Shin Megami Tensei IV
|Shin Megami Tensei IV|
North American cover art
Shin Megami Tensei IV (真・女神転生IV?) is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS as part of the Megami Tensei role-playing series of video games. The game starts out in the country of East Mikado, a seemingly medieval country with strong social stratification, with the populace widely divided into two groups, the nobility who are known as Luxurors, and the peasants who are known as Casualries. The player primarily controls Flynn, a samurai who fights with his allies against demons.
The game starts out in the country of East Mikado, a seemingly medieval country with strong social stratification, with the populace widely divided into two groups, the nobility who are known as Luxurors, and the peasants who are known as Casualries.
The protagonist Flynn attends the "Ceremony of the Gauntlet" in East Mikado to become samurai. In the ranks of the newly appointed samurai are Walter, Jonathan, and Isabeau, whom Flynn had met in a dream before.
At the same time, a Black Samurai is causing chaos throughout Mikado by giving the Casualries books and thus knowledge which turns them into demons. The new Samurai confront her in Kiccigiorgi but she escapes, and they are given a mission to hunt her down and stop her, and end up chasing her to the underground city of Tokyo.
In Tokyo the samurai meet the leader of Tokyo's Ashura-kai yakuza group which governs what remains of human society, Tayama, who blackmails them into killing the head of the Gaia cult Yuriko. They are later also tasked with freeing three mysterious masked men from a tower guarded by the Ashura-kai by request of Gabby, a member of the Mikado church. The party succeeds in confronting Yuriko, who is revealed to be the Black Samurai and also the demon Lilith, and she persuades Walter into changing the world's current state by disabling the reactor Yamato which provides Tokyo power, which would "open the gates to hell".
Flynn at this point can choose to either help Walter to stop the Yamato, or help Jonathan to kill Lilith, while Isabeau remains behind, unable to make a decision. Regardless of which he chooses, the other's objective is also accomplished, and Jonathan (and Flynn if he accompanied him) heads to Yamato to try to stop Walter but arrives too late. The three are sent to two different timelines showing the outcomes of a world governed by Law and Chaos before being confronted by "the White", a group of beings who ask Flynn to put an end to the cycle of death and rebirth by using Yamato to create a black hole and destroy everything (the game ends here if he does so). If he refuses, he is asked about what he believes in, at which point his alignment is decided for certain, and he battles the White. After defeating them, Jonathan returns to Mikado while Walter remains in Tokyo. Flynn accompanies the one he shares an alignment with. If he follows the Law route, he joins Jonathan; if he follows the Chaos route, he joins Walter; if he follows the rare and slim Neutral route, he joins Isabeau.
In Tokyo, the mysterious girl Hikaru reveals herself as Lucifer, and Walter sacrifices himself to bring Lucifer back to full power. Lucifer begins to plot to destroy Mikado. In Mikado, the country has been undergoing a regime change as the "new leaders", the three masked men the samurai had previously freed, began a religious purge of the country, which included eliminating the class system, deposing and exiling the king and executing anyone who continued reading the literature distributed by Lilith. When Walter (and Flynn, if he accompanies him) returns to Mikado, the three men along with Gabby reveal themselves to be the four archangels, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Michael. Gabby, as Gabriel, informs the samurai of Lucifer's return and convinces Jonathan to sacrifice himself to them so that they are able to combine into the Chariot of God, Merkabah, a being powerful enough to fight Lucifer himself. In the law and chaos routes, Isabeau returns to stop Flynn, but after he defeats her, she spares Flynn of the act of killing her and slits her own throat.
- In the Law route, Flynn and Merkabah defeat Lucifer. In order to prevent further corruption of the people of Mikado, they destroy Tokyo with a black hole, killing themselves as well in the process.
- In the Chaos route, Flynn and Lucifer defeat Merkabah. After destroying Mikado, the two begin the war against God.
- In the Neutral route, Flynn, with Isabeau's help, defeats Merkabah, obliterating Jonathan. While Isabeau goes to Mikado to convince the people to evacuate to Tokyo, Flynn confronts Walter and Lucifer, ultimately destroying them. Masakado uses his power to destroy the bedrock covering Tokyo, keeping the city intact while Mikado is destroyed.
- Flynn (フリン Furin?)
- The protagonist of the game, a young man from the village of Kichijoji. He becomes one of Mikado's samurai. A traditional silent protagonist, aside from short phrases, grunts and yells in battle he does not have any actual dialogue aside from the choices the player makes.
- Jonathan (ヨナタン Yonatan?)
- A young member of the Luxurors who becomes a samurai around the same time as Flynn. He is kind and gentle, and favours order over chaos, but is not afraid to fight and sacrifice things for what he believes in.
- Walter (ワルター Warutaa?)
- A young member of the Casualries who becomes a samurai around the same time as Flynn and Jonathan. Though rough and rash, he is also passionate and good-hearted, and values freedom.
- Isabeau (イザボー Izabou?)
- A young member of the Luxurors who becomes a samurai around the same time as the other three, and a daughter of a samurai. When faced with the truth she is unable to decide for herself what is right, but is still willing to fight to stop what she believes is wrong.
- Gabby (ギャビー Gyabii?)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese)
- A member of the Mikado church, shrouded in mystery.
- Tayama (タヤマ Tayama?)
Voiced by: Houchu Otsuka (Japanese)
- The head of the yakuza organisation Ashura-kai, which polices most of Tokyo's human society. Despite being a yakuza he represents Law, with the Ashura-kai being the basis of all of what order remains in Tokyo.
- Black Samurai (黒きサムライ Kuroki Samurai?)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese)
- A mysterious character that wears a strange black armor. She has given books to the people of East Mikado in order for them to think for themselves.
- Hikaru (ヒカル Hikaru?)
Voiced by: Marina Inoue (Japanese)
- A mysterious and knowledgeable, seemingly teenage girl who appears before the samurai in Tokyo. She wears a high school uniform, out of place in the devastated city.
Atlus was confirmed to be developing a new title for the Nintendo 3DS at Nintendo's E3 2010 press conference. The game was officially announced on a two-page spread in Famitsu Magazine as a title for the Nintendo handheld. The first trailer for the game was included with the Japanese 3DS release of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers on August 30, 2012. A second trailer was released on September 17, 2012, with an extended version shown at the Tokyo Game Show and later released to the public. The game is the first in the main series to have full voice acting.
Famitsu gave the game a score of 9/9/10/9, totaling 37 points out of a possible 40. They praised the accessibility of the game to beginners, challenging difficulty and battle system, calling it their "favorite portable title of the week".
Western critics have so far received the game positively. IGN's Kat Bailey enjoyed the improved Demon Fusion gameplay mechanic, general combat and general atmosphere, but criticised the simplistic map design and shallow characters (in particular compared to Persona 4), saying "It doesn’t quite transcend the bounds of its niche appeal as an RPG, but it’s easy enough to recommend to anyone looking for a good hardcore dungeon crawler on the Nintendo 3DS". Joystiq's reviewer Susan Arendt also enjoyed the Demon Fusion gameplay and the game's steep learning curve, but criticized the story as shallow and its characters as forgettable. She rounded off by saying "It's not the prettiest thing you'll ever pop into your 3DS, and the story isn't the series' strongest, but SMT4 will demand your full attention every step of the way". The DualShockers reviewer, Alissa James Jul, praised the character and world design, the story and the combat. She disliked the game's high difficulty in early levels, and the average design of the in-game maps. She ended saying "[The game] is a well developed, immersive and highly polished game that has something for old and new fans alike". Nintendo Enthusiast received the game positively, awarding the game with an 8.5/10. Nintendo Enthusiast's Anthony Retondo praises the game for its hours of content, engaging story, and satisfying combat system, but criticizes it for having a slow start. He concludes saying "[Shin Megami Tensei IV is] not the best 3DS game available, but it may be the biggest bang for your buck."
In its first week of release in Japan, the game topped the weekly chart with sales of 188,562 copies.
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Narrative: Isabeau cuts her own throat! […] Isabeau falls to the ground."
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