Reverse Personas (リバース・ペルソナ, Ribāsu Perusona)? are the negative forms of the original Personas, usually depicted with different color schemes and are used by the boss characters in battles. The concept exists exclusively in the Persona 2 duology but is implied in Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.
The term "reverse" likely refers to the differentwhen its position is reversed. In many tarot readings, this merely means that the meanings of the card are diminished or weak, but in the Persona series, this refers to the tarot card's meaning as opposite its usual meaning.
Reverse Personas generally possess a unique "dark" version of a specific skill used by the original (their unique skills are denoted in the parentheses in the following sections). Despite being the Personas of the bosses, they are not naturally immune to non-instant-death holy attacks except for Reverse Artemis, who reflects all magic attacks. Reverse Apollo, Reverse Venus and Reverse Hades are even weak against Holy.
Reverse Personas in this game can be divided into 2 categories, the first being the Personas used by the members of the Masked Circle, they are:
- Reverse Rhadamanthus by Hiroki Sugimoto
- Reverse Shax by Yasuo Inoe
- Reverse Eros by Ginji Sasaki (Dark Mamagna)
- Reverse Pairika by Ixquic
- Reverse Vulcanus by Tatsuya Sudou (Dark Fiery Fury)
- Reverse Aeshma by Anna Yoshizaka (Dark Malaques)
Presumably Youichi Makimura possessed a reverse Persona as well but the actual Persona he uses is never shown on-screen. Likewise, Junko Kurosu, being one of the Masked Circle executives, presumably has one as well, though her Persona is never shown.
The other group of the reverse Personas are used by the Shadow Selves of the party members:
- Reverse Maia by Shadow Maya (Dark Dimension)
- Reverse Durga by Shadow Yukino (Dark Thunder Inferno)
- Reverse Apollo by Shadow Tatsuya (Dark Nova Kaiser)
- Reverse Venus by Shadow Lisa (Dark Foamy Lover)
- Reverse Hades by Shadow Eikichi (Bloody Divorce)
If the player equips the correlated Persona before finishing the battle against Shadow Tatsuya, Shadow Lisa and Shadow Eikichi, their original Persona will merge with their reverse and have their weakness against Darkness removed and replaced with an immunity, and gain other new resistances. Much like the Shadow Self they belong to, the reverse Persona seeks to defeat and merge with their counterpart should they face them.
It can be theorized that Jun Kurosu's Persona when assuming his Joker identity, Joker-Nyarlathotep, is his reverse Persona. This is supported by fact that all reverse Personas and Shadow Selves are brought forth thanks to rumors and the shadow of humanity, in other words, Nyarlathotep itself.
Reverse Personas are used by the Shadow Selves of the party members in the final dungeon:
- Reverse Artemis by Shadow Maya (Eclipse Mirror)
- Reverse Asteria by Shadow Ulala (Dark Nebula)
- Reverse Hyperion by Shadow Katsuya (Vice Shot)
- Reverse Prometheus by Shadow Baofu (Bastard Snap)
Albeit not being used in battle, Reverse Odysseus appears in the shadow confrontation scene in place of Shadow Baofu.
The golden Venus (Lover of Darkness), Hades (Bloody Divorce) and Chronos (Terror of Fortune) that appear in Ameno Torifune are not officially reverse Personas but instead alternate Personas used by the Metal Trio. They possess the same ultimate skills as their reverse counterparts rather than the original due to the fact that the trio is the given form of Tatsuya Suou's guilt.
Persona 3 - The Answer
Similar to the golden Personas in Eternal Punishment, the grayish tint-colored Personas used by the shadow protagonist (named "???") in The Answer follows a similar trait in that the shadow entity is in fact the given form of the party members' regret for his death. The following reverse Personas appear based on who is present in the player's party:
- Reverse Isis
- Reverse Trismegistus
- Reverse Caesar
- Reverse Artemisia
- Reverse Kala-Nemi
- Reverse Cerberus
Due to the fact that Aigis is the acting protagonist in The Answer, Reverse Pallas Athena will always appear as the shadow protagonist's first reverse Persona. It cannot, however, summon a Reverse Psyche, being that the shadow entity was not also formed by Metis.