These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
God himself got this as well, being one of the more merciful depictions in Mega Ten... until Overclocked anyway.
Base Breaker: Yuzu tends to be divisive due to her character arc which involves escaping from the conflict. On the other hand, should the correct route be taken she gets better received. Overclock made things harder for her considering she had one of the weakest voice actors to some people.
Breather Boss: 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.
Demonic Spider: Basilisks, which are custom tailored to be annoying as hell and deadly, to boot. To wit — they have repeated ways of turning you to stone (stoned enemies are have a chance of being instantly killed when hit by physical attacks — 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, like during the Beldr fight. They all have party-hitting force elemental spells (Mazan). Stoned demons and tamers can be shattered and killed instantly by both physical and force elemental attacks. And Beldr has Stone+ ability that allows him to randomly petrify enemies hit by his physical attack. Fun times.
Ariochs become this in Overclcoked, 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. It is generally possible to use fire attacks For Massive Damage, but good luck getting a shot off before Deathbound wipes out a good chunk of your team.
Draco in Leather Pants: Naoya created the demon summoning program, traps the protagonist and his friends in the lockdown, is Cain, is completely ruthless against anybody who stands against him in the Law or Inhuman Overlord path, and plans to turn the protagonist into the King of Demons in order to start a war against God. Ask the fangirls, and Naoya is a huggable Woobie who can do no wrong, and is frequently slashed with the protagonist. 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.
Ensemble Darkhorse: On Pixiv, Naoya has 10 pages of fanart devoted to him, compared to Atsuro's 6. Yuzu most likely has around that amount as well, though it's harder to tell as merely typing "Yuzu" will yield pictures of other characters.
Haru is also a popular character, mainly due to her character arc and having the most Character Development.
Game Breaker: Some skill combinations certainly count. Most notable, however, is Drain. It does Almighty damage (which means that 99.9% of enemies can't resist, null, deflect, or absorb it), is surprisingly damaging, and robs the enemy of their HP and MP while replenishing yours.
Also, Drain Hit+Power Hit+Any Phys passive buff.
Holy Dance, which can do random amount of almighty damage. Best used against bosses, who usually won't have partners, thus allowing the full brunt of the random damage to go to a single target.
And also: Tyrant + Megidolaon + leader with Magic Yang = free one-turn kill every turn. And if you've got Awakening as well, even better!
Pierce bypasses resistance to, nullification of, and draining of physical attacks, unless the demon's name starts with "Bel" and ends with "dr". Pair this up with Deathbound and you can demolish bosses that would otherwise make a physical assault hopeless, such as Belzeboul and Naoya.
Beast and Kishin demons on the same team. Beasts let you move again after you attack, and Kishins let you attack twice.
Even better, try Kishins and Vile / Dragon type demons. As long as your opponent doesn't have a demon of the same type, you can attack for two turns without the other team even touching you.
Multi-Strike is also an extremely powerful attack in Overclocked. It costs less hp than other physical abilities and works off of Agility. Put this on a physical-oriented MC and work on boosting his agility, and he'll almost always go first and pretty much instantly kill all three enemies in one turn. Combined with Pierce, you can kill almost everything instantly. Combined with Phys Drain instead, and you'll heal yourself to full against anyone with Phy Repel (fairly common near the end).
In Overclocked, the new Auto-Skill Pierce+ is arguably this when used correctly. It grants the effects of Pierce to the entire team. Frustrated you get another Phys-oriented character and have to bench them because you only have 1 Pierce, in a game where lots of enemies later on have resistance to Phys? No problem! Pierce+ allows you to use two Physical-oriented characters and thus their massive damage capabilities. Plus, since it's an Auto-Skill that grants a Passive Skill effect, you're essentially getting a fourth Passive slot; this allows you to make otherwise impossible combinations of skills with Pierce to create an even more destructive team.
Some player-created demon-skill combinations. For example, usually the biggest weakness of a Squishy Wizard is their physical defense. No problem, pass on Phys Repel to one via fusion, and you now have a magic user that is practically immune to Phys attacks and also has high resistance to magic because of their stat focus. This allows demons of all kinds last a LOT longer past their normal practical use because of the skills you give them. This is easier still in Overclocked with the addition of the Demon Compendium. The only problem thus, is how deep your pockets go.
Phys Rise + Phys Jump + Pierce + Rage Soul. Sure, it limits the team it's equipped on to just its basic attacks, but when that team is, say, Atsuro's, and he's rocking extremely high Strength demon partners, 3.6x physical damage magnification gets kind of nuts. He can tear through pretty much anything not reflecting Physical in one or two rounds, maybe three rounds for bosses. And yes, Bels are included in the three-round maximum, as are some final bosses.
Rolling Recarm chains. Especially effective against the Bonus Boss. Each squad has two demons faster than their human and the human faster than their targets; both have Recarm or Samarecarm. Demons do whatever, human does something that gets reflected and causes them to suicide. The next human revives the first one, then does the same demons do whatever, human suicides thing. Since a character that's just been resurrected acts immediately after their reviver, this creates an infinite chain of revivals that keeps enemies from ever getting a turn.
Overclocked adds in Extra Charge and Extra Savings, two moves that, when cracked, make the rest of the game a joke. Extra Charge doubles the damage of your attacks on Extra Turns, while Extra Savings reduces the cost down to zero. Combine the two with Magic Yin, and you can destroy nigh on everything in one turn while rarely ever needing to replenish your magic.
Victory Cry, which is available only late-game, but replenishes 20% or your HP/MP after every fight. When you can replenish enough MP to cast one powerful spell (say, Holy Dance or Megidolaon) + one Prayer (full party heal) every single turn, you know you're good to go.
Goddamned Bats: 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 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!
Goddamned Boss: Beldr, particularly on a New Game+. Hello, level 30-ish boss, eat my level-99 demons' Megidolaon! Oh wait I can't, I have to punch him with Devil's Fuge.
On Atsuro's route, you get to fight Naoya. He likes to spam Devil Speed to go all over the map.
"You think you're pretty hot, don't you? I don't care about you! My love is for [Protagonist]!
Naoya has this with the Protagonist to some degree.
Iron Woobie: Keisuke refuses to feel sorry for his ideals being cruelly subverted, despite suffering physical abuse and emotional torment as a result
Luck-Based Mission: Fighting Kudlak the second time, by virtue of being an Escort Mission 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.
Moe: Amane. All that dignity, quiet strength and deep faith.
Narm: The various sounds the demons make in cutscenes tend to act more like Nightmare Retardant than Nightmare Fuel. A good example is Beldr, who you’d expect to have full voice-acting and to be a Badass Baritone. Instead he just… moans. It also makes you wonder how the characters are able to understand demons in the first place.
Nightmare Fuel: This is Mega Ten, so it's kind of par for the course. Of particular note is 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 Belberith. Oh god, 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 UEM field will probably make you never want to stand near an electronic device for too long.
Heck, whenever Keisuke snaps out. Who'd thought the seemingly calm character portrait he has would SUDDENLY turn into a crazy psychopath full of complete anger?
Paranoia Fuel: Atsuro notes that, judging by how they seem to be positively flourishing, the various convenient and Internet-based demon-related services accessed by the COMPs must've been around way before the Tokyo lockdown. Combine that with the characters' frequent pointing out that depending on the tamer, demons can cause lots of good or lots and lots of bad...
Then there's the microchips placed inside every electronic device in Tokyo, designed to all go off at the government's command, basically turning the city into a giant microwave oven. Once again, Atsuro is the one to find out this wonderful info.
Now, read the FCC compliance notice on the back ofYOUR DS, if you live in the USA. "(2) [T]his device must accept any interference received,including interference that may cause undesired operation."
Player Punch: If you make some bad choices during gameplay, expect this game to deliver at least one punch to the gut - to say nothing of Yuzu's ending...
Especially notable is 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 has to land the ending blow or else it's heavily implied the character in question gets Killed Off for Real by her Demonic Possession. 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.
Thankfully, the battle gets easier when you realize that Kudlak isn't immune to status effect spells. Combined with the game's quick save/load, Petra Eyes might not be such a Useless Useful Spell after all...
Still, the fact that he can heal from the ailment one turn later makes it a Luck-Based Mission
Scrappy Mechanic: 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 having beaten some paths already to fuse, Master of None 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.
Stop Helping Me!: 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.
Tear Jerker: 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?
That One Attack: If you try to go up against the Bonus Boss without heavy preparation, you will lose before you get a chance to hit him. If you try to go up against the Bonus Bosswith 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 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 Bonus Boss thinks you're not giving it your all. Fourth, and lastly,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 One-Hit Kill 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 One-Hit Kill once he uses it enough times. So the solution is, defeat the Bonus Boss before he can use it enough times... Which is only consistently possible with a Game Breaker strategy.
That One Boss: Oh, Beldr... Really, any boss with 'Bel' in their name counts, but Beldr is the first, and Nigh Invulnerable. 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.
Not to mention his mooks have Petra Eyes+Mazan (Which spells instant death if you're unprepared/unlucky) and come loaded with HP+MP Drain and many multiple Ice/Lightning attacks that may make you lose precious turns.A real pain if you didn't take your time level grinding or skill hunting...
... However, if you leave his mooks' squad leaders alive, they can't do any healing. And he can only resurrect mooks that are completely wiped off the map.
Additionally, if you bring in a Tyrant into battle with the protagonist, it's possible to whittle Beldr down before anyone can even get a heal in.
Belial. He can attack 3 times every turn, he's strong against everything except ice, and has about 3000 hp.
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 Zerg Rush of your best mages with Elec spells and physical with Pierce is destined to end up in failure.
Theiss Titillation Theory: 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. Yuzu also has this to a lesser extent.
Which is disturbing, because unlike Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, you actually get to watch people get murdered and bleed to death in this game, and the meaning of what happened in not diluted by the art style in any meaningful way.
It also has Ym and Arioch in it, which don't look too bad at first glance until you notice what's going on with the Jellyfish shaped part of Ym and Arioch's stomach mouth.
It's quite possible that the only reason this isn't rated M is the absence of everyone's favorite Gag Penis in a golden chariot Mara.
The Woobie: Some view Naoya this way in Amane's ending. Some of the characters even feel sorry for him.
Haru seriously needs a hug.
Especially Honda, and even more so in 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).