Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
Shin-Megami-Tensei-Devil-Survivor DS.jpg
Reset the world and start again.
Protagonist: Kazuya Minegishi (Abel)
Genre: Tactical Role-Playing
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Nintendo DS
JP: January 15, 2009
NA: June 23, 2009

Nintendo 3DS
JP: September 1, 2011
NA: August 23, 2011
EU: March 29, 2013
Developer: Atlus
Career Soft
Publisher: JP: Atlus
NA: Atlus USA
EU: Ghostlight
Franchise: Shin Megami Tensei
Previous Game: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon
Next Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2


"Let's breathe new life into the series Megami Tensei and really shake things up."

Atlus

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor[1] is a tactical role-playing game co-developed by Career Soft and Atlus, and published by Atlus in Japan, Atlus USA in North America in 2009 for the Nintendo DS. A remake, titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked[2] was released a few years later for the Nintendo 3DS. A sequel called Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 was released for the Nintendo DS in 2011.

Plot

One day, the protagonist and his friends Atsuro and Yuzu receive modified handheld gaming devices called COMPs by the protagonist's cousin Naoya. Looking into the COMPs, they find a "Demon Summoning Program" that activates itself, causing demons to appear from the COMP. Shortly after, a massive demon invasion occurs in Tokyo, prompting the government to put a large part of the city under lockdown. From here, the three try to find a way out of the lockdown. But how can the program summon demons? Why the program was made to run specifically on a COMP? Is the government aware about the demons? Do they plan to do something? Is there more to this story than just the demon invasion?

Why It Rocks

  1. Very customizable, addictive and deep combat system.
  2. Plenty of demons to form contracts with. 150 demons in total were added in Overclocked as well.
  3. Many different party members, each of whom with his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
    • Each party member can equip up to two demons, which allows for a great amount of customization.
  4. Unlike most Shin Megami Tensei games, you can choose the skills inherited upon fusion, at the cost of having only six available skill slots. This feature would later carry over to Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5.
  5. Intriguing story with an atmosphere that makes the player feel the sense of impending doom. This is also considered to be one of the best stories in the entire series. It takes about 40+ hours to beat the game for the 1st time.
  6. Its very accessible to newcomers to the series while also maintaining the series main themes, motifs and lore.
  7. Time management in the game is even more critical than in the Persona series as each day could mean the death for either you or your party members, and one wrong move may lock you out of certain routes.
  8. Well written characters. More character development is added in as well in Overclocked. Especially in the case of Amane who was originally did not had that much personality.
  9. Each ending of the game and everything else feels like a complete story without any plotholes once you playthrough it multiple times. Not every ending having a 8th day does make sense as some of them will lead to early deaths.
  10. The new "Skill Crack" and "Magnetite" systems are great replacements to the Magatama system from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
  11. Unlike the Press Turns system used In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga, Devil Survivor uses an Extra Turn system similar to the Persona series: striking enemy weaknesses and scoring critical hits awards the attacker with an extra turn, creating a risk and reward system where the player is incentivized to find and exploit enemy weaknesses.
  12. The Overclocked remake adds voice acting, and by far is one of the games in the Megami Tensei franchise with the most amount of voiced lines (almost every line in the game is fully voiced).
  13. The remake makes several improvements to the main game such as difficulty selection and additional gameplay segments to each route.
    • The remake also removes some of the more annoying features of the originals in terms of difficulty: for example, Yuzu and Atsuro start off with Ice and Force spells respectively, which gives you some options for these spells early on.
  14. There are five different paths or routes, each of which with its own ending. The Overclocked remake adds also an extra day to each route in order to flesh them out more.
  15. The game takes place during the course of seven days (eight in the remake), and every important event or decision in the game consumes time.
  16. The Macca Bonus mechanic rewards you for striking enemy weaknesses, obtaining extra turns and defeating enemies in one hit, incentivizing to play the game better.
  17. Challenging difficulty. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked also adds the ability to choose difficulty level and even on easy mode you still need to fight for your life in the game. All easy mode does is just to increase experience and money gains, while the enemy AI and damage dealt and taken remain the same, meaning that players still have to pay attention to their moves.
  18. Great soundtrack.
  19. Nicely hand drawn different style of anime art work done by the artist of DuraDura. The characters facial expressions is also very believable as well and the visuals are nicely detailed.
  20. The voice acting and dialogue itself is actually very good.
  21. Excellent graphics and background design especially in Overclocked where everything looks updated and fresh.
  22. In Devil Survivor Overclocked it becomes much less of a hassle training new team members thanks to all party members gaining experience at the end of a mission, and there are several skills that increase the experience obtained by unused party members. All team leaders, active or not, receive some EXP when one team wins a battle. The Watchful and Vigilant skills, when cracked and assigned, can boost the EXP gain to speed up the leveling of those behind in levels.
  23. There are no correct answers and the game is not linear unlike the main series and it focuses on what would you do during an apocalypse.
  24. A large amount of extra content and replay value.
  25. The game has a really morbid and dry sense of humor especially coming from your Laplace emails in the comp.
  26. In Devil Survivor Overclocked there is a unique achievements system that where you can be able to unlock certain bonuses by doing certain tasks in the game. Each achievement also comes with a score that allows you to unlock special bonuses in New Game Plus like no fusion restrictions, carry over cracked skills, progress in the Demon Compendium, NG+ exclusive content, etc.
  27. In Overclocked, 3 saves slots are now added so you can now be able to go through more playthroughs of the game without oversaving your current one.
  28. None of the endings are happy and all of them represent the choices you make during the game.
  29. Early on in the game, bonuses will be introduced. You can earn extra Macca for surviving a fight without taking damage, defeating multiple enemies at once or scoring attacks against enemy weaknesses. That Macca is then translated into new demons in the auction house. There, you’ll have a slate of demons to bid on. Each time, there will be a purchase price if you would rather choose not to risk losing out. If you do decide to enter a bidding war, three AI bidders will work to defeat you. At the end of the limited bidding period, if there are multiple interested parties left, you’ll have the opportunity to enter one final bid. The high bid walks away with the demon- unless you decide not to pay. You can win an auction and choose not to pony up the Macca. It isn’t advisable as successful, paid bids up your auction rating, opening the door for a wider variety of demons to choose from. Additionally, you can earn new demons by fusing existing stock. You can choose which skills the resulting demon will inherit to create the best mix of active, passive and racial abilities. Demons can also learn new skills from their human partners with Magnetite, which is also earned from battles.
  30. The display range of the map has been expanded, and the visibility of messages and parameters has been improved in Overclocked.
  31. More skills are also implemented in overclocked, including a larger variety of Physical skills to encourage use of strength-oriented playable characters.
  32. The configuration menu in Overclocked has a couple of tweaks too. Players can turn voice acting on and off and adjust message speed. The user interface as well is more straightfoward and the wider screen allows the text to be more easier to read.
  33. Unlike all other characters in Devil Survivor each time the protagonist levels up, it is the player's decision to determine the allocation of stat points, allowing for flexibility to the player's preferred style of play. He starts with a speed of 50 and movement range of 4, but after the player defeats Beldr, his speed increases to 53. After the player defeats Belberith, his speed increases to 56. Defeating Babel will give him a movement range of 5.
  34. The Watchful and Vigilant skills, when cracked and assigned, can boost the EXP gain to speed up the leveling of those behind in levels.

Bad Qualities

  1. Unlike most Megami Tensei games, the Demon Compendium is absent, meaning that you constantly need to buy demons back at the Devil Auction, which can wear you down in terms of money. Devil Survivor Overclocked fixes this issue.
  2. The controls may take some time to get used to, since battles take place on an isometric grid.
  3. Some high tier demons can only be fused in a New Game+ after completing certain routes. This is a particular problem since Metatron can only be fused after finishing Amane's route, however, one of his fusion components is Remiel, who can only be obtained in Naoya's route.
  4. Yuzu is the weakest and most annoying character always complaining about the situation. Some other characters can also be unlikable or annoying, like Midori during days 3 and 4, who recklessly goes into situations where she can't survive, and even after meeting Beldr the first time on day 3 she barely understands this. Midori's and Yuzu's voice acting was way too high pitched and Kaido sounded older than he should have. Misaki Izuna was very impulsive and jumps to conclusions before she thinks and the other military characters were actively carrying out megaton's will and are no better than the demons.
  5. There is a game breaking glitch where the enemy AI has abilities that the team does not have and they exploit it by killing your team multiple times. This becomes a problem during Yuzu's final battle, where the angels have powerful skills that cannot be cracked and you have to deal with those and Amane constantly using Samarecarm to revive dead enemies.
    • The Beldr fight during the boss rush between Babel's first and second form in Amane and Naoya's routes can also be rendered unwinnable: since the protagonist's death isn't an automatic loss like in the first fight on day 3, he can be defeated, thus rendering impossible to damage Beldr since the player has no access to the Devil's Fuge anymore. If the player doesn't have someone with Recarm or Samarecarm to revive him, there is no way to win the battle as he nulls every element including Almighty and the Physical + Pierce combo.
  6. The songs of the game may occasionally repeat itself. There is about 21 tracks in the game more in overclocked but some of the other songs were underutilized.
  7. No chapter selection after beating the game.
  8. If Haru dies, the player is locked out of a lot of endings. Worst yet, you are never given any indication that would happen.
  9. The artificial intelligence in the game especially during escort missions is really stupid and they make so much dumb decisions that can nearly get you killed especially considering the challenging difficulty of the game.
  10. The original had some annoying flaws early on, such as Yuzu not being able to learn any good spells that can be used with her good Magic, and there are very little options for Force and Ice spells without Skill Crack, against which some enemies are weak against.
  11. There was no backup or counter attack slots in the original game.
  12. The European version of Overclocked had a game-breaking glitch at launch that caused the game to crash when summoning a demon. It was fixed with a patch though.
  13. There is also other glitches in the European game such as it freezing during the use of the summoning mechanic every 4 to 3 minutes and the surnames of the characters being misspelled.
  14. The translation for the original had a few mistakes that can confuse the player:
    • The description for Force spells says: Effect: Stone, implying that it can petrify enemies, while it actually instantly kills enemies that have already been petrified (fixed in Overclocked).
    • The description for the ability Battle Aura states that it nulls damage higher than 50, while it actually blocks only damage lower than 50 (this was fixed in Overclocked).
    • The description for the Cursed Dance spell in Overclocked says that its damage is equal to one fourth of the user's health, whereas the damage is equal to one fourth of the enemy's health.
    • The description for the Watchful ability was mistranslated in the original, stating that it simply gave 75% EXP on the user, without mentioning that it only does so to party members and demons that aren't in the party, thus implying that the user receives less experience.

Tips

  1. At the end of Day 1, you obtain the Skill Crack ability. It's wise to go back to Shibuya and partake in a free battle to crack the Amrita spell for Yuzu to heal status ailments.
    • The boss of Day 1, the Wendigo, knows the strong Ice Dance spell, which can be cracked and used in battle.
    • On Day 3, the bandits have with them the skills Blitzkrieg and Fortify, which are extremely useful to have at any point in the game. Likewise, on day 2, one of the thugs has the Marksman ability (which guarantees that Physical skills always hit), which is very useful for Atsuro to use during days 2 and 3, given that the only good Physical skill he will have access to will most likely be Anger Hit, which has low accuracy.
    • Late in the game, on day 7, Belberith has the Victory Cry ability, which is extremely powerful to have and can be used to pull off the Magic Yin+Megidolaon combo while lessening the MP cost, meaning that the player has much less restrictions to use it.
  2. Try to have a demon with the Fly ability as often as possible to ignore obstacles on the map and move more freely.
  3. Once you start progressing through the game and depending on your choices the comp becomes more inaccurate and starts to glitch out.
  4. Halfway through Day 7 you can fight the superboss Lucifer, whose spell Megidoladyne deals a high damage that increases every time it's used. If your party members have high Agility, bring with you either Yuzu or Midori with Recarm and use it to revive dead party members and reset their turns, allowing them to get close to him fairly easily and deal high damage.
  5. The game punishes you for spending alot of time grinding against very low level enemies when you are multiple levels higher but it is removed during new game plus. However you can be able to crack skills.
  6. Its not advised to escape through the lockdown as this is the most easiest way to get the early bad ending and you are still going to have to return to Tokyo to end it in Overclocked.
  7. There is no equipment of sorts in Devil Survivor Overclocked; it is solely based on your demons and the character’s skills equipped and you can't find items either to help you as macca is used for Demon Auctions.
  8. At the conclusion of the 7th day and viewing the ending and staff credits, the player is prompted to make a clear save. If the player ended on Yuzu, Amane, or Naoya/Kaido routes, they can select whether to continue to the 8th day chapter or just New Game Plus. The Naoya/Kaido routes allow the player to start the 8th day again after completing it in order to let the player get both alternate routes. Optional boss fights with Ghost Q, Sage of Time, Yomotsu Ikusa and Nebiros become available. Upon loading a cleared save, they will be presented with the Survivor Awards which awarded them points based on what they accomplished and spend them on bonuses for the next playthrough. These Rewards are:
    • Carry over one, four, eight, or all demons from the previous playthrough's team
    • Carry over all cracked skills
    • Carry over Macca earned
    • Carry over all unlocked Auction House tiers (thus allowing the player access to high tier demons early on)
    • Remove the EXP penalty from defeating lower-level enemies
    • Gain a 10%, 30%, or 50% discount from summoning demons
    • Set the fusion level at 99, rather than the player's level (allowing the player to fuse any demon, regardless of the level, making easier to fuse the route-specific demons)
    • Unlock the battle with Lucifer
  9. Here is the ways to get the endings in the game.
    • Early Bad Ending - Obtained by breaking through the barricades of the Lockdown on Day 6 and escaping after defeating both the angels and demons in your way. If the player does so, the angels appear, deeming the lockdown's failure, and kill everyone present with a thunder. Who submits is stripped of his or her own free will. The game then sends the player to the game over screen. Unlike the other endings, this doesn't send the player into New Game +, hence the nickname of "Early Bad Ending" or "Honda False Ending" by players.
    • Desperate Escape - Accessed by talking to Yuzu at the end of Day 6. Allows the fusion of Loki upon completion. This is the only ending that is always available in the game. The player also will not have to fight Jezebel, Belberith, Babel and the three of the remaining Four Devas (Koumoku, Zouchou, Bishamon). However, the player will also not be able to fight Lucifer in this ending.
      • 8th Day Endings: Two alternate endings determined by whether Gin is alive and doing the Barrier events, allowing for the good ending. The bad ending is obtained for failing to do either.
    • Silent Revolution - Accessed by talking with Atsuro at the end of Day 6. Requires Keisuke and Mari's survival. This is the only ending where the player will not fight Jezebel and doesn't require Haru to be alive.
    • Song of Hope - Accessed by talking with Gin at the end of Day 6. Requires Haru's and Gin's survival and giving Gin the information about Aya on day 6, then to save him from Azuma's ambush later on the same day. Defeating the first form of Babel in this ending will send all demons away, leaving the player to fight the second form with the humans and their spells alone (if the player recruited Black Frost and brought him on this mission, it will disappear, too)
    • Kingdom of Saints - Accessed by talking with Amane/Remiel at the end of Day 6. Requires Haru's survival. Allows the fusion of Metatron (and also Okuninushi in Overclocked) upon completion.
      • 8th Day Ending: Obtained by beating Okuninushi. Defeating Okuninushi's first form will cause Naoya to join the party for the second form.
    • King of Demons - Accessed by talking with Kaido and Naoya at the end of Day 6. Requires Haru's survival. Allows the fusion of Remiel upon completion. In this ending Yuzu, Midori and Keisuke will leave the party, replaced by Naoya, Kaido, Mari and Black Frost (if the player partook in his events on days 3 and 6)
      • Warlord/Despot 8th Day Endings: Two endings determined by the protagonist's choice on whether to kill humans or not. If the player decides to spare the humans, Yuzu, Amane and Izuna will return to the party.
      • If the player decides to kill the humans in the lockdown, Yuzu and Midori will ally with Metatron to stop the protagonist.

Trivia

  • The World Ends With You was the inspiration for this game.
  • In Devil Survivor Overclocked it adds in a new 3d movie utilizing the 3d feature on the 3ds.
  • The Devil Survivor protagonist's outfit was available in a collaboration event in Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE shortly after Devil Survivor's Japanese release. To obtain it, players needed to collect demon cards.
    • Yuzu's outfit was available to female avatars in a collaboration event in Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE shortly after Devil Survivor's Japanese release. To obtain it, players needed to collect demon cards.
  • Because of the main character artist also doing the designs of characters in this game this led to a cross promotion dlc for Duradura in Devil Survivor 2 with Duradura characters.
  • One of the Japanese voice actresses Junko Minagawa who voiced Yoshino Harusawa also sung the main theme in Overclocked Soul Survive.
  • This is the first Megaten game to be ported overseas. The gameplay of the game is also inspired by the Japan-only Majin Tensei series, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • The game is referenced in Devil Survivor 2 in certain points:
    • At the beginning of Day 2, Makoto Sako says that the JP organization used to use "a homebrew program that replicates the summoning procedure" referencing Naoya's program, with the explanation that the game offers early on for its functioning.
    • In Record Breaker, during the credits of the Triangulum Arc, appears a figure very similar to Mari.
    • Shoji Leap as well is the magazine created by Shoji from the first game.
  • When the Overclocked remake was released, the developers said that they were afraid that they wouldn't be able to fit the whole game on a cartridge, due to the large amount of voiced lines. Over 20,000 lines were recorded in this game.
  • This is the first game in the whole franchise released in the west to offer an explanation of the Demon Summoning Program's functioning. Overall, it's only the second game, the first being Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, the first game in the franchise, released only in Japan.
  • There is also a manga adaptation of this game.
  • Midori is based on the prominent cosplayer Midori Kanda.
  • The characters can also be used as costumes in Persona 3 dancing all night.
  • This is the first T rated game in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
  • No matter what route the protagonist takes, Atsuro will always follow him, unlike Yuzu, who only leaves the party if the player decides to take Naoya's route.
  • The Cathedral of Shadows background music, when sped up, sounds very similar to the Cathedral of Shadows theme in Shin Megami Tensei 2.
  • A few nicknames given to him are Otakuro, Ahoro, Atsuwrong (Yuzu) and nerdlinger (Kaido).
  • The protagonist's smile changes for Naoya's and Amane's routes. In Naoya's route where he had become the King of Demons, his smile is sinister, making him similar to his cousin. While in Amane's route where he had become the Messiah, his smile is much more friendly and soothing, reflecting his new role as God's messenger. In other routes his smile remains neutral, the same as when the game begins.
  • Several characters are references to characters from previous games in the franchise:
    • The main character is very similar to the protagonist from Persona 3.
    • Amane's last name is a reference to the dragon Kuzuryu from Shin Megami Tensei 2.
    • The nicknames of the competing bidders at the Devil Auction are all characters from other games in the franchise. As the player's level increases, the names become those of major characters, and at the maximum "Occult" level, the competitors are protagonists of previous games.
    • Bidders List:
      • Basic: Carol J, Finnegan, Judah S, Mayone, Six, Yuichi
      • Gold: Lunch, Dr. Thrill, Dinner, Reiho, Naomi, Urabe
      • Platinum: Muramasa, Mary, Victor, Ginko, Spooky, Nemissa
      • Occult: Kadokura, Nishi, Kuzunoha, Hero, Nakajima, Yumiko
    • The protagonist's name in the manga is a mix of the names of the main character of Shin Megami Tensei 1 and Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. Naoya, on the other hand, is named after the protagonist of the Persona 1 manga.
      • This connection also explains the relation between the two: in the Persona 1 manga, the protagonist is explained to have a deceased brother, who is named Kazuya, just like the protagonist of the game. Likewise, Naoya is the reincarnation of Cain and killed his brother Abel, the protagonist, in his past life.

References

  1. (女神異聞録:デビルサバイバー, Megami Ibunroku Debiru Sabaibā, lit. Alternate Tales of the Goddess: Devil Survivor)
  2. In Japan known as Devil Survivor Over Clock (デビルサバイバー オーバークロック, Debiru Sabaibā Obākurokku)

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