* AccidentalInnuendo: The game does this itself when describing the Gigolo in Naoya's profile as a "[[CampGay flamboyant man]]", immediately followed by "[[HoYay What could their relationship be?]]" The fact that Gigolo is [[spoiler: unambiguously revealed to be gay on one path]] doesn't help.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** It's sometimes hard to tell if Naoya's truly a bad guy or not.
** God himself got this as well, being one of the more merciful depictions in [=MegaTen=]... until ''Overclocked'', anyway, which just fed the flames further.
* AnnoyingVideoGameHelper: There are battles where you are assisted by guest characters that are controlled by AI. If you're trying to Skill Crack a particular enemy, get more EXP and macca or just trying to keep your idiot allies alive (in battles with guest characters their deaths are an instant Game Over) you better get to enemy fast or this will get very annoying.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[AwesomeMusic/ShinMegamiTensei Check it out.]]
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Yuzu tends to be divisive due to her character arc which involves escaping from the conflict. The expansion to it added in ''Overclock'' made things harder for her considering she has one of the weakest voice actors to some people. That being said, her characterization in other routes garners less criticism.
* BreatherBoss: Kudlak, while having the annoying gimmick of having to let an NPC land the finishing blow on him all the while you have to keep Dia flunkies from getting to him, is quite simple compared to what came before him and can't take much punishment AND is vulnerable to status inflictions.
* DemonicSpiders:
** Basilisks have repeated ways of turning you to stone (stoned enemies are have a chance of being instantly killed when hit by physical and force attacks -- [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the computer having better luck than you, of course]]), attack from a distance (so you just have to sit there and take the hits), and tend to get grouped in with just about every enemy squad during the mid-game. They are much more evil when paired with Cait Sith demons, which all have party-hitting force elemental spells (Mazan).
** Ariochs become this in ''Overclocked'', mostly due to there being a lot more of them than in the original. They're often paired with Catoblepas demons, allowing their pitiful movement range to be significantly buffed with Devil Speed, and because they're Vile demons, they can spam the powerful Deathbound with impunity, as they have an attack range of three thanks to their Chaos Wave racial ability, meaning they're free from retaliation unless you also have a Vile in your party. If you're fortunate enough to be able to fight back, it is generally possible to KillItWithFire, but good luck getting a shot off before Deathbound wipes out a good chunk of your team.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Naoya created the demon summoning program, traps the protagonist and his friends in the lockdown, [[spoiler: is Cain]], is completely ruthless against anybody who stands against him in the Law or Inhuman Overlord path, and plans to [[spoiler: turn the protagonist into the King of Demons in order to start a war against God]]. Ask the fangirls, and Naoya is a huggable [[TheWoobie Woobie]] who can do no wrong, and is frequently [[HoYay slashed]] with the protagonist. [[UpdatedRerelease Overclocked]] elaborates on his history and presents him more sympathetically, but his more ambiguous actions during the lockdown are often swept under the rug by his fans.
* EvilIsSexy:
** During the fight against Jezebel, you can fight evil clones of Amane who likes to let their jacket almost unzipped, revealing their chests unlike the original Amane.
** Some view Naoya this way.
* FanPreferredCouple:
** The protagonist and Yuzu are the most popular pairing.
** If Naoya is in a pairing, it will most likely be with [[KissingCousins the]] [[HoYay protagonist.]]
* GameBreaker: Listed [[GameBreaker/ShinMegamiTensei here]].
* GoddamnedBats:
** Goddamned Berserkers with their high criticals, extra turns and Endure (Paired with Decarabia's Shield-All and having healing capabilities, these are the most frustrating enemies in the game - and it's near impossible to mimic the strategy well).
** Alternatively, replace with any enemy that likes spamming heal spells. Jack Frost trios are the usual culprit.
** Jaki type enemies with their "Bind" ability. These make the [[EscortMission civilian rescue missions]] even more frustrating when they show up.
** Dragon type and Vile type enemies with their ability to attack from a distance with no counter attacks. These also make the rescue missions a pain in the ass.
** Mothmen and their Mazan spells and Media and Devil Speed.
** Loreleis that repeteadly spam Mute spells with their high speed and make your casters lose turns.
** Ganeshas, with their Endure and warping all over the place and trapping people.
** Yuki Jyurous with their Yuki Juryou-Only party and their Mabufu spamming.
** Goddamn Agares in late game with their goddamn ''Drain Phys'' and their goddamn ''Shield All'' first move!
* GoddamnedBoss:
** Beldr, particularly on a NewGamePlus. Hello, level 30-ish boss, eat my level-99 demons' Megidolaon! Oh wait [[NighInvulnerability I can't]], I have to [[spoiler:punch him with Devil's Fuge]]. While having certain races of demons (such as Kishin for [[ExtraTurn Double Up]]) can make the fight go faster, it's still a bit of a time-waster for those who are speeding through the game just to unlock more endings, since you can't just OneHitKill him like most other bosses in the game.
** On [[spoiler:Atsuro]]'s route, you get to fight [[spoiler:Naoya]]. He likes to spam Devil Speed to go all over the map.
* HoYay:
** [[spoiler: Loki]], as he reveals when talking to Yuzu.
--> "You think you're pretty hot, don't you? I don't care about you! My love is for [[HelloInsertNameHere [Protagonist]]]!
** Naoya has this with the Protagonist to some degree.
* IronWoobie:
** Keisuke [[spoiler:refuses to feel sorry for his ideals being cruelly subverted, despite suffering physical abuse and emotional torment as a result.]]
** Amane spends most of the game emotionally repressed, screwed over by her father and nearly consumed by a demon. Once the third problem is fixed, she goes right back to helping people and kicking demon ass.
* LuckBasedMission: Fighting Kudlak the second time, by virtue of being an EscortMission of the worst kind. Mari herself is entirely useless, able to do single-digit damage and only heal herself seven times, but the real lynchpin is Kaido. He shows up closer to the middle of the map, and almost every demon is attracted to him. Unless you've got your entire team set up for rapid movement, there's a good chance that by the second turn when you can reach him he'll be dead or dying. Then more demons spawn in after a few are defeated, and of course they also home in on him. It might not be as bad if he had any sort of healing prowess, but his only healer is most of the time killed off in the first or second sortie, leaving him completely reliant on your healing.
* MagnificentBastard: Naoya.
* {{Moe}}: Amane. All that dignity, quiet strength and deep faith.
* {{Narm}}: The various sounds the demons make in cutscenes tend to act more like NightmareRetardant than NightmareFuel. A good example is Beldr, who you’d expect to have full voice-acting and to be a BadassBaritone. Instead he just… moans. It also makes you wonder how the characters are able to understand demons in the first place.
* NightmareFuel:
** This is [=MegaTen=], so it's kind of par for the course. Of particular note is [[spoiler: Keisuke's death scene if you fail to stop Kaido from murdering him. The fact that it plays out with small sprites instead of "glorious 3D" is probably the ''only'' thing preventing the game from getting an automatic M rating just for this scene... but the cutesy sprites only serve to make the scene ''worse'' on some levels.]]
** And then there's [[spoiler: Belberith. Oh god, [[EldritchAbomination twisted combo-demon Belberith]]. Even ''worse'' if you're a veteran SMT player and can pick out the component demons that form him.]]
** Also, the [[spoiler:UEM field]] will probably make you ''never'' want to stand near an electronic device for too long.
** Heck, whenever Keisuke [[spoiler:snaps out. Who'd thought the seemingly calm character portrait he has would SUDDENLY turn into a crazy psychopath full of complete anger?]]
** Police + [=COMPs=] = PoliceBrutality turned UpToEleven.
* ParanoiaFuel:
** Atsuro notes that, judging by how they seem to be positively ''flourishing'', the various convenient and Internet-based demon-related services accessed by the [=COMP=]s must've been around ''way'' before the Tokyo lockdown. Combine that with the characters' [[{{Anvilicious}} frequent]] pointing out that depending on the tamer, demons can cause lots of good or lots and lots of bad...
** Then there's the [[spoiler: microchips placed inside every electronic device in Tokyo, designed to all go off at the government's command, basically [[TheTokyoFireball turning the city into a giant microwave oven]]]]. Once again, Atsuro is the one to find out this ''wonderful'' info. Now, read [[spoiler:the FCC compliance notice on the back of '''YOUR DS''', if you live in the USA. "(2) [T]his device must accept any interference received, ''including interference that may cause undesired operation''."]]
* PlayerPunch: If you make some bad choices during gameplay, expect this game to deliver at least one punch to the gut - to say nothing of [[spoiler:Yuzu's ending]]...
* ScrappyMechanic:
** Base Level plays a strong part in battle mechanics. You can only fuse demons your level or lower while most endgame demons are unique (only 1 in the party at once) and possibly requires [[NewGamePlus having beaten some paths already]] to fuse, MasterOfNone or physical based when every other enemy reflected physical attacks (this can't be bypassed by pierce), and the enemy will always have a level advantage on you. Oh and get used to have your demons obsoleted, no matter how good their stats are. And have fun with the endgame game enemies having a huge level spike, and the antigrinding making it hard to catch them if you don't do Yuzu's route first to disable it.
** In nearly every boss fight, enemies will respawn indefinitely until the boss is defeated.
** The Magnetite mechanic. How it works is: as you defeat enemies, a Magnetite meter will go up, and when it's full, you'll be able to teach the demons on your team any skill that you have already cracked. The problem is, there's no way to check how full this meter is, and if you're content with the skills your demons have, you can't save it for later; it resets to 0 whether you use it or not. Also, it fills up much faster during plot-related battles than in Free Battles.
* SpiritualAdaptation: Because of this being a StrategyRPG and the divisive teaser when it was first revealed, this is considered by some to be a much better ''[[VideoGame/TokyoMirageSessionsFE Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem]]'' than the actual game itself.
* TearJerker:
** [[spoiler:No matter the route you take, Honda's son will die.]]
** It takes a real dog to hold an entire city hostage, and seeing the people beg you to let them kill you so that they can go home hurts pretty bad. Hey, it's a [=MegaTen=] game: did you expect anything less from {{God|IsEvil}}?
** In the manga, Atsuro gets shattered by the revelation that Kaido, an AxCrazy DeathSeeker has come to understand his former best friend in a couple of minutes' meeting than he ever did in years. Kazuya gently telling him he does not have to force himself to smile after failing to avert Keisuke's death breaks his mask.
* ThatOneAttack:
** If you try to go up against the BonusBoss without heavy preparation, you will lose before you get a chance to hit him. If you try to go up against the BonusBoss ''with'' heavy preparation, you will probably lose as soon as the word "Megidoladyne" appears on the screen. \\
\\
Why is this attack so bad, you may wonder? First: It's [[NonElemental Almighty]], meaning ''nothing'' can resist, null or reflect it. Secondly, it's a ''field attack'', which means that it hits '''every single one of your teams.''' Thirdly, it can and WILL be promptly unleashed without warning if the BonusBoss thinks you're not giving it your all. [[FourIsDeath Fourth, and lastly,]] [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill it's power rises by 50% EVERY time he uses it.]] This attack is already strong enough at base power that it's pretty much a OneHitKill if you don't have max or nearly maxed MAG, and even then, at level 99 you'd still probably lose half your healt or so, but it'll eventually REALLY become a OneHitKill once he uses it enough times. So the solution is, defeat the BonusBoss before he can use it enough times... Which is only consistently possible with a GameBreaker strategy.
* ThatOneBoss:
** Oh, Beldr... Really, any boss with [[ThemeNaming 'Bel' in their name]] counts, but Beldr is the first, and {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le. And only one character in your entire party can even hit him. And he can raise his mooks from the dead. And his mooks heal him if you don't re-kill them fast enough.
** Belial. He can attack 3 times every turn, he's strong against everything except ice, and has about 3000 hp. Additionally, he recovers 10% of his health after every one of his turns, spams team-wide silences and high level fire spells, and hits like a truck. Plus, once you finally get him on his last legs, he summons a swarm of demons that's just strong enough to distract you and make you waste precious resources long enough for his regeneration to top him up again, AND gets Gomorrah's Fire, which does fairly sizable damage to every friendly unit on the map... including Haru, who is kept as a prisoner in a secluded corner of the map and has no means of protecting or healing herself, and must be kept alive. Unless you've got lots of sources of healing, revival, mana regen, and several users of Ice or Holy Dance, it's near impossible to get any type of momentum going, even on lower difficulties.
** Jezebel and her LethalLavaLand of a stage.
** Beldr might be nigh invulnerable, Jezebel annoying, Belial unbelievably strong, but Babel's second form tops them all.Besides its high HP and virtually unlimited MP, it has the most powerful spell up to that point, Dual Shadow for a chance to use it ''twice in a row'' (which very few parties, if at all, can survive).And on top of that every single turn it will use a special move to heavily damage and '''silence''' all your characters, and shift elemental weakness.Seriously, anything except for a ZergRush of your best mages with Elec spells and physical with Pierce is destined to end up in failure.
* ThatOneLevel:
** Any mission that involves keeping demons from one end of the map and/or keeping NPC teams from dying. "TheComputerIsACheatingBastard" goes without saying...
** Especially notable is [[spoiler: the second fight with Kudlak. Not only do you have to keep him from fleeing, but you have to make sure the [=NPCs=] in battle don't die, ''and'' a specific NPC [[OnlyICanKillHim has to land the ending blow]] or else it's heavily implied the character in question gets KilledOffForReal by her DemonicPossession. Not helping matters is the fact she averages roughly 30 damage at a time, whereas her target will knock her down to near-death ''every time'']]. Note that only the death of the [=NPCs=] results in a Game Over, but any of the undesired results may warrant resetting.
* TheissTitillationTheory: Haru's clothing ''operates'' on this principle. Just look at her sprites and try to figure out how she ''isn't'' having a wardrobe malfunction every five seconds. [[spoiler:It's implied those ImpossiblyCoolClothes aren't hers for a start - they're Aya's.]] Yuzu also has this to a lesser extent.
* TheWoobie:
** [[spoiler: Some view Naoya this way in Amane's ending. Some of the characters even feel sorry for him.]]
** Haru seriously needs a hug.
** ''Especially'' [[spoiler: Honda]], and '''''even more so''''' in [[spoiler: Yuzu's 8th Day]].
* {{Woolseyism}}:
** Atsuro calls Yuzu "Yoohoo" in the English version. In the Japanese version it's "Sodeko" ("sleeve girl") which is a visual pun on the kanji of her name. Obviously that wouldn't work in English, although it sounds a bit weird when Yuzu complains that some people think that Yoohoo's her real name (which works better with the real-sounding Sodeko).
** The game also includes a shoutout to one of Atlus's previous Woolseyisms. At one point Yuzu sends you an email saying "i wana [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} goho-m]]"
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