Persona 4 Golden is finally out on all modern consoles and platforms, which means it’s time to revive the age-old debate of who really is the best romance option in the game. A quick Google search for various polls and discussion threads on Gamefaqs and Reddit will yield similar results: Rise and Naoto often dominate the charts, followed closely by Chie and Yukiko.
Look, those are great options. Rise and Naoto are awesome. Yukiko has the personality of a wooden plank but she’s fine, I guess, while Chie is always endearing with her passion for action and martial arts, and her headstrong nature. They’re all fine. But none of them are the true Best Girl (TM).
The true best girl is, in fact, Marie. The new character who got introduced into the world of Persona 4 with the Golden re-release on the PS Vita.
Here’s the thing about Marie: not only is she a classic tsundere, she’s also a tortured soul who writes bad poetry in an attempt to express herself. Most importantly, she’s also probably the most well-developed character in the cast of Persona 4 Golden.
This isn’t to say that the other core characters aren’t developed, because they are. But with Marie getting a whole new dungeon dedicated to her, along with the implications that her character arc has on the ending, it’s difficult not to feel like she should be the canon love interest.
I mean, just look at her scenes. Cute but painful poetry about being lost in life? Check.
A walking meme about Persona 4’s ridiculous “fsteak” inside joke? Check.
She’s also so damn emo, and who can’t relate to having that sad girl/boy emo phase when they were a teen?
Really, the only complaint anyone could have about Marie’s social link is that the rest of the cast always ends up crashing her hangouts with the protagonist. It’s clear that Atlus wanted to establish some sort of bond between Marie and the other characters, but couldn’t quite find the time to do so within the game’s strict timeline and this ended up being the most elegant solution to that issue. Even so, her brief interactions with each party member are meaningful, while also offering additional insight into her personality.
Marie ends up having one of the most satisfying character arcs in Persona 4 Golden as we finally get to see her come out of her shell, and learn that it’s okay to lean on other people and even call them friends. Even if you don’t necessarily see her as the best romantic option –different strokes for different folks, I get it– her development definitely propels her to the top in terms of most engaging characters you’ll meet in this game.
So, what exactly was the point of this article? I’m not entirely sure, actually. I think the initial idea here was to dunk on your Persona 4 Golden best girl, but really, I think the point here is that Marie shouldn’t be overlooked whether you’re a new or returning player.
The next time you boot up Persona 4 Golden and you’re wondering who you should romance this time around, consider Marie’s own words. Don’t ask stupid questions. How long you gonna wear that ugly mask? You know you ain’t got the guts for this task. RELEASE YOURSELF!