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Characters: Shin Megami Tensei II

Hawk/Aleph

The main character in the game, who starts out as an amnesic gladiator. As soon as he becomes a citizen of the Center, he discovers that his true identity is Aleph, the prophesied Messiah of Tokyo Millennium.

He is actually an Artificial Human, conceived in Hiroko's womb and then raised in a test tube as part of a plan by the impatient Messians to "force" the return of their saviour. As a result, he also aged rapidly, growing 10 years every 24 hours for a short time.

In the "Neutral" alignment ending, prior to the Final Boss battle he is forewarned that by defying the will of YHVH, he will suffer a never-ending cycle of torture, death and reincarnation without hope of release as punishment for the "Ultimate Sin" (deicide). He is not told this on the Law and Chaos endings, however.

Tropes:

  • Badass: Not only was he designed to be one, but by the end of the game, he kills God himself!
    • Badass Normal: Like the first game protagonist, he learns no magic whatsoever.
    • One-Man Army: Regarded as one by all sides by the end of the game.
  • The Beast Master
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Not only does it feature into the plot (you have to win a disco competition at one point, whereupon it's revealed Aleph is damn good at dancing), it is also one of Aleph's most successful demon recruitment options, to the point demons are so impressed how much style he puts into his dancing that that alone will convince them to join on the spot.
  • Designer Babies: Not really a spoiler... but the exact details of this are a severe Mind Screw.
  • Dreadful Musician: Aleph trying to sing will instantly drive demons into incoherent rage, many believing it being an attempt to kill them.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted. Being the Messiah tends to make many demons outright terrified to piss you off by the end of the game, and merely namedropping who you are can get them to join you, especially if they are Law aligned.
  • Expy: Jesus
  • Fate Worse than Death: Promised one in the Neutral Ending.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: All his concept art depict him with a katana and 2 guns.
  • invoked Neutral Good: Like the first game protagonist, his alignment is set to Light, and regardless of ending, he is ultimately fighting in the name of humanity or what's left of it.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Those enormous almost visor like shades he wears.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: It's pretty thick between himself and Hiroko, and lots of characters comment on it.

Hiroko

The main heroine of the game. A loyal Temple Knight of the Center who frequently crosses paths with Aleph, eventually becoming his main companion in all alignment routes.

She is (technically) Aleph's mother, with her womb being used to conceive him as part of the Messiah Project and Fake Memories of being a Temple Knight implanted into her to hide the truth. Her father is Mekata, the head scientist of the Messiah Project who was forced to use her as part of the experiment, which led to his defection from the Center.

Tropes:

Beth

A Temple Knight who is assigned by the Center to aid Aleph in laying the groundwork for the Thousand Year Kingdom, acting as his first companion. She is loyal to both the Center and Aleph, to the point of swearing eternal allegiance to him.

Like Aleph, she is an Artificial Human created as part of the Messiah Project to act as the partner to the Messiah. She makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save him from a mortal blow from Daleth, and later appears as a wandering soul to offer him the last of her power.

Tropes:

Zayin

A devoted Temple Knight of the Center, who acts as support to Aleph. As time goes by, he begins to question the methods used by the Center to bring about the Thousand Year Kingdom, and eventually rebels.

Like Aleph, he is an Artificial Human created by the Center as part of the Messiah Project. However, he has another identity: he is also one-half of Satan, a direct subordinate of YHVH. He fuses with Set to regain his true form and memories, and follows the orders of YHVH to use a powerful Kill Sat called the Megiddo Arc to destroy all life on the planet as divine judgement. He succeeds in the Law path, but the destruction convinces him that YHVH has gone too far and he defects to Aleph's side. However, he crumbles to dust after helping to defeat his creator.

Tropes:

Daleth

An powerful warrior who proclaims himself to be the true Messiah, and Aleph to be a fake. Arrogant and proud, he challenges Aleph to a number of fights throughout the game.

Like Aleph, he is an Artificial Human created by the Messiah Project specifically to act as a Designated Villain to Aleph and catalyse support for the Messiah. After discovering the truth, he drops his aggression towards Aleph and becomes an ally of sorts, though he does not participate in the endgame events.

Tropes:

Gimmel

A mysterious young man ruling over the idyllic forest of Arcadia.

He is a servant of the Center. Arcadia is a virtual construct created as a prototype of the Thousand Year Kingdom, with the intention of plugging everyone into the system if successful. Furthermore, Gimmel is more than willing to kill anyone who finds out the truth. His true self in the real world is a skinny bald man plugged into one of the Arcadia life-support pods.

  • The Bad Guy Wins: If you choose to leave after killing him, without either destroying Arcadia (killing everyone plugged in) or installing Aleph as Arcadia's Messiah, then Gimmel gets his way anyway.
    • This is rather ambiguous if you leave the residents live and the mind control is gone, those who still have enough free will might save themselves over time... if you talk with them some are already plotting to challenge him.
  • Bishōnen: Except in the real world, he's a skinny bald man.
  • Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Whoa.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Where he lives in Arcadia and what the general clothing choice is in his assigned area. It's all an illusion.
  • Gag Penis: His real body has a penis made of metal. Or is it covered in armour? It's actually appropriate considering the historical Greek preoccupation with the male genitalia.
  • Harp of Femininity: Always carries around one.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Subverted in reality.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution.

Louis Cypher/Lucifer

A former subordinate to YHVH who rebelled against his creator and was cast down to Earth. Like in Shin Megami Tensei I, he takes the form of a handsome young human named Louis Cypher. He rules over the demonic realm of Makai.

He was ordered by YHVH to cause The Great Destruction with Kuzuryu (the nine-headed dragon that makes up the mountains of Makai) but plotted to use its power against YHVH instead. In the Law and Neutral paths he must be defeated, though is more affable to Aleph in the latter and warns him that Kuzuryu will go berserk without his control. In the Chaos path he joins forces with Aleph to stop YHVH and Satan.

Tropes

  • Badass
  • Benevolent Boss: As opposed to YHVH, who made Astaroth his personal Butt Monkey, Lucifer gave him a job as one of the leading generals of Makai. Further, Lucifer is pretty laid back, letting his subordinates run their little sections of Makai without much interference, and even Crowley, who is rather mad about not being able to host a Sabbath (due to Lucifer's orders), refuses to speaks ill of him.
  • Big Bad: Of the Law path. Until you beat him, at which point YHVH takes that position.
  • Big Good: Of the Chaos path.
  • Blondes are Evil: Or at least have a contested alignment, unless you are in the Law alignment, which plays this straight.
    • This trope even lets you tell who is the real Louis Cypher when Astaroth impersonates him.
    • Considering Satan, Aleph, Hiroko, and God commit genocide on everyone other than the humans who gave up their freewill and knowledge in the Law path Lucifer kinda had a good reason for being miffed.
  • Famous Last Words: Neutral path. "Remember this... As long as humanity continues to flourish on their own...God will continue to try to destroy them... Aleph... Don't let my people or yours be destroyed...
  • Graceful Loser
  • Nice Guy: It surprised everyone who played this game after SMT1 and Nocturne. In 1, he's just Chaotic Evil to God's Lawful Evil, while in Nocturne, he's honest with the Demi-fiend and saves him from being powerless in the vortex world but is more distant to him. Here? He is nice to you so long as you're not Law-aligned.
  • Six Winged Angel: Two forms of this, no less.
  • Lucifer is Good: True, he hates YHVH, but he honestly does want what's left of humanity to survive.
  • The Charmer: Very polite, honest, accepts his defeat with grace and simply asks Aleph to save his people.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In SMT1 he was the same as YHVH. In this one he is very much interested in seeing humanity survive as he is demonkind. His ending is one of the only times in the series that Chaos actually FEELS like a happy ending, rather than just a world of vice and freedom.
  • Trick Boss: On the Law route, in which he's built up as the final battle before you and Satan turn on YHVH.
  • Villains Out Shopping: When not actively planning to screw over God, he can usually be found in the bars across the game, knocking back a drink.

YHVH

Click here to see what He looks like. 

The god worshipped by the Messians, who believe Him to be a magnanimous and all-loving being.

In reality, He is a vain, megalomaniacal and vengeful god who has decided to wipe out humanity, partially in retaliation to the Center creating an artificial Messiah, and partially because He is an incredible Jerkass who is fed up with people not worshipping Him enough. He is the Big Bad in every route, even in Law (where His actions disgust even His most loyal subordinate).

Word of God states that YHVH is not supposed to be an accurate depiction of the Judeo-Christian god with a similar name, but rather that His erratic actions are symptomatic of something going terribly wrong with the universe.

Tropes:


Shin Megami Tensei ICharacters/Shin MegamitenseiShin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

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