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Headscratchers / Shin Megami Tensei IV

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  • So what's up with the merchants in Blasted and Infernal Tokyo? In blasted Tokyo, the merchants still have the same dialogue that they have in normal (or at least normal as far as our protagonist is concerned) Tokyo. It doesn't matter as much for the supplies merchant. But the weapons dealer is just as much an ungrateful asshole who seems to absolutely dread doing business with you in Blasted Tokyo as he is in the Tokyo the player character was from. For Infernal Tokyo, the merchants are even more jarring. At least the supplies shopkeeper and weapons dealer in Blasted Tokyo had on desert gear that was appropriate for the outside environment for that incarnation of Tokyo. But for Infernal Tokyo, they're still human even though everyone who hasn't opted to become a demon in that Tokyo end up serving as a means of nourishment for those that have and do little else, let alone run their own shop. Did the team not have time or money to make the merchants for both alternate Tokyos look and act more the part for their respective environments, or did they just not care?
    • It's possible they struck a deal with King Kenji that we're not told about to serve as neutral merchants for the Demonoids.

  • It it stated that god chooses those who he deems worthy of using gauntlet/demon summoning program. How come Walter (and Isabeau to a certain extent) gets one then? Why would god give someone a chance to go against him and his ideals?
    • They only think it is God who chooses them since they don't know any better, but the reality is actually far from it. It's implied that it is already pre-programmed who would be able to use the gauntlets (possibly by Burroughs/Steven since they were scouting for the reincarnation of the guy who put up the Firmanent) and it was also considered abnormal; anyone should be able to use it since they're essentially Demonicas without the armor, and the Devil Summoning Program was desseminated throughout Tokyo as freeware before it got covered up.
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    • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse reveals that the Gauntlets only choose those who are descendants of Akira/Aquila and other first-generation Hunters. Perhaps the Samurai had their beliefs mistaken, the Almighty lied to them (given that the Law ending consists of historical revisionism, it wouldn't be out of place for Him to lie), or they were otherwise indoctrinated to believe that He chooses who gets to be Samurai?
    • The fact that all the samurai are descendants of the original Hunters raises more questions. If you take a given person who lived a thousand years ago, they're either an ancestor to almost everyone or almost no one. Chances are, practically everyone in Mikado is descended from a Hunter. There's nothing that sets them apart from anyone else. If it's just that not every descendant of a Hunter becomes a samurai, then there'd be no point in reporting that fact. But it certainly does explain why most of the samurai are said to be from Luxuror families. If a samurai becomes a Luxoror upon becoming a samurai, then their children also become Luxurors and also eligible to become a samurai. As the generations go on, more and more descendants of the original Hunters leave the Casualry class and enter the Luxuror caste.

  • Three things to be asked of the Ashura Kai terminal guardian:
    • Did he miss the memo that the Ashura Kai has been dissolved? Why does he continue to "guard" terminals even after Tayama is killed and the Ashura Kai no longer have control over Tokyo?
    • How did he manage to even make it into Purgatorium and Lucifer's Palace, let alone decipher where the terminals were, when you couldn't?
    • How was he able to acquire Mara considering how most of the demons able to be fused into that big green schlong aren't even obtainable until way late game or require you to accomplish some tedious hunt in order to even have access to them?
      • Chalk that up to Ashura-kai connections, most likely. Remember: This is an organization that was able to seize the National Defense Divinities. Plus what's to say he doesn't have access to places you aren't able to reach yet? Since he has control over the Terminals, he could've just zapped his way around Tokyo to get some of the component demons. As for how he can get into the final dungeons, yeah, I'm stumped on that one.
      • Fusion Accidents? He was very, very lucky.

  • Why does the app "demolingual" only work when you're talking to opposing demons in battle? Like, why doesn't it activate when one of your own demons incapable of human speech talks to you?
    • It has to be manually activated in order to use and Flynn doesn't bother activating it when he's talking to his own demons since he can figure out what they want.
  • How does Flynn use gun skills before he has a gun? Heck, how do any demons use gun skills?
    • Magic taking the form of bullets, perhaps?
    • Perhaps "gun" is a catch-all term for physical projectile attacks. For example, one Gun-element skill is called Heaven's Bow and another is called Needle Shot.

  • Why is there nothing to indicate that Hikaru was Lucifer the whole time in the neutral or law ending? Like, Lucifer is nowhere to be found as himself throughout the majority of the game. Then all of a sudden, he's merged himself with Walter and he's turned Ichigaya into his own palace. Unless you follow the chaos path or looked it up online, you'd have no way of knowing that the two characters were even connected and would likely be wondering where Hikaru went at the end of the game. It's especially jarring when Gabby revealed that she was actually the angel Gabriel in disguise and that the three men you rescued from Kagome Tower were three other important angels before the end game. It may not have been outright stated in the neutral or chaos ending, but at least you can infer that Jonathan had merged with the four archangels from the four of them having revealed themselves to you and Jonathan leaning more towards their ideals.
    • Well she has fangs and clearly is not actually from Tokyo so it's pretty obvious that something is up and she's not who she's presenting herself as. The hint that she's Lucifer is that Hikaru means "light" in Japanese which admittedly you're not exactly likely to know if you're playing the game in English

  • So where are people getting the idea that Merkabah commands Flynn to kill Isabeau because she read manga? I just beat the law route and though Merkabah tells Flynn that Isabeau can't be trusted because she read manga he never tells Flynn to kill her and it is Isabeau that wanted the fight so she could try to save Tokyo.
    • Merkabah does not actually say it out loud, but it is a sort of unspoken given. The angels made it clear that they will eradicate any person who had any influence they deemed wrong or from the Unclean Ones. And this includes the manga Isabeau read, as they told her of a fictional country and involved themes that the angels saw as wrong.

  • Who was the little girl in the opening who suddenly turns into an adult if you make it through the neutral path?
    • The Goddess of Tokyo.

  • So how did the Reverse Hills building come about? No explanation of it is ever brought up in-game.

  • This is an admittedly silly thing to think about, but what use does Charon have for Play Coins?
    • Guy really wants to complete his 3DS gallery collection.

  • What happened to the rest of the world?
    • And for that matter, do the citizens of East Mikado question what lies in the world outside of their borders?
    • The rest of the world was destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse, kickstarted by the archangels. Those that did survive like in Blasted Tokyo were likely eventually killed or didn't have the means to survive on their own. 1500+ years have passed on the outside, so any remnants of civilization are likely lost. The citizens of Mikado likely would've discovered the rest of the world, but they likely only have the means of maintaining their own kingdom at the moment. Under the guidance of Gabby they likely wouldn't have gone too far out unless she deemed them ready to dominate the rest of the world.
  • How do relics respawn? When everyone is scrambling for relics for over 30 years, how have they not picked through everything? It makes sense for piles of relics to by lying around in places that are dangerous, because it's less likely that everything's been picked through, but what about trash cans and vending machines? It's not a matter of carrying capacity; Flynn can pick up things that shouldn't even fit in a backpack. Admittedly, it's an Acceptable Break from Reality, because demons don't carry Macca.
    • They probably ended up getting dropped in transit by Hunters at some point, while running from a demon or after being slain by one.

  • I think I may have glossed over something but who launched the nukes? In SMTI, it was Thor in the guise of a human.

  • The description for the delivery quest where K asks you to get a refrigerator has K say that his electric fridge is broken and he wants a samurai to get a 'magic refrigerator' found in Tokyo. Where did K get that electric fridge in the first place, if Mikado only found electricity after venturing into Tokyo? It can be said that K received the fridge from a samurai after they breached Tokyo, but then why does he refer to the broken one as an electric fridge and the replacement as a magical fridge? What makes his broken one and the replacement any different?

  • So just what is Kagome Tower? You never see it from the outside, whether you're approaching it in Shinjuku National Park or on the world map. Did the visual side of the development team run out of time to design the outside of it, or is it some sort of Eldritch Location?
  • The clipped wings DLC felt really strange. It is revealed that Flynn himself, time traveling with Mastemas powers, is the one who subdued the Archangels and spared Gabriel/Gabby. Wouldn't Sister Gabby recognize Flynn when he tried to be a Samurai, and make killing him (before he becomes a full-fledged samurai) a top priority?
  • It's stated in the game, and reinforced by the name of the "Food" race, that people in Sealed Tokyo regularly eat demons like Onmoraki (self-fried chicken!), Kuda ( dogs?), piggy-shaped demons, etc (even Chupacabras, but... yeah). This raises a whoooole host of questions about the worldbuilding and the very essence of demons:
    • If Food demons are summoned or captured, then slaughtered for human consumption, is it the same as killing a demon in combat? Do their remains linger long enough to be eaten, can they be revived with an item or a spell (which would solve the food shortage forever)? If they're summoned from the Expanse, are their material forms actually composed of flesh with fat and muscle and sinew, or are they made of a supernatural substance like magnetite or magatsuhi? If you slay a demon from a different, more powerful race, like Dragon, Fury, etc., does its corpse linger long enough to be harvested for meat and materials?
    • Instead of edible meat, if you summon a humanoid demon, its equipment is often as much a part of its identity and myth as its actual manifestation. If you can slaughter a demon chicken for food, logically, you should be able to take away a humanoid demon's weapons or armor, then kill it or send it back to the Expanse, without losing your "loot". And also by the same logic of Food demons, you could then re-fuse it, re-summon it from the Compendium, or meet another copy of it in combat, and it will have its full equipment again. With judicious application of the Compendium, Samarecarm, and rest spots to restore SP, you could end up with a very well-fed army of Hunters or Samurai wielding Excaliburs and Gae Bolgs and Seven-Branch Swords, carrying Athena's shield, etc.

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