forbidden teacher and student relationships. At the end of the day, though, romance is a massive part of the Persona series, and one of the characters I like is Rise. If it helps any, I first played this game while in high school myself, so it holds a special place in my heart from a formative time in my life.
During that time, Rise was the party member who stole my heart and attention as the protagonist, Yu Narukami. I have a soft spot for musically-themed characters, and Rise is that person for the Persona series. It helps, too, that her storyline was unique compared to some of the other characters.
While Yukiko Amagi did dive some into a romance with her shadow form, there is nothing like Shadow Rise. The other form of Rise Fujikawa is quite wild, literally encompassing a person who is ready to “bare it all.” Persona 4 does not hold back at all in its controversial writing.
Shadow Rise is, in many ways, a confident character who does not mind showing skin or dancing in strip poles (seriously). This is undoubtedly one of the most controversial parts of the game, given that she is a high schooler. But it also plays into the character of Rise.
Shadow Rise is the other version of herself that players must contend with when they wish to rescue her. She is the ruler of the Marukyu Striptease dungeon, one of the TV World’s central areas. Yeah, I know the name and design of the dungeon do not leave much to the imagination, for better or worse.
Shadow Rise is essentially Rise Kujikawa with some minor changes to her design. This is unsurprising since every other shadow form does the same thing. And even though there are some flashier characters like Shadow Yukiko, Shadow Rise takes after Kanji in baring it all.
All that Shadow Rise is wearing is a yellow bikini, and that is it. The design of her outfit leaves little to the imagination, certainly showing off a lot of skin, which is a little problematic. However, that is part of the point of the character. After all, she is the darker side of the party member.
Shadow Rise’s hairstyle is even the same as the standard variant. She has her classic voluminous reddish-brown hair that includes two very long ponytails. The only other change she has are the yellow eyes indicating that she is the “evil” version of Rise. The actual appearance change for Shadow Rise is when she turns into the boss form. In this version, she has a stripper pole that she dances around. The body type is similar to Rise but expanded to a massive scale.
What is fascinating about this boss is that she takes on a psychedelic appearance with swathes of blue, pinks, and purples. It gives her this otherworldly, almost 80s feel as she dances around the pole. In addition, her face is gone and replaced by a satellite dish.
This indicates that Shadow Rise is the Persona for Rise but in an unbound form of sorts. Since she will become the analyzer Persona for the party member, this is seen in the satellite. Shadow Rise has the flashiest and most alluring boss design out of anyone in Persona 4. At the same time, though, it is pretty simplistic.
Significant spoilers for part of the Persona 4 storyline are incoming! Every single person has the potential to have a shadow version of themselves. This version includes the aspects of their personalities and character they would rather keep hidden.
In the case of Shadow Rise, she appears in the TV World soon after the arrival of Rise in Inaba. After feeling down about her career in the music industry and life in general, she returns to her countryside hometown of Inaba.
In the process, she is targeted by the serial killer in the town as his next subject. Though the Investigation Team tries to stop her from being taken, she is inevitably abducted and sent into the TV World. She is held captive by her shadow self, who rules over the Marukyu Striptease dungeon.
The Investigation Team enters the TV World and chases after Shadow Rise, as the enemy teases them and reveals some of Rise’s deepest, darkest secrets. Eventually, the team confronts Shadow Rise, where Rise refuses to accept that this is her.
With the rejection of her shadow self, Shadow Rise turns into her proper form. Thankfully, the Investigation Team easily defeats her, resulting in Rise acknowledging that they are one and the same.
Ultimately, Shadow Rise departs the world with her transformation into the Himiko Persona. Overall, Shadow Rise has a pretty standard storyline that is nothing special but is a great midway dungeon for Persona 4.
The Marukyu Striptease dungeon is the home of Shadow Rise. If the name did not give it away, it is a strip club dungeon. For better or worse, Rise’s inner shadow decides to create a strip club to command. This is the place that players traverse in order to find Shadow Rise.
The first time that you can enter the forbidden lands of Marukyu Striptease is on June 25. Of course, there is a catch here, and that is if you finish investigating Rise and gathering all of the information that you need. If you do so on time, you can start visiting this dungeon on June 25.
Like other dungeons in Persona 4, no need to worry about multiple trips to this place as you can get it all done in one go if you are prepared enough. This fourth dungeon in the TV World features plenty of shadows to fight in battle and tons of new Personas for you to collect. It is also a solid grinding area for raising your level to the high recommendation.
Where to Find Shadow Rise
The ultimate goal of the Marukyu Striptease dungeon is to find Shadow Rise and rescue Rise from her clutches. To do this, you must reach the 11th floor before the deadline of July 9. This is one of the more challenging dungeons in that you only have a couple of weeks to complete it. However, you only need one good run, and you can reach the 11th floor and rescue Rise there. Just be prepared for a wild boss fight that is surprising in a couple of ways.
Shadow Rise Boss Explained
There are some significant spoilers incoming for Persona 4 that you may not be expecting, so only check this next section out if you are in the middle of starting the Shadow Rise fight. With that out of the way, the good news is that I just did this fight. With the recent purchase of my Steam Deck, the primary system seller for it is Persona 4 Golden on PC. I am adoring this game and falling in love with it for the first time after my unfair judgments towards it the first time I played it. At the time of writing, I am only two dungeons ahead of Shadow Rise’s location.
With this fight fresh on my mind, here is what I have to offer regarding tips for winning the battle. The first thing I should note is that this boss fight is surprisingly easy. It will challenge you a little bit, but it is nothing like the Shadow Kanji fight you had before this one. If you could scrape by a win against Shadow Kanji, then you should have no problem with this battle. And, of course, you won that fight, or else you wouldn’t be battling against Shadow Rise in the first place.
First and foremost, I have a relatively high-level recommendation for this boss fight. I think that you should be at least level 40 to do this battle. That is very high, especially in comparison to the fact that Shadow Rise is only level 35 herself. And, to be fair, you can win this fight at level 35, but I do not recommend it. This is because there are technically two fights that happen in this one section. Right after defeating Shadow Rise, there is another fight that you must immediately do, and that one is harder. Level 40 will ensure you can handle both of them.
Shadow Rise has 2800 health in Persona 4 Golden, which is a fair amount. She also has no weaknesses, so do not expect to count on any of those. On the bright side, she has no immunities or resistances, so feel free to use whatever skills you want against her, so long as they are no light or dark attacks.
How to Win This Fight
As for how to win against Shadow Rise, the general idea is to use your best skills while preparing for her insane selection of skills. She has access to all elemental skill types and will gladly use them against your party. So, it does not matter who you choose or what Personas you have; she will target your weaknesses. The idea is to guard when you can as she will cycle through the elements. Once you mow down her low health until she is halfway done, she will begin to analyze your party.
At this point, guard as your team will be unable to deal any damage to her. Keep it up, and the fight will be over shortly after this point. This is due to the fact that the Shadow Teddie fight is the real point of this section of the game, but that particular battle is a story for another time.
How to Play as Shadow Rise: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
There is something extraordinary about Shadow Rise: she is the only shadow version of a Persona party analyzer you can play as. Though you cannot play as her in the original Persona 4, she is a fighter you can select in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. She is my main in the fighting spin-off and sequel game. As someone who is not significant or that experienced at fighting games, admittedly, I can note that Shadow Rise is pretty remarkable to play. I usually play as both her and regular Rise, switching between the two whenever I feel like it.
Like most shadows in that game, she generally plays the same as her standard form but with only some slight differences. For one, there is the fact that Shadow Rise has more HP in battle in exchange for less overall power. I think that this is a worthy trade-off for protection, especially since I am not the best at these types of games.
The general idea for playing either version of Rise is that she is one of the most flexible characters. She has some solid combos that she can string up on her own, but her Persona is excellent at the same time. This allows you to overwhelm the foe with a flurry of attacks and skills at the same time. Not to mention the fact that her ability to reflect the attacks of other enemies is insane.
In general, I think that she is pretty easy to learn but challenging to master. I am still in the process of learning more about her myself, especially when it comes to her awakening and Persona. Even more so, though, is the utility of using her notes. As a pop idol girl, her particular signature skill is being able to use music notes in her attacks. The Rock You skill will summon these notes and place them around the arena.
These musical notes blow them up to damage your opponent and possibly stop them in their tracks to allow for follow-up attacks. They are a bit delicate to use, especially with the timing of when to summon them and when to blow them up, but this is an important aspect of her character.
Successfully stunning someone with the notes can allow for the leeway to decimate your opponent with your other skills and attacks. This is the trickiest part about Shadow Rise to master, but well worth it for the possibilities. I will admit that she is not the best character, but she ranks pretty high in terms of skill, and she works well for me as my current main.
Fun Facts About Shadow Rise
- Shadow Rise is unique in that she is not the main focus at the end of her dungeon. That honor goes to Shadow Teddie, who is the real final boss of this section of Persona 4 Golden.
- She is also unique in that she is the only playable shadow version of an analyzer for a party. Though other shadow versions are playable in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax for party members, analyzers like Fuuka are not included.
- As you know, the Shadow Rise fight involves a strip pole. Strangely enough, this is far from the last time this happens in the Persona series. It happens again in Persona 5 Strikers with the first major boss of Alice, who has a stripper pole that she uses for one skill. This is likely a direct reference to Rise since she, too, is a performer with a shadow version of herself.
- Shadow Rise is also the most flexible of the party members’ shadows since she can use almost every elemental type against your team.
- Oddly enough, in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Shadow Rise is the only shadow fighter who does not say a special line when she defeats her regular Rise version. Perhaps this is an allusion to the strange circumstances of how the Shadow Rise fight ends in Persona 4.
Question: What is Shadow Rise weak to?
Answer: Unfortunately, there are no weaknesses that you can use to make this Shadow Rise fight easier. Thankfully, though, she has no immunities or real resistances, either, making it a pretty straightforward fight overall.
Question: What level should I be for Shadow Rise?
Answer: My recommended level for Shadow Rise is always level 40, mainly because of what happens right after. For the record, you can absolutely attempt and win this fight without being at this level. It is not too hard of a battle, but you will want to be at least level 40 for the boss fight that comes next.
Question: Does Rise have a Persona?
Answer: Yes, she has a Persona that awakens after defeating Shadow Rise. Her name is Himiko. She also has an ultimate Persona, too.
Question: Is Shadow Rise hard to beat?
Answer: No, I do not think that Shadow Rise is hard to beat at all. This is a relatively straightforward and easy fight once you account for her quirks. This is intentional, though, as Atlus made this purposefully pretty easy to win.
Shadow Rise is one of those characters who just made a game like Persona 4. Rarely are there boss characters who are so flippant and hilarious as her, taking nothing seriously at all. This is a recurring theme in Persona 4 that is one of the reasons why that JRPG is so special. In my second playthrough of the game right now, as I type this, I am reminded of why I loved Rise in the first place all those years ago.
Shadow Rise is an example of this, showing the vulnerability that a character can have and the impact that fame has on someone’s life. While Shadow Rise is excellent on her own, her original character is the life of Persona 4. Even when, still, I wouldn’t say I liked the JRPG, Rise was the shining light that kept me going. And today, as I changed my mind and love the game on my second playthrough, she continues to be the center of the group. If you want to know more about Rise Kujikawa, be sure to check out Eric Parker’s excellent breakdown of her.
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