There are a lot of things to love about Persona 4. From the cozy small-town setting to the vibrant cast of characters that make up the main cast and the music that’s sure to put you in the right mood. Amongst those loveable things, a personal favorite of mine is the way Atlus uses real-world mythologies and literature to spice up their games.
This can be seen clearly through the use of the demons and gods that make up the collective cast of personas, but sometimes Atlus uses this inspiration to create a central theme they build their games around. For example, Persona 3’s central theme was death but also took heavy inspiration from Greek mythology. That’s where a lot of the personas like Orpheus and Athena.
In Persona 4, the specific mythology that the game builds its themes of friendship and camaraderie around is Shinto mythology. It’s usually used for the party’s personas like the protagonist’s Izanagi and Yukiko’s Amaterasu. However, one of the more exciting things is when they use their theming for a location.
In Persona 3, that was the main dungeon Tartarus, but in Persona 4, it’s the final dungeon: Yomotsu-Hirasaka. Welcome to a Yomotsu Hirasaka Guide.
The Lore Behind Yomotsu Hirasaka
In real-world Shinto mythology, Yomotsu-Hirasaka is the slope that leads to the underworld of Yomi. It’s the precipice that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. The concept is not dissimilar from the River of Styx or the River Sanzu in other Asian philosophies.
Yomotsu Hirasaka plays an essential role in the mythology of Izanagi and Izanami. The two were the founding gods of Japan who were married and had children. However, Izanami died when she gave birth to the fire god Kagutsuchi.
This forced Izanagi on a journey to the underworld to bring her back. Of course, he had to cross over Yomotsu Hirasaka to reach the land of Yomi. He did find his wife, but she was acting rather strange. She insisted he eat the food and refused to let him light a lantern or torch to see her face.
Eventually, Izanagi got tired of the charade and lit a comb, which is why it’s considered bad luck to give combs as gifts or break their teeth in Japanese culture. Izanagi saw his wife’s rotting face because Izanami had eaten the food of Yomi. That made her one of the dead. Izanagi fled, pursued by his vengeful wife, but he blocked the exit with a boulder.
Izanami promised to kill 100 people a day for Izanagi’s abandonment, but he retorted that he’d give life to 1,000 a day.
Its thematic importance to Persona 4 should be obvious. The protagonist’s starting Persona is Izanagi; the final boss at the end of the dungeon is Izanami. It only makes sense that you have to cross Yomotsu Hirasaka to reach her. The story of Izanagi seeing his wife’s true face is even paralleled by Izanami having two phases. One where she’s bundled up, and her face is obscured. The one after that reveals a bloody, boney facade.
How to Unlock Yomotsu Hirasaka
You unlock Yomotsu Hirasaka on the final day, but there are some things you need to do before the dungeon becomes accessible.
The first of which is to beat discover the true killer’s identity. I won’t go into it now. I elaborated on the exact process to reach the penultimate dungeon: Magatsu Inaba, in our Ameno-Sagiri article.
After beating Ameno Sagiri, you’ll want to progress to the end of the game. If you’re playing Persona 4: Golden, this includes doing Marie’s section of the game, but don’t worry if you didn’t unlock that part. Marie’s dungeon isn’t required to reach the final one beyond that point.
The calendar will skip to the final day, where you’ll be able to talk to all of your Social Links. You should do it because they’ll give key items that carry over into New Game Plus. The items will let you fuse the ultimate persona of the respective Social Link, despite them all Social Links resetting in New Game Plus.
After doing that, you’ll want to go back to the meeting place in Junes and call everyone together, where you’ll read a note from Adachi. If you’re playing Persona 4: Golden, you’ll finish the Jester Social Link at this point, allowing you to fuse Magatsu-Izanagi. In his letter, Adachi will direct you to talk to the first person you made physical contact with in Inaba.
At this point, you’re probably over 200 hours in the game, so that might be terribly hard to remember who that was. In the following conversation with your friends at Junes, you’ll want to answer:
- There is something…
- My uncle Dojima
You’ll find Dojima at the Samegawa Flood Plain. If you talk to him, you’ll begin a brief conversation where he tells you that the first person you interacted with wasn’t him or Nanako. The dialogue options you’ll want to choose to go like this.
- I want to talk to you.
- “The weird attendant?
- “I looked sick?
- “It might be important.”
Remember how the protagonist began to feel a bit dizzy at the beginning of the game? Well, that was only after shaking hands with the mysterious gas station attendant!
Before you head to confront them, enter the Velvet Room for a small scene where Igor affirms your resolve, and he’ll give you the Orb of Sight. When you head back out, you’ll notice that it’s raining.
Fun fact: every time it rains, the Gas Station Attendant will actually be standing out there. You could talk to them whenever you wanted to during your stay in Inaba. This time is no exception. Head south down the road, where you’ll find the gas station attendant waiting for you.
You’ll want to choose these as your responses.
- Isn’t this where I first…?
- Do you know Namatame
- Did those two come here?
- Did you do anything to them?
- What did you do to me?
- Did you give me the power?
It’s at this point that the Orb of Sight will kick in and reveal the gas station attendant as the final boss: Izanami herself.
She’ll challenge you to come to find her in the TV world and disappear. The rest of the Investigation shows up soon after. You all agree to put this entire thing behind you as the final dungeon in Persona 4 opens up.
Where It All Ends
The final dungeon has a loveably unique aesthetic. It’s based on classical Shinto architecture with tori gates. Red and black, surrounded by nothing but fog. The strange square aesthetic really works with me for some reason. Those of you with good memories may even recognize that this isn’t your first time in Yomotsu Hirasaka.
Way back at the beginning of the game, the protagonist had a nightmare that took place in Yomotsu Hirasaka. So, it’s nice that the game bookends itself by having your journey end in the same dungeon it began.
You’ll have to do the entire dungeon in one day, but that shouldn’t really be a problem. Rise should already have the skill Relaxing Wave, which she learns at level 77 in the original Persona 4, and level 61 in Persona 4: Golden. The skill recovers 5% of total SP at the end of battles. This fact can be exploited by going back to Yukiko’s Castle using Teddie or Rise. Since the battles there are so easy, you should be able to just push triangle to use Rush-Mode to quickly end the under-leveled enemies. It’ll take a hot minute, but you’ll eventually get all your SP back, so you can go back to Yomotsu Hirasaka.
If you don’t feel like putting in the time, you can also heal SP using sodas, items you get from dungeons, and the fox tied to the Hermit social link, which charges you based on every point of missing SP.
You can also leave temporarily to go back to the Central Shopping District to buy stuff from the two main shops in the game: Shiroku Store and Daidara Metalworks.
I recommend you visit Daidara Metalworks often to get some of the better gear from the materials the shadows drop. It really comes in handy when the final dungeon is full of brutal enemies.
There are a lot of items that can be in locked chests, but despite the list of possible items being very long, there are still some items so good that I’d recommend you rifle through them anyway. If you’re lucky, you might get:
- Soma – fully restores the entire party’s HP and SP.
- Four divine vow accessories (Kagatsuchi vow, Takefutsu Vow, etc.) – increase respective elemental damage by 50%
- Four divine pin accessories (Kagatsuchi pin, Takefutsu pin, etc.) – reduce respective elemental damage taken by 50%. Does not prevent knockdowns.
- Book of the Void – Nullifies rage, fear, silence, enervation, and confusion.
- Rebirth Prophecy – revives the wearer with full HP whenever they die. It can only be used once.
- Chakra Ring – halves SP cost when using magic skills.
- Rudra Ring – halves HP cost when using physical skills.
All of these accessories and items are incredibly useful. It’s a shame you only get them right at the end of the game because you don’t really have the chance to use them.
The Two Mini-Bosses Blocking Your Way
There are two mini-bosses that block your path in the dungeon. The first of which is the Neo Minotaur. It’s found on Yomotsu Hirasaka’s third floor and must be defeated to progress. The boss is weak to wind, fire, ice, and lightning and nullifies light and dark. The same can be said for the version of the boss that exists in Persona 4: Golden. Its skills are as follows:
- Rampage – Deals light physical damage to all foes 1x to 3x.
While that single skill may seem non-threatening, the boss has an attack stat of 69 (nice), meaning each hit will deal an absolutely ludicrous amount of damage. If Rampage hits a single person 3x is almost certainly going to kill, and considering you get a game over when the protagonist dies, this fight can be a nightmare.
The best way to counter this is by equipping a persona that reflects physical damage like any of the following:
- Magiacian, Rangda at level 47
- Moon, Girimehkala at level 48
- Hermit, Arahabaki at level 73
If you have none of these, then getting a persona that has tetrakarn would suffice somewhat, alongside counter and high counter, but those tactics are inherently unreliable. You’ll run out of SP for tetrakarn, and high-counter doesn’t always proc. Kaja-skills like Rakukaja will certainly help by reducing the damage you’ll take.
You can find the next mini-boss on floor 6, and its name is the Sleeping Table.
This one is much stronger than the Neo Minotaur. It’s level 82, has no weakness, and nullifies light and dark attacks. Unlike its younger minotaur brother, this table has more than one skill, and its skill list goes as follows:
- Maragidyne – Deals heavy fire damage to all foes.
- Mahamaon – Medium chance of a light instant kill to all foes.
- Megidolaon – Deals severe almighty damage to all foes.
- Evil Smile – 30% chance of inflicting fear on all foes.
- Ghastly Wail – Instantly kills all foes with fear.
This entire boss can be a nightmare if you don’t come prepared. It has two different ways to kill you instantly, and if those don’t work, it can start hitting you with heavy fire damage and severe almighty because why the hell wouldn’t Atlus give it that too?
You can best counter its Evil Smile & Ghastly Wail combo by using the Book of the Void, an accessory from golden chests that nullifies all status ailments. If you have it, throw it on your protagonist to avoid an instant game over.
And don’t come equipped with a persona that’s weak to light. It doesn’t matter that the chance of Mahamaon hitting is like 50% at best. That’s going to hit, it’s going to kill your protagonist when you’re like 90% of the way through the fight, and you’re going to ragequit and not pick up the game for a week.
It’s what happened to me.
After you beat the Sleeping Table and go through 3 more floors, you’ll finally be at the final boss of Persona 4′s true ending: Izanami.
The One Behind it All
There’ll be a small cutscene once you reach her, but it is genuinely not important. It’s basically Izanami saying that she gave you the power, blah blah blah, she’s doing this to ascertain humanity’s wishes, blah blah blah, and the fight will begin.
I really don’t understand why most of the cutscene is there. It only tells you stuff you already know.
Izanami, being the final boss, hits really, REALLY hard.
She’s strong against physical attacks and nullifies light and dark. Her skill list is long and goes as follows:
- Megidolaon – Deals severe almighty damage to all foes.
- God’s Judgment – A light-based attack that takes 1/2 of the target’s HP.
- Foolish Whisper – 30% chance to silence all foes.
- Stagnant Air – Increase all foe’s susceptibility to ailments and Light/Dark skills.
- Poison Mist – 30% chance to poison all foes.
- Agidyne – Deals heavy fire damage to 1 foe.
- Maragidyne – Deals heavy fire damage to all foes.
- Bufudyne – Deals heavy ice damage to 1 foe.
- Mabufudyne – Deals heavy ice damage to all foes.
- Ziodyne – Deals heavy electric damage to 1 foe.
- Maziodyne – Deals heavy electric damage to all foes.
- Gardyne – Deals heavy wind damage to 1 foe.
- Magarudyne – Deals heavy wind damage to all foes.
- Human – light-based attack with a 60% chance to instantly kill one foe.
- Dekunda – Nullifies stat penalties on the party.
- Dekaja – Nullifies stat bonuses on all foes.
- Mind Charge – Next magical attack will be 250% greater in power.
I recommend you keep your HP topped off and slather yourself in Rakukaja because one unlucky attack can start a spiral of damage that’s hard to recover from. Yosuke isn’t super helpful to bring to this fight because his best move, Brave Blade, is resisted. You might want to bring Sukukaja yourself since it’s never a bad thing to have. If you’re playing Persona 4: Golden, you should bring Yosuke, but only if he has Youthful Wind. It’s a pretty good skill that covers Sukukaja and keeps your HP topped up.
Mind Charge and elemental magics certainly do help, as well. Because she has Dekaja and Dekunda, you’ll want to only stack your buffs and debuffs twice. Otherwise, the AI will use the Dekaja and Dekunda to nullify your progress, wasting your SP. Don’t bother bringing skills like Ziodyne because its next phase drains that, making Kanji completely useless since he specializes in electric and physical damage.
Izanami has another phase after this one. It’s called Izanami-No-Okami. It resists physical, drains lightning, and nullifies both light and dark. It has most of the same skills as her previous form, but it comes with a few additions:
- Galgalim Eyes – Reduce one foe’s HP to 1 with a chance of enervation.
- World’s End – Deals heavy Almighty damage to all foes and inflicts enervation.
- Summons to Yomi – 100% chance to instantly kills all foes inflicted with status ailments.
- Fury of Yasogami – Deals heavy almighty physical damage to all foes.
- Kuro Ikazuchi – Deals moderate almighty damage to all foes.
- A Thousand Curses – Instantly kills one foe without dealing damage. This attack may instantly kill bosses.
- Oho Iakazuchi – Inflicts 999 points of almighty damage. A scripted attack.
This second phase isn’t much more complex than the first, but those new attacks can very easily mess you up. I pay particularly close attention to World’s End. It does a lot of damage to your entire party. The only way I got around it was by using a Prophecy of Rebirth on my protagonist and then using Salvation to bring my entire party back from the brink.
Somas are also helpful since the bosses’ two phases are extraordinarily long. You’ll be running out of SP long before the fight is over, so anything that can give you a second wind is more than worth it. If you don’t have Somas, Soul Foods can come in clutch. It should go without saying, but start the fight with full SP by buying from the fox or using Snuff Souls.
Once the fight ends, it won’t actually end. While that may sound like non-sense, what I mean is that the battle will take a scripted turn. Izanami will start using Thousand Curses on the player only for their party members to push them out of the way. Eventually, you’ll run out of party members and be pulled under.
In a fog-ridden limbo, you’ll be visited by Margaret, who will hand you a catalyst of power made from the bonds you’ve created with all of your Social Links. It will be the foundation for the protagonist’s ultimate persona: Izanagi No Okami. Magaret will send you back up to face Izanami once more.
Her moves won’t be able to do a thing to you. End the fight by using Myriad Truths, and you’ve done it! You’ve completed Yomotsu Hirasaka and beaten Persona 4!
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I get to Yomtsu Hirasaka?
Answer: Getting to Yomotsu Hirasaka require you first beat Magatsu Inaba and Ameno Sagiri. On the final day, you’ll want to take these steps:
1. Speak with all your social links and choose to stay in Inaba.
2. Go call a meeting at the Junes, and you’ll get a letter.
3. Talk to Dojima at the Samegawa Flood Plain, and then enter the Velvet Room in the Shopping District.
4. Get the Orb of Sight from Igor and talk to the Gas Station Attendant, who will reveal themselves as 5. 5. Izanami, and you’ve unlocked the final dungeon.
Question: What floors are the mini-bosses in Yomotsu Hirasaka on?
Answer: The two bosses are on floor (called paths) 3 and floor 6, with the dungeon’s end boss on floor 9.
Question: Who should I bring to the battle with the bosses?
Answer: For the Neo Minotaur, if you kept Chie’s high counter, she’d make a good pick. Yosuke having Sukukaja certainly helps too.
For the Sleeping Table, it has no weakness, so trying for critical hits is a valid strategy, meaning Chie and Kanji are worthy pickups, and Yosuke’s Sukukaja never hurts.
And for the final boss, Yukiko and Naoto are must-haves. Naoto for their ability to do damage with Megidolaon and Yukiko for her high-value healing. Teddie isn’t a bad choice since he can do emergency healing and has high-damage ice spells.
Question: What personas should I use?
Answer: I’d recommend having Arahabaki for the Neo Minotaur since it reflects all physical attacks.
Loki’s ability to get Ice Boost, Ice Amp, Mind Charge, and Niflheim, the strongest ice attack in the game, means he is one of the strongest magic personas in the game. The fact he can get Null Light and Absorb Physical means he’s also a pretty solid persona to just have equipped.