Nightmare Fuel: Shin Megami Tensei

Shin Megami Tensei features brutal bosses, God-versus-Lucifer conflicts, horrible, horrible people, and, last but not least, good ol' demonic horror.

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  • While all of these vague references to other games is really cool, it has a horrifying implication that all of these games take place in a loosely-connected multiverse where any of these apocalyptic scenarios are possible. Even Catherine has an obscure reference to earlier SMT games, so while it lacks any apocalyptic themes, it still has particularly evil and meddlesome examples of All Myths Are True.
  • The implication, asserted in Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE, that demonic contracts offer virtual absolute control over the demon, to the degree the machine summoning them can be used to literally use them as People Puppets. Couple Humans Are Bastards with this gem. Whaddya get?
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV plays around with the idea of controlling demons. The demons in your party are loyal, but they occasionally show discontent when you don't let them change skills; on the other hand, they'll happily rejoin the party if they get lost. It also goes into Undying Loyalty territory, with demons like Ares and the Minotaur showing loyalty toward their masters, even years after they died, and your own demons continuing to fight for you even if you perish in battle. However, the game also ramps up the horrifying implications of this further, by having the Ashura-kai thugs summon demons to stop you, who are usually not pleased by their position, but are forced to fight. Later on in the game, the once proud demon Koga Saburo is forced by a thug who works for Tayama to fight you against his will, turned into a mindless attack dog, and thanks you when you kill him. This also in general counts as a Tear Jerker for him and the other National Defense Divinities as none of them are evil and want to protect mankind from demons and those who seek to harm humanity, whether actively, like the Ashura-kai, or whose methods would hurt humanity passively, like the Ring of Gaea.
  • In a standard fusion, the involved demons get merged into a single larger one, and it's implied the result has parts of each's accumulated experience/bits of each's souls. How large could the mass of memories/souls of a top-tier demon could be?
  • On a more meta example, and with some Fridge Horror for good measure: the fact most of the top-tier angels (Metatron, Sandalphon, Melchizedek, Ophanim, and most likely others) are portrayed as robots. Think about it for a sec.
  • The revelation of what Magnetite/Magatsuhi/Red is made of. Human minds and souls, for the curious.
  • The simple fact that God, the single most powerful entity in existence, is a psychotic, iron-fisted fascist obsessed with the idea of a World of Silence in which everyone mindlessly worships Him for all eternity, obliterating any hope for change or movement, no matter how small. All just to slake His unfathomably huge ego. That much power coupled with that much crazy - or worse, a benevolent entity warped into this by human belief, as has been heavily implied across the series.
    • This helpful article dwells on the links between Christianity, Gnosticism and God's darker portrayals in SMTI and SMTII. Knight Templar + Mad God + The Evils of Free Will = The Demiurge. Still, the Council of Angels and Amaterasu's rant against the Hebrew gods who imprisoned much of the Shinto pantheon in SMTII harkens back to the worst parts of Christian imagery.
    • The SMT universe is broken. God's insanity is just a symptom of a fundamental horror in the fabric of the universe. And it might not always have been that way.

    Demons in General