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Megami Tensei

The original Megami Tensei games were groundbreaking for their time and since their release in the late 1980s have spawned numerous sequels, spin-offs, and tv series, becoming one of the most recognized video game franchises in Japan.

Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei was based on the novel of the same name by Japanese author Aya Nishitani, though its sequel Megami Tensei II had a completely original storyline independent of the book series. In 1992 Shin Megami Tensei was released for the Super Famicom, followed by Shin Megami Tensei II and Shin Megami Tensei if... in 1994, firmly establishing the franchise in Japan. Almost ten years later Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was released for Playstation 2, revitalizing interest in the series whilst drawing new audiences to the franchise.

The Megami Tensei games are distinguished for their modern and post-apocalyptic themes, and for their use of characters and beings from world mythology - featuring revolving casts of gods and goddesses, to demons and angels, from mythical beasts to folk heroes, even the cryptids of urban myth - all of whom can be coerced, bribed, and cajoled into following your orders. The enemies you encounter in Megami Tensei games are referred to as Devils[J] or Akuma[J], with a slightly differing conotations, and become 'demon comrades' or Nakama[J] once they join your party.

Games in the series are also known for their mulitple story paths, often diverging after making moral or philosophical decisions as your character progresses through the games' story lines. These decisions also affect your alignment; a statistic you share with your demon allies who may disagree with your chosen philosophy. The paths your character can take typically manifest themselves as a 'chaotic,' path or a 'lawful,' one; although in recent titles alternate philosophies have been presented, a 'neutral' path has always remained constant within the series.

Megami Tensei roughly translates to "Goddess Reincarnation," in English, although the word Tensei has general meanings associated to certain concepts in Buddhism; some regard 'Metempsychosis' or 'Transmigration' as a more fitting translation than 'Reincarnation.' The character Shin[J], in the Super Famicom titles means Truth, and is ostensibly a pun on another character pronounced Shin[J], which literally means New, and was often used in Japan during the height of the Super Famicom-era, much like how Super was used in North America to denote new editions of classic games for the Super Nintendo.

North American Releases
year/title platform/year
2004 Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne PS2
European Releases
year/title platform/year
2005 Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call PS2
Original Japanese Releases
year/title platform/year
1987 Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei
 published by Nihon Telenet
MSX, PC-88, FM-77
1987 Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei
 published by Namcot
1990 Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II
 published by Namcot
1992 Shin Megami Tensei SFC, PC-Engine, PC, Mega CD, PS1, GBA, Wii
1994 Shin Megami Tensei II SFC, PS1 '02, GBA '03
1994 Shin Megami Tensei if... SFC, PS1
1995 Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei SFC
1997 Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Apocalypse
 published by ASCII
PC88, Win98 '99
2002 Shin Megami Tensei NINE Xbox
2003 Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne PS2
2004 Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: Maniax PS2
2008 Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne: Maniax Chronicle Edition PS2

© DevilRy

Further Reading

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