Video Game: Megami Tensei II aka: Digital Devil Story 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.
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.
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.
Brainwashed: The humans who gathered to listen to Balam in Shibuya and later it's revealed that the entire human membership of the Deva Cult were actually brainwashed by Leonard.
But Thou Must: Recruiting the Partner, as a Macguffin giving NPC will refuse to work with the Friend. 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. In Kyuyaku, meanwhile, she just leaves until you leave the dungeon and come back, meaning that you have effectively infinite tries to "recruit" her.
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.
Demoted to Extra: The Messians compared to later games. A representative shows up exactly once each during the course of the game, with the rest of their activities are mentioned in passing by other characters.
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 (see Evolving Weapon).
More of a Disc Two Nuke but if you're at level 52 (a diligent player can reach level 44 before Bael's Castle which is a good spot to level grind) and you have Undine (fuse two fairy types to get), Slyph (fuse two youma types to get) and Salamander (fuse two beast types to get), 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.
Disproportionate Retribution: The Friend is willing to kill the Hero (who he's probably known his whole life) and side with Pazuzu (who he's known for about a few hours) all because the Hero ends up defecting from the Messians. In other words, The Friend is willing to kill someone over a religion that they've both only just heard about.
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.
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.
Guide Dang It: In order to advance the plot, you will need the elementals Undine and Gnome to to recover sunken treasure in Makai and unlock a dungeon, respectively. The game doesn't suggest that Undine or Gnome would be useful in these situations at all.
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 thanks to the Dark Hero, according to an NPC in Ginza.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Naga has been impaled upon the Kuchinawa Sword when you find him. When you remove the sword, you'll be able to take it with you and Naga will join your party.
Infinity–1 Sword: The Vajra and the Muramasa. The former is dropped by Belphegor if you fight him in Makai and is a weaker version of Lucifer's Sword. Meanwhile the Muramasa is dropped by a random encounter in Belial's castle (the second Makai dungeon) and is 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 surprisingly 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).
Last Disc Magic: Lucifer's Sword can only be equipped prior to the final dungeon. The only drawback is that the Hero must have an intelligence level of 20 (21 in Kyuuyaku) to wield it. The Megiddo Fire, the best gun available, is an even more extreme example as it 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.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Dark Hero is the one who frees Lucifer from his ice prison below Ginza, allowing him to potentially join you and stop YHVH.
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.
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.
Purple Is Powerful: Subverted by the Dark Hero, who wears spiked purple armor and looks powerful, but poses no real threat to The Hero or Bael.
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).
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.