Shin Megami Tensei

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Shin Megami Tensei
The game that brought Atlas into the spotlight.
Genre: Role-Playing
Platforms: Super Famicom
PC Engine CD-ROM
Mega-CD
PlayStation
Game Boy Advance
iOS
Android
Release Date: Super Famicom
JP: October 30, 1992

PC Engine CD-ROM
JP: December 25, 1993

Mega-CD
JP: February 25, 1994

PlayStation
JP: May 31, 2001

Game Boy Advance
JP: March 28, 2003

iOS
JP: February 24, 2012
NA/EU: March 18, 2014

Android
JP: November 1, 2012

Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Megami Tensei
Next Game: Shin Megami Tensei II


Shin Megami Tensei (真・女神転生,lit True Goddess Reincarnation) is the first of the central Shin Megami Tensei games. It was released in October 30, 1992 on SNES and was ported to PC Engine, Mega CD, PlayStation, and Game Boy Advance. It also received an iOS port, which was the only version of the game to receive a Western release.

Plot

The game begins with the Hero dreaming that he meets the Law Hero, the Chaos Hero, and a woman named Yuriko; she promises that she will become the Hero's partner. He wakes up, and receives an e-mail with a computer program for summoning demons attached. While out on an errand, he learns that a scientist has opened a portal to the Abyss, which allows demons to enter Tokyo. He also meets Yuriko, who says she will fulfill her promise. He is brought back to the human world, where he learns that demons have overrun the world and the government has declared martial law to protect people. This decision, however, sparked opposition which culminated in the birth of an opposing force led by a man named Gotou. After being sent to the Diamond Realm, another plane of existence, by Yuriko, he returns again to the human world and discovers that 30 years have passed, during which a war broke out between the two factions, which led to a nuclear apocalypse. The remains of the two factions formed the opposing cults of the Messian Order and the Ring of Gaea. From here, the protagonist tries to find out what really happened and what are the events that led up to the nuclear apocalypse.

Why It Rocks

  1. Recruit over 100 demons!
  2. The game pushed the SNES to its limits with its advanced graphics, first-person perspective, and complex mechanics such as the moon phase system, which influences the demons' behavior and the power of some spells.
  3. Unlike most JRPGs released at the time, the game allows the player to decide which stat must increase after leveling up, allowing the player to vary his playstyle between playthroughs.
  4. Good story. The game was one of the first games to include religious symbolism and a branching story with multiple endings.
  5. Good RPG gameplay.
  6. Good characters.
  7. Awesome soundtrack.
  8. Very good demon designs.
  9. Multiple endings.
  10. The game over was well designed, instead of a generic game over screen. It has a special game over screen with text saying that the dead protagonist will have his soul in Heaven.

Bad Qualities

  1. The game gives you very little directions, especially early on.
  2. Too many traps.
  3. Sega CD version screwed up most of the music and the character moves very slow.
  4. It's easy to get lost while trying to find out where you have to go.
  5. Diamond Realm was too frustrating for even the expert players. The dungeon was infamous for having too much enemies using status ailments that can easily cause a game over.
  6. Demons can't level up,forcing you to fuse a large number of times.

Trivia

  • The SNES version had a fan translation by Aeon Genesis.
  • Both the Neutral and Law endings was considered canonical by the other installments in the series, as there as sequels that continue the story after these routes.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: if… was based on this game, as it's a What if? scenario where Japan is not destroyed by nukes. This alternate timeline leads to the Persona and Devil Summoner series.

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