Table of Contents

Page 1: Megami Tensei I & II
Page 2: Shin Megami Tensei I & II
Page 3: Shin Megami Tensei If... & III
Page 4: Devil Summoner / Soul Hackers
Page 5: Persona
Page 6: Persona 2: Innocent Sin & Eternal Punishment
Page 7: Persona 3, FES, and 4
Page 8: Digital Devil Saga
Page 9: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha
Page 10: Devil Survivor / Strange Journey
Page 11: Other Megami Tensei games
Page 12: Majin Tensei
Page 13: Last Bible
Page 14: Devil Children / Demikids
Page 15: Anime

Shin Megami Tensei - Super Famicom / PC Engine Super CD / Mega CD / Playstation / Gameboy Advance (1992)

PC Engine CD Cover

Mega CD Cover

Shin Megami Tensei SFC

Shin Megami Tensei begins with a freaky dream sequence. First, you meet a featureless man on a crucifix, than someone being mauled by a beast. The vision ends with a beautiful naked woman named Yuriko, who pledges to be your eternal partner...

And then you wake up. This is modern day Japan, in the Kichijoji district of Tokyo, but things are just a little bit weird. Your neighborhood is being blocked off, due to a series of strange murders. Demons are beginning to roam the streets, and people begin mysteriously disappearing. What's more, the people you see in your dreams start appearing in reality. Soon, you are wrongfully arrested and tossed into jail, where you meet your first companions. You learn that a scientist has been conducing experiments on teleportation, and in the process, accidentally opened up a portal to the demon world. Not only are the monsters roaming free, but certain factions want to use those demons to seize power. Unfortunately, it seems like no matter happens, Tokyo is doomed - missiles from the United States are already flying towards Japan to eradicate the menace before it spreads, and Lucifer is manipulating the Japanese government to stage a coup d'tat. After surviving the destruction of your city, it's up to you and your compatriots - including a gorgeous woman who is a leader of the resistance against General Gotou and his legions of demons - to ally yourself with whomever you chose and decide how this post apocalyptic city will be ruled. Although your characters are unnamed by default, the strategy guide for the Playstation remake includes "official" names for your party.

Character Artwork

Hero
(Kazuya)

Law Hero
(Yuji)

Chaos Hero
Takeshi

Heroine
Yuka

The Megaten series has always been pretty low-tech, but in some ways, that adds to the nightmare-like creepiness. You spend much of the time navigating gigantic mazes, all of which have the same, nondescript blank wall. You never see characters until you're right next to them, and they just pop onto the screen. And, of course, there's the constant flood of demons out for your blood. This being an older RPG, it is quite difficult. Enemies have a nasty tendency to cast status effects on your party that petrify them, usually resulting in an easy slaughter, and save points are spread pretty thin. This may have been designed before the advent of survival horror games, but Shin Megami Tensei can get disturbingly frightening. So despite the difficulty, if you've got the muster, the amazing story and deep monster fusion system should keep you entranced. Besides, any game that lets you fuse a demon with your pet dog - and create a Cerebus from it - is already incredibly awesome for that fact alone.

Originally released for the Super Famicom by Atlus, it was ported shortly thereafter to the PC Engine Super CD. Unfortunately, there's a lot of missed opportunity here - it looks and plays almost exactly the same, only adding a little bit of voice in the dream sequences. Nearly all of the music is chip based, and despite being arranged by Hitoshi Sakimoto, it suffers from the original version due to the inferior sound hardware. There's an Analyze option that lets you look at monster skills, but otherwise not much is different.

SIMS also brought SMT to the Sega Mega CD, actually remaking it in the process. Using the scaling capability of the system, this version actually features smooth scrolling instead of the jerky movement in the other games. It's a little sluggish though, and can be turned off. All of the graphics have been redone with more detail, and while they look far better, they're also quite pixellated. Other graphical touches have been added - character portraits are added to all conversations (some are clearly digitized people, others are artwork, which is a little strange), you can actually see multiple demons on the battlefield instead of just a single one, and there are some new graphics for some voiced cutscenes, most notably the intro. Much of the music is also remixed CD audio, and is quite good. The text font is larger, allowing for the use of kanji. Overall, definitely a nice port.

Character Artwork

Hero

Heroine

Fast forwarding to 2002, with the announcement of a Shin Megami Tensei 3 for the PS2, Atlus began rereleasing the original games for the modern audience. The first of these re-releases was for the PSOne. The interface has been given a slight overhaul to make it look more like Shin Megami Tensei 2. The static backgrounds are now much more detailed, and all of the textures have been completely redone, although they're still mostly featureless. The movement is smooth scrolling, and it looks much better than the Mega CD version, moving at 60 FPS. The higher resolution allows the use of kanji for easier reading, and there's even an easier difficulty mode to ease in newbies. While these are welcome additions, it still seems like they could have done more. The music has been remixed, and while it's decent, it sounds very MIDI-ish and lacks a lot of the grittiness of the Super Famicom tracks. Why not create more detailed textures? Why not use full screen graphics a la Persona or Devil Summoner? the dungeons still look incredibly boring and repetitive. Why not add more artwork from Kazuma Kaneko for character interaction?

Shin Megami Tensei was also re-released for the Gameboy Advance. The graphical look is much the same as the Playstation version, although without the smooth scrolling. There is no easier difficulty level, although the game has been slightly toned down anyway from the SFC version.

There is some strange censorship between the versions. Early in the game, you dream of a strange ceremony with a priest and bizarre guards. In the Super Famicom, Playstation and Gameboy Advance versions, they're clothed, but are completely without pants in the PC Engine and Mega CD versions. While most of us Americans are used to seeing games censored when they're localized, it's interesting to see it happen among different platforms in its home country. Apparently Sony and Nintendo are still rather conservative.

MP3s

Battle (Super Famicom)
Ginza (Super Famicom)
Ginza (Mega CD
Shitenou's Lair (Mega CD)
Shopping Arcade (Mega CD)
Battle (Playstation)

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei (Mega CD)

Shin Megami Tensei (Mega CD)

Shin Megami Tensei (Mega CD)

Shin Megami Tensei (PSOne)

Shin Megami Tensei (GBA)

Screenshot Comparisons

Battle

Super Famicom

PC Engine CD
Mega CD
Playstation

Gameboy Advance
NPC Interaction

Super Famicom

PC Engine CD
Mega CD
Playstation

Gameboy Advance
3D Dungeon

Super Famicom

PC Engine CD
Mega CD
Playstation

Gameboy Advance
2D Field

Super Famicom
Mega CD
Gameboy Advance

Mega CD Intro

Censorship

Super Famicom
PC Engine CD

PC Engine Warning Screens

Shin Megami Tensei II - Super Famicom / Playstation / Gameboy Advance (1994)

Super Famicom Cover

Playstation Cover

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

At the end of the first game, the hero decides to create a world where people can live and worship as they please. Fast forward thirty years later, where Shin Megami Tensei 2 picks up. Unfortunately, the war is from from peaceful - the Law abiding Mesians and Chaos following Gaeans are at war with each other. A new city, Tokyo Millennium has been built upon the smoldered ruins of old Tokyo, and there's a sharp class division - the holy priests of the Center, and the slums of Valhalla.

Things are not very good in Valhalla - gigantic TV screens tell of demon invasions like weather forecasts. It is here that we meet out hero:

Hawk/Aleph

A man with no name or memory. A washed up fighter finds you fighting demons, takes you under his care, renames you Hawk, and trains you to become the best gladiator in Valhalla. Alas, your career is cut short when you receive a message from the Center - you are actually the Messiah, whose true name is Aleph, and whose true destiny is to save the world and lead everyone to paradise.

As you get used to role of the Messiah by doing the usual RPG good guy stuff - you know, saving villages, running fetch quests, defeating the occasional anti-Messiah - you soon begin to realize that the Center is not all it initially seems. Once again, it's up to you to decide how you want to shape this post apocalyptic world. The story is even more heavily integrated in Shin Megami Tensei 2 than its predecessor, especially with all the supporting characters.At various points in the game, you have flashbacks to characters in test tubes, whom you are allowed to name. Alternatively, there are default names if you do not wish to name them yourself.

Gimmel

A rather silly looking man. He seems to know Aleph for some reason.

Beth

A gorgeous woman who swears to always be by your side. Sounds creepily reminiscent of Yuriko from SMT1, so can she be trusted?

Hiroko

Another amazing looking woman from the Center, she travels to Valhalla to find a little boy. Her rebellious nature gets her in trouble, however.

Zain

Zain may look evil, but he may be your guide to Messiah-hood.

Daleth

This jerkass struts around town, proclaiming to be the real Messiah, and you to merely be an imposter. Teach him a good lesson in smackdown.

Not much has changed gameplay-wise since the original game - the interface has been giving a slight polishing, and you can now fight multiple types of demons as the same time. The conversation system has been slightly expanded, with demons now occasionally asking you questions about your feelings on life. Overall the game is a bit easier too, which is most definitely welcome and having the full map handy with a press of a button (instead of having it buried deep in the menus) is most definitely convenient. Also included is a little colored bar that indicates how likely you are to be attacked - this is a feature carried through most following MegaTen games. Otherwise, it's the usual sequel - familiar territory, with new demons and whatnot to play around with. The graphics have also been upgraded a bit, as not every place looks like deserted office buildings now. Still, it maintains the same low-tech appeal as its predecessor. The music is much the same style, and the battle theme is approvably rocking.

While the story might not kick off with the same pizzaz as the original - the "amnesiac savior" cliche is a bit lame, and the 32-bit era RPG shtick of "western religion is evil!" has been run into the ground by now. But Shin Megami Tensei 2 came out before these devices were too overused, and was undoubtedly fresh as the time. Speaking of religious connotations - this would easily be the most offensive game of the series, if you're sensitive to religion. All of the characters obviously have names inspired by Hebrew mythology, but it doesn't stop there. While you'll meet up with Lucifer, the final boss is YVWH - which is, if you've done you're reading, an alternate spelling of Yahweh, the Judeo-Christian God. In an interview, Creative Director Kazuma Kaneko explained that "...there are many mysterious common motifs, like the flood legend in mythology...One way of thinking is that there was one mythology in the ancient past, and then the races moved...However, the basis is the same, even though there are differences in the myths..And when I thought about what mythology served as a basis, I concluded that it was the Old Testament. Which means YVWH, the god the Old Testament, is the basis for all of the gods around the world, from a folklorist's standpoint." He reassures that "in Megaten, YVWH is not portrayed as the embodiment of all evil."

Redone PSOne Artwork

Originally released for the Super Famicom, Shin Megami Tensei 2 also got the Playstation treatment. And once again, the graphics have been improved with the smooth scrollling effect, with some areas featuring drastic overhauls - the disco actually looks like a disco now, and the virtual arenas are pretty cool - as well as an option for a lowered difficulty level. Unfortunately the first print run is known to be buggy, and while a fixed version was released, trying to find the right one might be difficult. And much like its predecessor, SMT 2 was also ported to the Gameboy Advance. This port has visuals comparable to the PSOne version but without the smooth scrolling. It also has a few minor unlockable story scenes.

MP3s

Battle (Super Famicom)
Battle (Playstation)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (SFC)

Shin Megami Tensei II (PSOne)

Shin Megami Tensei II (PSOne)

Shin Megami Tensei II (PSOne)

Shin Megami Tensei II (GBA)

Shin Megami Tensei II (GBA)

Screenshot Comparisons
Super Famicom
Playstation
Gameboy Advance

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