- Alternate Self: The version of him that appears in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is actually a version of him that died during the ICBM attack on Tokyo. Defeating Stephen earns him the right at a second chance with his fate changed. Fittingly, as the very beginning of the franchise, he represents what many players are at the start of the game: Being able to choose your side, yet not knowing which one.
- Ambadassador: He can talk his way out of a ton of fights to avoid unnecessary violence, but can kick ass with the best with them the instant negotiations fail.
- Badass Baritone: Despite being fairly young, he is given quite the deep voice in the Diamond Realm DLC in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse.
- Badass Normal: He can use swords and guns. No magic. Yeah, he can summon demons but they are more like Hired Guns. Plus, he's a completely ordinary human, lampshaded by the name lead artist Kazuma Kaneko gives him: Futsuo means "Ordinary/Average guy".
- Badass in Charge: Leads the demons he subjugates, and is generally considered the party's leader. After the events of the game he founded the Valhalla district in Tokyo Millennium and helped to expand it alongside Cerberus and Madam.
- BFG: The strongest gun in the game that he can equip, the Megido Fire◊, according to official art not only big, but appears to be meant to be wielded one handed.
- The Beastmaster
- Canon Name: In the official game guide, he's called "Kazuya". Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse seems to have gone back on this, as in his appearance in that game, he's simply referred to as "The Hero".
- Cool Helmet: When equipped with the Dragon armor set in the game, according to some official concept-art◊.
- Dark Messiah: In every path. Saving the world means destroying everyone who opposes your vision for it.
- Disappeared Dad: His father never shows up or is even mentioned.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Almost literally. After all he's been through he gets killed by a cave-in of all things, although supplementary materials reveal that he was the victim of an assassination that was then made to look like a cave in.
- Dump Stat: Any skill points invested in Magic are effectively flushed down the toilet.
- Dying Alone: His body is found in a cave in the second game.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Of course, you can make one for yourself in the original game, but in IV Apocalypse's Diamond Realm DLC, he's just called The Hero.
- First-Person Ghost: The other human party members are seen frequently, but the Hero is never seen. The only reason it's known he's even male is because he's seen on the cover. Averted on the Sega CD version.
- Guns Akimbo: He has two handguns holstered on his sides after the Apocalypse.
- The Hero: It's his title, natch.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: In his appearance in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, he favours melee skills over gun skills (and being unable to use magic).
- Heroic Mime: Never gets a word in dialogue.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: As part of Megami Tensei tradition, the player decides the Hero's name at the beginning of the game.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: One method of getting Demons to join you is by having him sing to the demons, then the demons will do anything just so that he'll stop.
- Hurting Hero: After he finds out (from the horse's mouth no less) that his mother was devoured alive by a demon. It's worth noting that the demon says "Aw, what's with that face! Come on, there's no reason to be sad. You'll see her soon enough... in my stomach! Until then, why don't you entertain me for a bit!! I hope you taste as good as she did!".
- Possibly his feelings over having to kill the Law and Chaos Heroes, as they were his friends.
- You don't never need to look for specific examples for this trope; the Hero's family is dead, the world just got bombed to hell, demons have taken over the remnants of Tokyo, and a grand total of one person doesn't want to kill him if he so much as blinks the wrong way. Badass or no, it's hard to imagine the Hero as a particularly happy person.
- Idiot Hero: Averted, both in gameplay and story. While Intelligence is a fairly useless stat for his companions, it's incredibly useful for him as it greatly increases the success of demon negotiation.
- I Have Many Names: A meta example. He's given the name:
- Kazuya in Shin Megami Tensei Character Profile: Steven Report I,
- Sho in Shin Megami Tensei Final Story: Atlus Official Replay Novel, and
- Futsuo in Kazuma Kaneko Complete Illustration Works, which translates to "ordinary guy".
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse he is simply called "The Hero".
- In universe, he's also called "The First Hero" in Shin Megami Tensei II.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Pictured with one in concept art. He's usually shown wielding Kagutsuchi.
- Kill the Ones You Love: No matter what path you take both Law Hero and Chaos Hero die, and you have to kill at least one of them.
- Like a Duck Takes to Water: He really dealt well with the fact he'd have to fight demons for the rest of his life, eh?
- Living Legend: In Shin Megami Tensei II. Not only did he help rebuild Japan after the events of the first game, but also has a statue of his achievement as the "First Champion" in the Colosseum.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Unlike his companions and demons, he has absolutely no access to magic.
- Magnetic Hero: Gets several demons and allies over the course of the game. Even in IV Apocalypse's Diamond Realm DLC, he can buff all your allies using Morale Boost.
- Momma's Boy: He loves his mother dearly. It does nothing to stop him from being the most powerful human alive.
- The Musketeer: Wields a sword and gun alternately. He can carry both in battle, but only use one at a time.
- Neutral Good: Canonically. He's of Light morality, and the sequel is based on him choosing the Neutral Ending.
- One-Man Army: Takes on some of the strongest demons of both Law and Chaos as equals.
- Powers as Programs
- Reincarnation: Lilith believes he is Adam, and the Heroine is Eve.
- Scarf Of Ass Kicking
- Shoulders of Doom: Receives these when wearing the Dragon armor.
- Wrongly Accused: Near the beginning of the game, he is arrested for the murder of a man killed by a demon.
- You Killed My Father: What's that? You ate my mother?! Prepare to Die, Amanojaku! And this is only the beginning of the game.
PascalThe Hero's loyal dog.
- Action Pet: After the death of the Hero's mother, Pascal will fight alongside his owner.
- Canine Companion: The lovable companion of the main character.
- Crutch Character: In 199X, is only available as Cerberus for a short time. During that time, he's one immensely-powerful dog, far stronger than anything else in that era.
- Leitmotif: Pascal's Theme.
- Meaningful Name: He is named for the Pascal Programming Language, which was itself named for Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher.
- In the remakes, he was supposedly a gift from a Nakajima.
- Took a Level in Badass: After your mother dies and Pascal joins the party, you can fuse him with any demon to create Cerberus!
- Undying Loyalty: Unlike all other high-level demons, Pascal-Cerberus can be controlled by a low-level hero due to his personal loyalty to you from when he was an ordinary dog.
She saves the Hero, Law Hero and Chaos Hero from the end of the world by teleporting them to Makai and is killed in the Great Destruction. She is reincarnated years later and (incorrectly) declared the Messiah by the Messians, but is captured by Ozawa's forces and put under the control of the Psycho Diver, who (under coercion from Ozawa) implants a demon inside her mind that slowly consumes her from within. Her psychic cries for help damage the Hero during each Full Moon until she is rescued.
- Action Girl: A staple among the Heroines, though she stands out especially. Unlike most game's female leads, the Heroine is just as powerful as the Hero.
- Blow You Away: Though her specialty are lightning spells, she learns Rimdora, effectively a zandyne equivalent in a game that otherwise lacks such spells.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Feel like going for Law? No probs! She's got a lovely white and blue Templar cape. In a chaotic mood? Atlus has her decked out in a charming red and black combat suit under the cape. Neutral? Law and Chaos in Balance is the Neutral message in this game.
- Combat Medic: Can be utilized as such, though because she learns only the basic full-party healing spell, she's much more practical as Squishy Wizard.
- Combat Stilettos: A red pair.
- Crutch Character: She joins your party the same level as the protagonist (which is to say, probably higher than the Law- and Chaos Heros) and with much better armour, boasting defense and evasion around 30 points higher than your own. Unlike most crutch characters, she never stops being useful either - see One-Woman Army.
- Damsel in Distress: Though balanced out by the fact that male characters also end up in similar situations. After it occurs the second time she Takes A Level In Badass, even though she already was one.
- Depending on the Artist: Applies to all characters, but afflicts her especially.
- Deuteragonist: In both the senses that she is the second most prominent playable character, and also that her actions during the initial wave of demons serve as a catalyst for the events to come.
- Fragile Speedster: Downplayed. While the player may distribute her stats however they wish, the game automatically distributes her points with a focus on Intelligence and Speed, making it wise to focus on those stats before she is recruited for the second time. The game may otherwise splurge on areas she doesn't benefit from much improvement in, such as Strength.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rescuing the male leads from The Tokyo Fireball. Doesn't stick.
- I Have Many Names: A meta example. She's known as:
- Yuka in Shin Megami Tensei Character Profile: Steven Report I,
- Aoi in Shin Megami Tensei Final Story: Atlus Official Replay Novel,
- Futsuko in Kazuma Kaneko Complete Illustration Works,
- Maki Takahara in Crimson Night: Shin Megami Tensei II TRPG Genesis Jumpstart Kit.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Sends the Hero on one, who later goes into her mind to destroy the demon possessing her.
- Light 'em Up: She learns Hama.
- Messianic Archetype: Subverted. The Messians think she's the Messiah, but she's captured by Ozawa, and then abandons the role, which is taken up by Law Hero.
- Nice Girl: Quite. She's always polite and approachable. She saves all of you from certain death and even at the cost of herself.
- One-Woman Army: In a very notable aversion of Useless Useful Spell, the difficulty of any battle is predicated entirely on whether the enemy is immune to lightning, and thus being stunned, and failing that Marin Karin, a charm spell that works on bosses and, at higher Intelligence, virtually without fail. To say that she's the most useful of the four humans you'll get over the course of the game is an understatement.
- Reincarnation: Twice over. She is implied to be the Eve to the Hero's Adam, and she is killed during the Great Destruction and is reincarnated again later.
- Reluctant Warrior: At the end of the Neutral Path she says that she feels bad about how the war between Heaven and Hell has caused so much death and pain.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Kind, selfless, gentle, and ridiculously powerful.
- Shock and Awe: Learns Zio spells, which aren't resisted by much other than zombies. An extremely useful school of magic to learn, as lightning spells can cause opponents to waste a turn being stunned.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only human woman to join the party.
- Support Party Member: Even moreso than the Law Hero. She learns the most spells out of the three magic-using humans without a particular focus, meaning that she'll likely become the party's most valuable asset.
- Undying Loyalty: No matter what path you take (Law, Neutral or Chaos), she's right there beside you.
- Vague Age: While the male leads are implied to be around high school age, hers is entirely up for debate. Considering that she was leading a resistance movement prior to the ICB Ms hitting, it can be assumed that she is at least in her early 20s.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Somewhat.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Grade A.
He saves the Hero in a Heroic Sacrifice and is reincarnated by divine power into the Messiah, The Chosen One of the Messians. Although he begins as a kind and well-intentioned soul, his viewpoint is poisoned by the Knight Templar angels until he becomes just as radical and unforgiving as they are. He dies in every route: slain by Chaos Hero in the Law route, and by the Hero in the Neutral and Chaos routes.
- Always Save the Girl: His main motivation at the beginning of the game is to rescue his girlfriend, who was kidnapped as part of an effort to capture the Heroine. Unfortunately, by the time he reaches her, she's a Bodyconian, and is given the option to find an item that will grant her eternal rest.
- Blow You Away/Make Me Wanna Shout/Psychic Powers: Learns Zan spells, which encompass all three.
- The Chick: To an extent. He values his humanity immensely, especially compared to the Chaos Hero.
- Church Militant
- Combat Medic: Learns Dia spells.
- Crucified Hero Shot: His introduction.
- Distressed Dude: After he's kidnapped by Nebiros he becomes this.
- Famous Last Words:"Is this what...Is this what God wanted...? I'm...going to die...again? Wasn't I chosen by God... to offer him everything...!! So that's it...Now I see I was nothing but a sacrifice. Nothing but a pawn to... accomplish God's ends... To be discarded at any time..."
- Heel Realization: After you deal him a mortal wound on the Neutral path.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The first time he dies, he sacrifices himself to save the Hero.
- I Have Many Names: A meta example. He's given the name of:
- Yuji in Shin Megami Tensei Character Profile: Steven Report I,
- Toshiki in Shin Megami Tensei Final Story: Atlus Official Replay Novel, and
- Yoshio in Kazuma Kaneko Complete Illustration Works, which translates to "good man".
- Knight Templar: Becomes this later in the game.
- Last Stand: If you choose to reject Law.
- Lawful Stupid
- Light Is Not Good: His Messiah form is that of a young man in a pope outfit.
- Logical Weakness: His ideology focuses on order and strength through unity. This means that, unlike Chaos Hero, he isn't focusing on developing his own personal power. If it comes to a fight between the two, Chaos Hero annihilates him.
- Messianic Archetype: Complete with dying and being resurrected by God. Subverted in that he is never the savior of mankind in any path, dying before he can assume that role.
- Nice Guy: Before he becomes a Messiah he is very kind, sympathetic towards others, and the peacemaker of the group.
- Stupid Sacrifice
- Unwitting Pawn: His Famous Last Words are all about him realizing this.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- We Used to Be Friends: If you do not follow him onto the Law route, your differing ideologies lead to you coming to blows with him.
He survives the end of the world and eventually decides to fuse himself with a demon, gaining incredible power and ditching the Hero. He then joins up with the Gaian armies in his pursuit of more power, though remains somewhat affable with the Hero. In the Law and Neutral routes he is slain by the Hero. In the Chaos route, he is killed when he greedily snatches a powerful artifact called the Devil Ring from the Hero, and is consumed by its power.
- Badass Longcoat: An urban camo patterned trench coat.
- Body Horror: After fusing with a demon.
- Casting a Shadow: Learns Mudo as his final spell.
- Chaotic Stupid: His defining traits are his impulsiveness and stubbornness, both of which lend to his unpreventable death.
- Death by Irony: In the Chaos route, he steals the Devil Ring from the Hero, but is consumed because he was too weak to control the ring's power.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: He is far too pleased with the power he gains from fusing with a demon.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: He tries to steal the Devil Ring from you on the Chaos route, but proves too weak to handle its power. Bye-bye Chaos Hero.
- Famous Last Words"...So, my end comes as well... In the end, I couldn't beat you, [Hero]. You always were a step ahead of me. And I thought that I had finally gotten power that surpassed God's too ...Was this all... just a dream...? A nightmare...? No... It was a good dream... Goodbye, [Hero]..."
- Freudian Excuse: He's been bullied by everyone. THAT'S why he's so power hungry.
- Freudian Slip: "Now I have the power of a demon...!!! Now... Now no one will be able to pick on-DEFEAT me."
- Greed: He steals the Devil Ring from you in the Chaos route out of a selfish desire for more power.
- Hypocrite: After acting as The Load to you for the first quarter of the game, he has the gall to abandon you after gaining demonic power because you would only "slow him down".
- In the English iOS release, however, he says it's because you and the Law Hero are unlikely to survive without fusing with a demon like him. So this may not be entirely accurate.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: His entire motivation is to gain more power so that nobody will pick on him.
- I Have Many Names: A meta example. He's given the Canon Name:
- Takeshi in Shin Megami Tensei Character Profile: Steven Report I,
- Tetsuo in Shin Megami Tensei Final Story: Atlus Official Replay Novel, and
- Waruo in Kazuma Kaneko Complete Illustration Works, which translates to "bad guy".
- Jerkass: He really doesn't develop past being a petty brat.
- Messianic Archetype: Averted. While he is the demon-fused hero of Chaos, he isn't anyone's savior or paragon, simply an exemplar of the ideology. His motives are purely selfish and revolve around developing more personal power, which fits right in with Chaos's main idea.
- Pet the Dog: He remains affable with the Hero even after abandoning him, and even helps him on some occasions. If you make the choice to side against him, he is upset but resolves to fight you anyway.
- Playing with Fire: Has Agi spells.
- Pride: He doesn't accept that there are challenges that he can't overcome, becoming a textbook lesson in the dangers of hubris.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: If you refuse to kill Ozawa.
- Took a Level in Badass: Once he fuses with a demon, his stats skyrocket.
- Tragic Monster
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Joins the party with a machine gun in his inventory. It's implied he was planning to use it on Ozawa's thugs, but had second thoughts or was beaten anyway.
- Weapon of Choice: After the fusion he wields a sweet katana.
- We Used to Be Friends: If you do not follow him onto the Chaos route, your differing ideologies lead to you coming to blows with him.
Her true identity is Lilith, the biblical serpent that tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden. Believing that the Hero is the reincarnation of Adam, she wishes to be his partner so that they can create a new world together. She is killed by the Hero in the Law and Neutral routes, but steps aside in the Chaos route so that the Hero can be happy alongside the Heroine.
For her trope list, see Shin Megami Tensei Forces of Chaos.
Bears absolutely no resemblance to Steven Hawking.
- Genius Cripple: Became crippled after he was attacked by a demon.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Testing of his teleportation program randomly managed to rip a hole in reality that filled the world full of demons.
- I Owe You My Life: Kazuya would be dead if he didn't have Stephen's demon summoning program.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Totally not Stephen Hawking.
- Reincarnation: The Kikyo Amulet-catalyzed vision in the GBA/iOS Visionary suggests that he's the reincarnation of Abe no Seimei.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By way of ripping a hole to the demon world.
- Arc Villain: He's the first leader of the forces of Chaos and the driving force behind a lot of what happens before the nuking of Tokyo.
- Full-Frontal Assault: While he appears in his uniform in his video feeds, he's encountered wearing a fundoshi in his base.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Based off of Yukio Mishima who also attempted a coup d'etat and posed in fundoshi.
He survives the end of the world and strikes a deal with the new demonic regime so he can rule over the district of Shibuya. After Chaos Hero fuses himself with a demon, he kills Ozawa out of revenge.
- Asshole Victim: When he dies, you really can't feel sorry for him. Even the Law Hero doesn't register a complaint over if the Chaos Hero kills him.
- Gang of Bullies: He leads one.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Creates a safe haven in Shinjuku, but given the intense fear his rule inflicts, it's not much better than the other districts save maybe Roppongi. He notably is the first in a trend of villains who appear throughout the mainline games: A human who proves to be as bad as, if not worse than, the demons around them, to the point where one or two main characters start going off the deep end.
- Karmic Death: He beats up Chaos Hero before the end, and is killed by Chaos Hero as revenge in the post-apocalyptic world.
- Knife Nut: His character art depicts him holding a butterfly knife behind his back. Not that he ever fights you himself, though.
- School Yard Bully All Grown Up: After the End.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Both in and out of universe, Ozawa ends up being one of the most important bit players in both the game and the entire series:
- Ozawa's direct impact on the plot is minimal, with his only important contributions being his effect on the Chaos Hero leading to his transformation and capturing the Psycho Diver, who is needed to save the Heroine from Arachne. It's the former that starts breaking apart the heroes, and with his death, the Chaos Hero leaves.
- Franchise wide, Ozawa is the origin of the most recurring character archetype: nasty human villain that isn't as powerful as the protagonists or lead villains, but makes a massive impact that paves the way for the other major heroes to become more extreme. Sakahagi from Nocturne, Captain Jack from Strange Journey, and Tayama from IV are the most faithful examples, but the other mainline entries still fill the nasty minor human villain role with Gimmel from II, Otsuki from if...(albeit more of a wannabe Quisling than a genuine menace), and Tamagami from IV: Apocalypse.
Old Man/Taijorokun/Tai Shang Lao JunAfter demons begin to appear in the streets of Tokyo, the player can go to Inogashira Park and meet an old man who speaks cryptically of the hero gaining great power and of a choice between Law and Chaos. He then conjures up a vision in which the hero, Law Hero and Chaos Hero fight against the devil summoner Douman and are soundly defeated. The vision ends and the old man tells the hero that he is too weak to fight Douman, but that they will likely fight again and that he must be careful.
After arriving in the post-apocalyptic world, the player can find the same old man in Ginza, where he will tell the player to return if no path forward seems possible. If the player then says both Echidna and Haniel, the old man will reveal a secret path to the otherwise inaccessible Cathedral.
Near the end of the game, as the player prepares to battle Archangel Michael or the Asura Lord/Ahura Mazda, the old man reveals himself to be 太上老君 - shortened in the AGTP translation to Taijorokun (it should be Taijo-rokun, or Tai Shang Lao Jun) and officially translated as Taishang Laojun. After both are defeated (at the end of the Neutral path), he appears in the ending to comment on the risks that the plans of Law and Chaos posed to the future of humankind, and urges the player to help shape that future free of the influence of outside forces.