The Demi-fiend’s Day Thread (3/4)

The first Shin Megami Tensei (or MegaTen) game I ever played was SMT: Nocturne, the third in the series. I picked it up on a whim for the PS2 and was instantly hooked. Set in a Tokyo that goes post-apocalyptic at the beginning of the game, you play as the silent protagonist known to most as the Demi-fiend, a high schooler given demon powers in the wake of the Conception (an event that triggers the deaths of most humans and turns Tokyo into a Vortex World filled with spirits, demons, and some plucky mannequins). Ultimately, it’s your task to choose (deliberately or otherwise) the world’s new Reason — to remake the world according to a new Will or perhaps break the rules entirely and join up with Lucifer in the fight against (basically) God. Along the way, you encounter some friends who have taken a little too well to the new world order.

Best of all, you get to fight and recruit to fight beside you a variety of demons, drawn from world mythology, folklore, and even urban legends.

Once you gain access to the not-at-all-creepily-named Cathedral of Shadows, you can fuse these demons to create new ones, each coming with its own brief biography; this particular mythology nerd spent more time in the Cathedral of Shadows reading through the Demon Compendium than fighting and regrets nothing.

Anyway, the game is punishingly difficult, requiring a lot of trial and error to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the enemies fought, and it’s often a long, depressing trek to regain the progress lost since the last save point after being blindsided by some smirking Jinns or pesky Pixies — not to mention a lot of what made the game so much fun has been  done even better since in the studio’s later Persona games — but it’s still worth playing. It’s atmospheric, creepy, and at times quite sad (those poor Manikins


[Spoiler alert: No they won’t]),

with a kick-ass soundtrack with just a hint of hair metal,

and it got me on the MegaTen train, so this Day Thread salutes SMT: Nocturne.

Have a great day, everyone!