The original source material for the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' video game series and all of its many derivatives, ''Digital Devil Story'' is a trilogy of novels written by Aya Nishitani. Written in the late 1980s, there are three books in the series: ''Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei'' (Reincarnation of the Goddess), ''Digital Devil Story 2: Mazu no Senshi'' (Warrior of the Demon City), and ''Digital Devil Story 3: Tensei no Shūen'' (Demise of the Reincarnation). The first novel was adapted into an OVA as well as given a video game sequel (same title as the first book, but with "story" written with the kanji for "monogatari", and "story" in furigana). There was also a sequel series of six novels also by Nishitani, titled ''New Digital Devil Story'', that deals with the aftermath of the original trilogy.

In Jusho High School, the student body is divided into two groups: the gifted class and the normal class. One day, Akemi Nakajima, one of the gifted and something of a maverick within the school, has the bad luck of being targeted by the semi-delinquent normal Kondo Hiroyuki. The reason? Nakajima had rejected Kyoko Takamizawa's advances, and in a fit of petty vengeance, she manipulated Kondo's crush on her to deliver Nakajima a vicious beating by proxy.

Humiliated and infuriated by the injustice, Nakajima goes about getting his revenge. Everyone knows that Nakajima is an ace programmer, but there's one thing no one knows: he's also an amateur magician. He had previously stumbled into the revelation that magic and programming were more or less the same, and had been building a Demon Summoning Program in his spare time. He'd never intended to use it... until Kyoko and Kondo provoked his rage. What follows is a disaster that can only gets worse before one can even hope that it will get better...

As you might expect from the original source material for the [=MegaTen=] franchise, Digital Devil Story sets the basic foundation for the games that followed. That means it's happy to explore arcane lore even as it jumps into places that will make the average reader wish for some TropeCo/TropeCo BrainBleach.

The novels were never released in the West. However, a dedicated English translations of the first two novels can be found [[http://ddstranslation.blogspot.com/2006/08/introduction_16.html here]], along with a reedited version found [[http://menasepublications.blogspot.com/2010/09/reincarnation-of-goddess.html here]] and [[http://menasepublications.blogspot.com/2010/12/warrior-of-demon-city.html here]]. A French translation is also being [[http://ddsfrtrad.blogspot.com/ worked on]]. While the third novel hasn't been translated, [[http://complete.electrolit.net/2010/09/24/megami-tensei-novel-turned-game-turned-novel/ certain websites]] have a rather quick summary of the plot.
!!Tropes! '''Come forth!''':
%%* AllMythsAreTrue:
* AssholeVictim: Both of Nakajima's initial targets, Kyoko and Kondo, are portrayed as rather terrible people. Kondo is a ruthless bully who's violently driven out many students of Jusho High, while Kyoko is a ManipulativeBitch who orchestrates the violent beatdown that sets Nakajima off because he rejected her advances. Averted with Nakajima's third sacrifice, a high school teacher who was simply killed off as part of the DealWithTheDevil, and possibly because HeKnowsTooMuch.
* TheAtoner: Nakajima, by the end of the first book.
* AttemptedRape: Poor Yumiko has to endure this. As does [[spoiler:Izanami]].
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Lucifer wins at the end of ''Demise of the Reincarnation''. The ''New Digital Devil Story'' sextology deals with this.]]
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Yumiko.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Yumiko's sweet, mischievous, a really fun girl. [[spoiler:She's also the reincarnation of Izanami, and teaches Loki a thing or two about the efficacy of fire.]]
* BigBad: Nakajima seems like he's heading this way at first. [[spoiler: Loki takes that role from him. Set assumes this role after Loki's death, and holds on to it for the second book. [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]] himself takes the role in the third.]]
* {{Bishonen}}: Nakajima.
--> With his slender frame and delicate looks, if Nakajima swapped his uniform for a girl's sailor suit, he might very well be able to pass for a beautiful teenage girl.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Kyoko. She doesn't get to enjoy it for very long.
%%* Myth/ClassicalMythology
* ClingyJealousGirl: Ohara. [[spoiler:She snaps Yumiko's neck out of jealousy, right before Loki would have raped Yumiko.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Charles Feed is mentioned in passing in the first book. He becomes a major supporting character in the second.
* CombatTentacles: One of Loki's powers, he uses them to crush people and absorb their blood.
* CrossoverCosmology:
** In the first book alone, we have Loki, [[spoiler:Izanagi, Izanami, Yomotsu-Shikome, and Set]].
** The Franchise/CthulhuMythos also makes an appearance, though none of the creatures from it appear in person. Nakajima's collection of occult books includes the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Necronomicon and the Pnakotic Manuscripts]] and the occult organization ISG's headquarters is located in [[LovecraftCountry Arkham, Massachusetts]].
* DarkIsNotEvil: Kerberos is more like a loyal oversized puppy to Nakajima.
* DealWithTheDevil: What sets everything in motion.
* {{Determinator}}: The main protagonists can be very stubborn about not giving up.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Kyoko has Kondo beat the crap out of Nakajima because he rejected her. Nakajima summons Loki and has the demon consume Kyoko and Kondo's souls.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Nakajima is killed by Yumiko (possessed by Izanami). When she regains consciousness she takes her own life in despair when she can't contact Izanami for answers.]]
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Nakajima. The narration specifically mentions he takes after his mother. Used by Kyoko as a taunt.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: For the first book, at least.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: The paragraph that introduces Ohara notes that she's "attractive even to the eyes of other women."
* EvilIsNotAToy: Loki teaches Nakajima this lesson. Painfully.
* EvilerThanThou: Loki quickly disabuses Nakajima on who runs who.
* FanDisservice: The loving care with which Loki's... ''activities'' are described can result in {{Squick}}.
* FunctionalMagic: Thaumaturgy and other real world magicks.
* GenderBlenderName: Akemi is usually a woman's name.
* GoneHorriblyRight: Using you ace progamming skills and amateur wizard talents to create demon-summoning software? WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong
* HeelFaceTurn:: Nakajima.
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler: Yomotsu-Shikome]] dies facing [[spoiler:Loki]] in order to buy Nakajima enough time to [[spoiler:revive Yumiko.]]
** In the second novel, [[spoiler:Narukawa dies fighting Set to buy time for Nakajima and Charles Feed to escape.]]
* HotTeacher: Ohara.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The [[spoiler: Japanese god of fire Hi-no-Kagutsuchi]] is turned into one of these.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Nakajima.
* {{Jerkass}}: They abound. Kondo, Kyoko, Nakajima for most of the first book...
* JerkJock: Kondo. Like Kyoko, he doesn't get to enjoy it for very long.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Yumiko.]] ''Twice.''
* LoveHurts: Yumiko knows this quite well. Ouch.
* MagicFromTechnology: By realizing the similarity between structured summoning rituals and programming algorithms, Nakajima wrote the Demon Summoning Program. And was [[GoneHorriblyRight horribly successful]]. This concept would pave the way for demon-summoning arm terminals and smartphones in ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei''.
* NewTransferStudent: Yumiko. Too bad it had to be into Jusho High...
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Nakajima. Sure, he successfully develops the Demon Summoning Program. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, he failed to build in proper safeguards that would impose a contract on a summoned demon. Loki turns on him very quickly, resulting in the deaths of at least half his classmates, as well as many innocent bystanders.]] To top it all off, [[spoiler: after Nakajima defeats Loki, Ohara ends up summoning Set, the most powerful evil god of ancient Egypt.]] As icing on the breaking cake, [[spoiler:many demons have sensed the pathway Nakajima opened to their world, kindling their ambition to conquer the human world. More than just a handful of those demons want to ally themselves with Nakajima.]]
** The ending of the second book isn't any better. Sure, he beats Set and saves the world, [[spoiler:but he also unwittingly allows several demons to escape from Atziluth by insisting that he has to save Yumiko.]]
** The third book ends with [[spoiler:Nakajima being possessed by Lucifer to kill Yumiko, with Izanami taking over and slaying Nakajima in self-defense.]]
* OrphanedSeries: Or more like orphaned translation project. The third story of the original trilogy has gone untranslated for years, and nobody has even touched the ''New Digital Devil Story'' novels.
* PowersAsPrograms: Nakajima successfully builds a Demon Summoning Program, and also develops a Demon Transfer Theory which gives demons virtually free range.
* {{Pun}}: Yumiko is a transfer student (転校生, tenkousei). Remove the middle character and you get reincarnation (転生, tensei).
* {{Reincarnation}}:
** The main characters [[spoiler:are the reincarnations of Izanagi and Izanami.]]
** In the second book [[spoiler:Special Forces agent Narukawa is the reincarnation of Tsukuyomi.]]
* RedShirt: A segment in the first book and several segments in the second book go into absurd detail about the lives of minor characters. The segments usually end with them slaughtered.
* SexFaceTurn: Reversed version, [[spoiler:as it's Ohara who does this, it also counts as a reverse HighHeelFaceTurn.]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Gets more and more cynical with each installment. Both the original trilogy and its sequel series end in {{Downer Ending}}s.
* StarCrossedLovers: The main protagonists have this in spades.
* StealthPun: The ISG's main server contains an [[UsefulNotes/JapaneseRomanization A]][[LoveTropes I]] program named Craft. Sadly the text does not mention if it was manufactured by Hewlett Packard.
* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: Pretty much the gist of the story. It's why [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the devils are, in fact, digital]].
* SummonMagic: The Demon Summoning Program.
* TeacherStudentRomance: This is what Yumiko originally thought was happening between Ohara and Nakajima.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: AI are programmed via command-line interface, and the first time Nakajima tries to use his program, he gets an OUT OF MEMORY error. The text of the translation even [[InvokedTrope invokes]] this, when mentioning that most people hadn't even heard of the Internet yet.
* TheDragon:
** Loki enters as Nakajima's dragon. [[spoiler:Ohara]] gets promoted to [[spoiler:Loki's]] Dragon soon after.
** In the second book, [[spoiler:Isma Feed serves as Set's Dragon.]]
* UrbanFantasy: Set in Tokyo, there are demons running around, Solomon Crests, thaumaturgy... yup, it qualifies.
* VillainProtagonist: Nakajima, at first.
* VillainousBSOD: Nakajima suffers this after [[spoiler: Loki betrays him.]]