Video Game: Megami Tensei II
Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II
is, as the name suggests, the sequel to Megami Tensei
for the Famicom
. Despite being a direct sequel to the events of the first game, it has little to nothing to do with the original Digital Devil Story
plotline, and in fact closer resembles, and likely inspired, the Shin Megami Tensei
games that followed it.
In the year 199X, the world thrown into nuclear war and Tokyo was hit by a missile strike. During the resulting chaos, a horde of demons from Makai managed to launch an invasion of the human world, pretty much conquering it. Cut 35 years later, where various demon lords fight it out for control of Tokyo, and humanity struggles to survive in the ruins of the city and the bomb shelters where they fled years before. In one such bomb shelter, a young man and his friend come across the sealed demon Pazuzu while playing a mysterious game known as "Devil Busters". Pazuzu, claiming to be a servant of God, declares the two as the Messiahs who will save humanity from the demons and grants one with the Demon Summoning Program that will allow him to talk to, and recruit, the demons, and teaches the other magic. Shortly afterwards, however, the bomb shelter is attacked by demons and the two are thrust out into the ruined, demon infested world.
The game follows three primary human characters. None of the characters are given official names, and must be named by the player
- Hero: The Heroic Mime protagonist. A resident of Bomb Shelter No. 3, he was given the Devil Summoning Program by Pazuzu in order to combat the demons. His actions will determine the ultimate fate of the world.
- Friend: The hero's friend. Proud, pushy, and selfish, he easily buys into Pazuzu's claims and the praise of the Messians. When the hero sides with the heroine against Pazuzu, the friend will leave. The friend will eventually transform into the Dark Hero, the game's primary rival character.
- Partner: The hero's main companion. Originally a witch working for Pazuzu, she realized she was simply being used by him and hid in the ruined Tokyo Tower, where she protected the people living nearby. Joins with the hero after revealing to him Pazuzu's true intentions, and stays with him throughout the game, regardless of the path he takes.
Like its predecessor and successors, Megami Tensei II
is a first person dungeon crawler using a turn based battle system, and the bulk of the player's party will be made of demons who they recruited. However, demons cannot level up on their own, and must be fused together to form stronger demons. Unlike the map and cursor overworld used by later games, there is a full overworld between dungeons, complete with overworld sprites for the three human party members. Like most main Shin Megami Tensei
games, the game ends if both human party members are killed.
During the era of the Shin Megami Tensei
sequels, the game was remade alongside the first game as Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei
for the Super Famicom
. Aside from graphical updating, the remake introduced several new demons.
This game provides examples of:
- After the End
- Alas, Poor Villain: The Dark Hero's death is treated as a somber event, despite him trying to kill you several times. Before he dies, he tells you that the real enemy or the "true enemy," resides in Makai. In response, the Hero places the Soloman Ring on his finger and leaves.
- An Arm and a Leg: The hero loses one of his arms in a trap while attempting to get one of the Seven Pillars, and has to get it replaced with a robotic arm that also serves as the COMP upgrade of the game. The missing arm is even reflected in game as a status ailment that deals continuous damage to the hero and prevents the player from using the COMP.
- Apocalypse How: Class 2.
- The Apunkalypse: Many of the enemies in the Kyojin (Psycho) clan consist of punk rockers, heavy metal fans, and long haired bikers, all with incredibly dated appearances.
- Avenging the Villain: Before dying, YHVH claims that He is part of the Great Will, an entity that oversees multiple universes and boasts that He will be avenged by an even higher power than Himself.
- Badass Normal: The non-magic-using hero, as is the Megami Tensei tradition.
- Big Bad: YHVH.
- Bigger Bad: The Great Will and the other potential YHVH-level beings from other universes if YHVH is to be believed.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Good Ending, where the Hero and the Partner return to the ruined world with the demons gone after defeating YHVH. However, with his last breaths, YHVH claims that the Great Will will avenge Him.
- Boring but Practical: The Kuchinawa Sword. It has low attack power, around 6, but can hit multiple times and doesn't sap your HP like the Nihil Blade. Chances are you'll hang onto the Kuchinawa Sword until you get to Makai.
- Body Horror: After his transformation into the Dark Hero, the Friend is hooked up to an uncomfortable organic looking armor.
- But Thou Must: A cruel variation in the original Famicom version: Rejecting the Partner means she attacks you and kills you, being much stronger than she is when she joins your party.
- If you grind or cheat to kill her, she just reappears!
- Call Back: Devil Busters, the first "dungeon" of the game, is a recreation of the first town and dungeon from the previous game. At the end of the (main) game, it is revealed that it was programmed by Akemi Nakajima, the previous game's protagonist.
- Camp Gay: The guys running the Men's Armor stores. All of them. Even the ones in Makai!
- Cast from Hit Points: The Nihil Blade and the Deathblade are incredibly powerful at the points in the game when you get them (some are even able to clear the game using Deathblades), but they will inflict Curse status on you, causing you to lose 1 HP per step.
- Cosy Catastrophe: While the nuclear strike in 199X wrecked the overworld and submerged a good chunk of Tokyo, those who made it to Shelter #3 don't have it all that bad (ignoring the fact that except for the main characters, they can't go outside). They're stocked with weapons, they have access to a working bar and some kind of regular food source. There's also a security force although Nebiros makes quick work of them.
- Those who don't live in shelters are forced to find refuge from demons in dilapidated buildings. However, these survivors still manage to carry on fashion trends (see The Apunkalypse), are free to pursue religion (Order of the Messiah or Deva Cult) and there are many thriving shops, bars, casinos. On the other hand, the Good Ending seems to make a big deal about overworld survivors being able to use electricity again, meaning they've essentially been stuck in the Dark Ages for twenty or thirty-something years.
- Cool Boat: Mora sort of works like this, ferrying you from place to place in exchange for Talismans and food.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Suzuki, who is actually Satan in disguise.
- Crapsack World
- Crutch Character: Naga, Atlas, Cerberus to name a few.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Like later games, the Messians are Judeo-Christan in everything but name.
- Demoted to Extra: The Messians and Deva Cult (renamed the Gaians in later games), compared to later games. A representative from each faction shows up exactly once each during the course of the game, with the rest of their activities being mentioned in passing by other characters.
- Did You Just Punch Out YHVH?: If you go for the Good ending, you'll be given this opportunity.
- Disc One Final Dungeon: Bael's Cathedral.
- Disc Two Final Dungeon: Lucifer's Temple.
- Disc One Nuke: The Nihil Blade can be obtained from Ueno somewhat early on. It saps your HP, but it does enough damage that as soon as you get it, you can defeat Tiamat. However, you may want to keep the Nihil Blade in your inventory instead of using it.
- More of a Disc Two Nuke but if you're at level 52 and you have Undine, Slyph and Salamander, you can triple fuse them to summon the Angel Michael, who can be obtained right before you travel to Makai and remains useful until the end of the game.
- The Dragon: Two of them. Belphegor to Satan and Satan to YHVH, with the latter being a better example, right down to Satan being a more difficult boss fight than YHVH.
- Dual Wielding: Subverted. Human characters can wield a Sword and Gun at the same time, but can only use one weapon or the other per turn in battle.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Lucifer can be this to your team, if you meet the requirements to have him join your party. Baal and Ahura Mazda qualify too.
- Evil Laugh: Some demons that can't be communicated with simply reply "kururururu," if you try to talk to them. Eerily, some humans will too.
- Evolving Weapon: The Nihil Blade will become the Hinokagutsuchi if you still have it and Lucifer decides to join your party.
- Fetch Quest: Three of them! Gathering the Four Talismans to get around Tokyo, then Seven Pillars to enter Makai, then gathering the jewels needed to actually get around Makai and reach Lucifer's Temple.
- Fusion Dance: Aside from the regular method of fusing demons, if you spared Bael earlier in the game, he will fuse with Beelzebub and form Baal. Recruiting Baal is required in order to recruit Lucifer and get the game's "good" ending.
- Game Within A Game: Devil Busters.
- God Is Evil: And the True Final Boss, predating Shin Megami Tensei II. Unlike the other games, where he wants to enslave humanity in a Thousand Year Kingdom, this time he just wants to kill them all.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Zaratan Island, despite not being the final boss, just pops out of nowhere to give the player an extra random obstacle in trying to get to Bael's Castle.
- Gratuitous English: Some of the human random encounters use the word "death," spelled in lowercase letters to make a threat towards you, if you try to talk to them.
- Harmless Freezing: Aside from the regular status ailment, Lucifer is frozen during the first half of the game, presumably sealed by Nakajima after the events of the first game. He gets better.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Naga has been impaled upon the Kuchinawa Sword when you find her. When you remove the sword, you'll be able to take it with you and Naga will join your party.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Bright gold ones, too! In a post-apocalyptic 202X, no less! And in Makai too!
- Infinity–1 Sword: The Vajra and the Muramasa. The former is dropped by Belphegor if you fight him in Makai and is basically a watered down version of Lucifer's Sword. Meanwhile the Muramasa is dropped by a random encounter in Belial's castle (the second Makai dungeon) and is essentially the Hinokagutsuchi if it were half as strong.
- Even after they've been replaced by the Infinity+1 Sword, both swords are still somewhat useful. The Vajra is the strongest sword for the partner. Meanwhile the Muramasa is a common drop from a weak enemy and can be sold for a very high price in shops.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Several. There's Lucifer's Sword, which requires an intelligence level of 20/21 to wield and the Hinokagutsuchi, which requires you speak to Lucifer while you have the Nihil Blade in your inventory. There's also the Meggido Fire which can only be obtained before the final boss fight (see below).
- I Just Want to Be Badass: The Friend/Dark Hero is convinced that he (and initially, the Hero) are the saviors of Messian legend. Even though Pazuzu is clearly using him, he opts to fight in his name no matter what.
- Last Disc Magic: Lucifer's Sword. The only drawback is that the Hero must have an intelligence level of 20 (21 in Kyuuyaku) to wield it. The Megiddo Fire is the best gun available, but can only be found right before the final battle. Subverted with Lucifer's Armor, which can be obtained in the middle of the game, but requires a near maxed out strength stat (that one would likely have at the end of the game) to wield.
- Lazy Backup: Somewhat justified. If both human characters die, the battle is over, presumably because no one will be left to work the COMP and control the demons.
- The Man Behind the Man: Satan, not Lucifer, is behind the demon invasion and the nuclear war that predated it, but he was doing so under YHVH's orders.
- Monster Arena: Which you need to complete to obtain a pillar. It's also a good way of making some quick money too.
- Multiple Endings: 3 endings: 2 variations of the same bad ending, and one "good" ending. Kyuuyaku adds one more, which is, again, a variation of the bad ending.
- No Export for You: And no completed fan-translation either, so unless you read Japanese or feel like scouting out a translated guide (or finding a Japanese FAQ and running it through Google Translate), good luck getting around an already hard game!
- Nuke 'Em: As part of the back story.
- Oh My Gods!: Averted by YHVH of all people. Upon being defeated, YHVH cries out なんてことだ！nante koto da!) While the phrase indicates shock, it's also considered the Japanese equivalent of taking the Lord's name in vain. May double as a Stealth Pun.
- Old Save Bonus: In the Kyuuyaku version, continuing on from a completed Megami Tensei file with certain side quests done will add several events to this game.
- These events include encounters with Mama and Papa Jack Frost, access to one of four secret demons based on Classical Mythology, Izanami weaving you an item to block trap and swamp damage, and a new area in Ginza known as the Trash Mountain.
- Only in It for the Money / Punch Clock Hero: Some demons will join your side — for a steep price with some even asking for triple donations!
- Even if a demon joins you and is logged in the COMP, they all require an additional donation (from hundreds to thousands of Makka) before they'll be added to your party! On top of that, they'll also consume Magnetite for every step you take while they're summoned.
- Physical God: If you betray Lucifer at the end of the game or you have the friend in your party, YHVH essentially bribes you with godhood.
- Random Encounters
- The Rival: The Hero's friend after his transformation into the Dark Hero.
- Satan Is Good: Well, Satan is still evil, but Lucifer is treated as the game's Big Good if you unlocked the requirements to recruit him.
- Snowlems: This game is where Jack Frost, Atlus' mascot, made his debut (albeit with a very different appearance than he has now. This was slightly corrected in the remake, however).
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: When the Friend bails on you, he'll take with him the Soloman Ring, Orthus and half your cash!
- Standard Status Effects: You've got classics like Poison, Paralyze, Sleep, Bind, Confuse and Seal (which works like Silence), but also Cursed (which works more like a traditional Poison effect), Happy (which causes the afflicted member to randomly ignore commands) and Panic (a status that paralyzes the hero if he's threatened by an enemy).
- Starter Equipment: Two Walther P.P.K.'s, one for you, one for your friend.
- Taken for Granite: Atlas, but he gets better.
- Trademark Favorite Food: The Dainty Dinner for Mora. It's the only way to get him to ferry you around Makai.
- There's a man in the Village of The Flies who requires a food item known as the Gorgeous Set.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Friend, after being transformed into the Dark Hero, appears to have done this. He wields a katana, has Super Saiyan-esque blond hair, red eyes and a grotesque organic looking purple armor that's wired into him! Subverted in that his ambushes on you always fail and he gets himself killed by the game's Disc One Final Boss Bael.
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: Upon being defeated Bael transforms himself into a frog which you must take if you hope to recruit Lucifer.
- What Could Have Been: The Dark Hero was supposed to be a boss fought during the player's trip to the Suzuki Company, hence his boss data and incredibly high stats. Also, Yumiko from the original Megami Tensei (now an old woman) was supposed to make a cameo in an unknown capacity according to a magazine preview.
- Dr. Bhakuta from the Ginza underpass was intended to be an enemy according to screenshot from a Japanese website.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the Kyuuyaku version, you don't have to accept the Partner as your partner, you can side with Orthus and your friend. However, she runs off.
- This also poses several questions: how the repeated fights against the Dark Hero (the friend's transformed state) are handled, if they even occur at all, if he even transforms himself, if the Partner ever shows up later or if anyone else is killed by Bael in the Dark Hero's stead. You do never clash with Pazuzu, you only have to fight Mammon. Siding with your friend also seems to lock you in for the game's bad ending, though.
- You start in Shelter #3, but no other Shelters are visited or even mentioned.
- White Magician Girl: Played with the Partner, who fits the personality type but is more of a Red Mage. However, she will be your most reliable healer throughout the game, (until you obtain Baal) despite her offensive abilities.