Interview: Behind the Scenes of Shin Megami Tensei

Interview: Behind the Scenes of Shin Megami Tensei

In a rare interview, Atlus Japan's Eiji Ishida and Kazuma Kaneko discuss what goes into the crafting of the distinctive and unusual Shin Megami Tensei series.

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I really need to play one of the Shin Megami Tensei games, I played one for the gameboy but I am talking about the Persona series, and Digital Devil, which I believe is one...

Korten12:
I really need to play one of the Shin Megami Tensei games, I played one for the gameboy but I am talking about the Persona series, and Digital Devil, which I believe is one...

yes DDS is a SMT brand, I recomend personas 3 and 4, and Devil summnoer too, those are really good.

Great interview.

Also, I always recommend starting with Nocturne. It's a classic for a reason, and like no other RPG ever made.

So im just going to put this out there.

Whatever console the next persona game is on i will buy.

That is all

Awesome. I wish I could interview them.

cj_iwakura:
Great interview.

Also, I always recommend starting with Nocturne. It's a classic for a reason, and like no other RPG ever made.

Hm, Nocturne is incredibly fun, but it's pretty difficult, so that might turn new players away. Maybe start with Persona?

Also, does anyone else hope they're going to remake the original Shin Megami Tensei for the 3DS?

Huh, that was an interesting interview.

The SMT games have always creeped me out ill be honest, but id love to play one eventually.

I like that he get ideas from all types of mythology, it seams like it makes for a very diverse game but you can still find similaritys.
and i agree with him that the OT is a Gold mine for Stories.

On a side note... In Fallout 3, I just couldn't decide on what to do at the Tenpenny Tower. I finally made up my mind, and later... I really regretted it. But that's what I'm talking about!

Oh we all now totally know you decided to blow up Megaton....

Moontouched-Moogle:

cj_iwakura:
Great interview.

Also, I always recommend starting with Nocturne. It's a classic for a reason, and like no other RPG ever made.

Hm, Nocturne is incredibly fun, but it's pretty difficult, so that might turn new players away. Maybe start with Persona?

Also, does anyone else hope they're going to remake the original Shin Megami Tensei for the 3DS?

They are remaking it for the 3DS. Now all we need are remakes of the original Megami Tensei.

I think Digital Devil Saga is probably the best to start with. It's a good bridge between the main SMT series and Persona.

Edit: A Soul Hackers remake would be nice, Atlus. C'mon, please?

Awesome interview and very intresting to read!!

Unfortunately i don't have much expirience with other SMT titles aside from the Persona games but i'll have to remedy that problem soon!

Also if you're looking to pick up a SMT game i'd recommed either Persona 3 or 4 since they aren't too difficult compared to other SMT games (DO NOT GO FOR HARD ON YOUR FIRST PLAYTHROUGH).

Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha (1) is the easiest SMT game I know of, but it became stupid rare when 2 came out.

I'm just curios, what were they thinking in strange journey when they made that Ouroboros boss? If you've played it you know him, I mean, god damn! I don't care that they said SJ was something you could analyze, Ouroboros was impossible! (great article by the way, love seeing things about SMT)

but I'm personally interested in AR (augmented reality) technology. You go out, and when you see through a camera-or even your own eyes-there's a MegaTen demon on the street! I'd love to make a game like that. "I heard there's a huge demon named Beelzebub at an intersection in Shibuya! Let's go beat it!" "If we can get a hundred people together, we can summon Metatron! We'll meet tomorrow in front of Tokyo Big Sight!" Doesn't that sound exciting?

At first I thought that sounded ridiculous... but then I realized that getting some friends together and walking around town looking for demons actually sounds like it would be a lot of fun. I'm not sure how they would do it though. Possibly using a system GPS to tell your hand held system when you get near a demon

blakfayt:
I'm just curios, what were they thinking in strange journey when they made that Ouroboros boss? If you've played it you know him, I mean, god damn! I don't care that they said SJ was something you could analyze, Ouroboros was impossible! (great article by the way, love seeing things about SMT)

I have yet to meet a SMT game that has ALL of its bosses balanced. In Persona 3, there are bosses who are immune to everything but one type of physical damage. One boss can be damaged only by Piercing attacks and Ice magic. Another MINI boss group can shield itself and reflect any damage. So either you take a monster that is immune to, let's say, Fire, and deals Fire damage itself (so you don't take damage from Reflect) or you must take a lot of healing. Then there are the Megidolaons, making the battle a real hell.

Persona 4 has Mitsuru, who needs to be constantly barraged by high-power spells in order to break his outer shell, because he has 2 attacks in a round in it and he doesn't take damage, but once out of this shell, he still deals a shitload of damage. And he can recover it, so you must use a lot of powerful spells to constantly keep it down. Or you have to break it all over again.

Devil Survivor? I can't remember how many times I had to try to kill Bel or Belial... Both annoying, first one can be damaged by one skill used by Protagonist (nobody else can scratch him) and the other has annoying AoE damaging skills.

Which is still nothing compared to "bonus" bosses in ANY of the SMT games. Dante, Margaret, Elizabeth, Satan (Lucifer)...

However, I must say of all the games, I liked Persona 4 and Devil Survivor the most. For plot and gameplay, they were just perfect. Strange Journey bored me a bit, to be honest...

isnt there a MMORPG version of megaten?

Grayjack:

Moontouched-Moogle:

cj_iwakura:
Great interview.

Also, I always recommend starting with Nocturne. It's a classic for a reason, and like no other RPG ever made.

Hm, Nocturne is incredibly fun, but it's pretty difficult, so that might turn new players away. Maybe start with Persona?

Also, does anyone else hope they're going to remake the original Shin Megami Tensei for the 3DS?

They are remaking it for the 3DS. Now all we need are remakes of the original Megami Tensei.

I think Digital Devil Saga is probably the best to start with. It's a good bridge between the main SMT series and Persona.

Edit: A Soul Hackers remake would be nice, Atlus. C'mon, please?

Ah, thanks for the link! I'm glad they've chosen specific titles now. Although, I really doubt Persona and Devil Survivor were the best choices for remakes...

w1ndscar:
isnt there a MMORPG version of megaten?

Yeah, it's called Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE Online, from Aeria Games. It's pretty fun. I recommend checking it out.

Abedeus:

blakfayt:
I'm just curios, what were they thinking in strange journey when they made that Ouroboros boss? If you've played it you know him, I mean, god damn! I don't care that they said SJ was something you could analyze, Ouroboros was impossible! (great article by the way, love seeing things about SMT)

I have yet to meet a SMT game that has ALL of its bosses balanced. In Persona 3, there are bosses who are immune to everything but one type of physical damage. One boss can be damaged only by Piercing attacks and Ice magic. Another MINI boss group can shield itself and reflect any damage. So either you take a monster that is immune to, let's say, Fire, and deals Fire damage itself (so you don't take damage from Reflect) or you must take a lot of healing. Then there are the Megidolaons, making the battle a real hell.

Persona 4 has Mitsuru, who needs to be constantly barraged by high-power spells in order to break his outer shell, because he has 2 attacks in a round in it and he doesn't take damage, but once out of this shell, he still deals a shitload of damage. And he can recover it, so you must use a lot of powerful spells to constantly keep it down. Or you have to break it all over again.

Devil Survivor? I can't remember how many times I had to try to kill Bel or Belial... Both annoying, first one can be damaged by one skill used by Protagonist (nobody else can scratch him) and the other has annoying AoE damaging skills.

Which is still nothing compared to "bonus" bosses in ANY of the SMT games. Dante, Margaret, Elizabeth, Satan (Lucifer)...

However, I must say of all the games, I liked Persona 4 and Devil Survivor the most. For plot and gameplay, they were just perfect. Strange Journey bored me a bit, to be honest...

You forgot the hardest one.

Grayjack:

Abedeus:

blakfayt:
I'm just curios, what were they thinking in strange journey when they made that Ouroboros boss? If you've played it you know him, I mean, god damn! I don't care that they said SJ was something you could analyze, Ouroboros was impossible! (great article by the way, love seeing things about SMT)

I have yet to meet a SMT game that has ALL of its bosses balanced. In Persona 3, there are bosses who are immune to everything but one type of physical damage. One boss can be damaged only by Piercing attacks and Ice magic. Another MINI boss group can shield itself and reflect any damage. So either you take a monster that is immune to, let's say, Fire, and deals Fire damage itself (so you don't take damage from Reflect) or you must take a lot of healing. Then there are the Megidolaons, making the battle a real hell.

Persona 4 has Mitsuru, who needs to be constantly barraged by high-power spells in order to break his outer shell, because he has 2 attacks in a round in it and he doesn't take damage, but once out of this shell, he still deals a shitload of damage. And he can recover it, so you must use a lot of powerful spells to constantly keep it down. Or you have to break it all over again.

Devil Survivor? I can't remember how many times I had to try to kill Bel or Belial... Both annoying, first one can be damaged by one skill used by Protagonist (nobody else can scratch him) and the other has annoying AoE damaging skills.

Which is still nothing compared to "bonus" bosses in ANY of the SMT games. Dante, Margaret, Elizabeth, Satan (Lucifer)...

However, I must say of all the games, I liked Persona 4 and Devil Survivor the most. For plot and gameplay, they were just perfect. Strange Journey bored me a bit, to be honest...

You forgot the hardest one.

Oh God yes. Hour long fight? Nevermore, quoth the raven.

I think Digital Devil Saga is probably the best to start with. It's a good bridge between the main SMT series and Persona.

I agree. DDS was the game that really got me into the franchise. I prefer the dark, mature tone and sci-fi atmosphere vibe over Persona, and if you're used to other RPG's like Final Fantasy, the character growth system is very similar to Final Fantasy X's Sphere Grid System. DDS 2 also has a system similar to Final Fantasy XII's License Board except it's much better balanced for specialization (at the end of FFXII everyone is the same). Both games have a great story and will get you used to the Megaten "vocabulary" for skills and magic spells which will prove useful for getting into other Megaten games (especially Nocturne which can be more strict in terms of configuring your party's strategy for taking down bosses). Shouldn't be too hard to track down a copy these days...

I was never hardcore enough to unlock the Demi-Fiend in DDS 1, but Meganada from DDS 2 was the BANE of my existence. Lost track of how many tries it took to beat that f&*%er...but man it felt good once I did!

 

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