The second game of the Majin Tensei series of Strategy RPGs.
In 1996, a demonic infestation arises in Tokyo lead by someone who overthrows the government in a coup d' etat, turning the city into a demon paradise as a result. An organization known as Partisan is created to fight back against this individual and unravel his Modus Operandi, but before long the situation goes out of control.
What makes this game notable is that this is perhaps the first game in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise that allows humans to be Light or Dark Aligned along with Law or Chaos. This in turn affects which demons you can summon.
- Naoki Takeuchi (Protagonist): Unusually for a Shin Megami Tensei protagonist, he actually talks and has his own personality. Uses Swords, Knives, and Firearms.
- Kaoru Tachibana: The Big Guy of the group, but also has impressive magical ability. Specializes in Katana and Axe use, learns Agi, Zio, Giga, and Megido spells.
- Tomoharu Kikuchi: The Smart Guy. He gains the ability to summon demons later on. Can use Swords, Knives, and Bows.
- Aya Kikuchi: Can use some offensive magic but specializes in healing. Uses Knives, Firearms, and Staves, learns Dia, Maragi, and Rimudora spells.
- Karen Rose: A mysterious woman who appears in Naoki's dreams, and who apparently knows the cause of the disaster. Uses knives, spears and firearms, but only joins the party on non-Neutral routes.
- Ogiwara: The man spearheading the demonic invasion. He is said to be the child of Lucifer himself, which is why he can talk to demons. Can use swords, katanas, and firearms, but only joins on a Neutral route.If you are either Law or Chaos after his conference, he will fight you in chapter 3-10 (aka 29), "Base of Ogiwara" and then die.
This game contains the following tropes:
- Arc Words: Nemesis, it's even mentioned in the title as Spiral Nemesis.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Beelzebub.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: There are a number of antagonists behind the events of the story. From Beelzebub working with Camael on perfecting DIO and the Time Travel, to Satan and Michael imposing order upon the earth. Lucifer is the only exception amongst the four despite being the Final Boss of one route. His role in the story is revealed to be to explain Ogiwara's origins on the Neutral-Neutral Route.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Tomoharu as a result of exposure to the DIO system.
- Final Death: Any demons who die will stay dead and can't be revived.
- Fun with Acronyms: DIO, FRI-DAY, and so on.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Ahriman on the Neutral Route, also doubles as the True Final Boss story wise.
- Guide Dang It!: The fusion system being not explained properly is a feature not a bug in SMT games, but this one is also very poorly documented so good luck with finding more help than a two demon fusion chart... did we mention that there are demons and demon types only creatable by three demon fusion?
- Isometric Projection: This is the only isometric game in the Majin Tensei subseries.
- Kill Sat: HELIOS
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Well, more 'Luke, your mom was from this realm and I might be your distant ancestor' but Lucifer pulls this on Ogiwara.
- Magikarp Power: There are some low level demons (Pixie, Brownie, Nekomata, etc.) which learn skills at the absurdly high rank of 50. Yes, you really should put that effort into them because those skills are rare and very useful. Especially 'Mind Catch'.
- Multiple Endings: 5 of them, all based on your alignment.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia The Light-Law Ending. The heroes lose all their memories pertaining to the journey they all took, so that a paradox will not occur. However after her mission Karen is sent back to 1995 where Naoki meets Karen again by chance.
- I Choose to Stay: The Light-Chaos Ending. Naoki decides that someone is needed to keep the peace in 2056, while the others go back in time. Tomoharu becomes involved in academics and politics in 1996, possibly leading him to become a public figure, Kaoru searches for his mother in 1995, and Aya helps Naoki's parents in 2024
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Neutral Ending. Ogiwara chooses to destroy Megalopolis to prevent Nemesis from existing.
- Reset Button Ending: The Dark-Law ending, HELIOS is fired at the heroes. It then turns out it may have been All Just a Dream / Dreaming of Things to Come and it was Tomoharu's dream also, not Naoki's, and he wakes up moments before the first meeting between himself and Naoki.
- My Future Self and Me: The Dark-Chaos Ending. Naoki remains in the future while everyone else is sent back, minus the details of the Light-Chaos Ending.
- Mythology Gag: References from the first game are in this. Even some of the music; Devil Dance is used for the Free missions (Purple marks) on the map, Frame Up Fragment is used on the Paranoia maps, and the Satellite map uses Bicarbonate of Face/Fate (Overworld theme of Majin Tensei). In addition the Core of Megapolis is a metal pyramid with the top removed, and HELIOS is fired by Satan.
- Rare Candy: Much like the other Shin Megami Tensei games, Incenses are in this one. However they cannot be used outside of battle maps.
- Temporal Paradox: Karen's goal is to go into the past to prevent anything from interfering with Megapolis' origin.
- Too Awesome to Use: The Moon Skins recruit demons immediately when used, no negotiation needed. You can even get demons opposite your alignment this way. As a subversion this item also becomes obsolete the second one of your demons learns 'Mind Catch' which does the same for free and is reusable. For example rank 50 Nekomata will learn 'Mind Catch', which is achievable before Moon Skins/Stones become available to purchase or find.
- Touched by Vorlons: Kaoru and Aya learn the ability to use magic from Paranoia, the demon realm, and Amnesia, the heavenly realm of the angels, respectively.
- Time Travel: To several periods in the future, even one year in time before the first scenario.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: If any of your humans die, game over.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ogiwara. He went back to the past to destroy the DIO system. DIO ultimately lead the Supreme Council to become corrupt and defunct. If the Council is not stopped, the military will perform a complete glassing of Megalopolis.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: SMT games generally encourage you to think about your (and other's) minions as expendable, in the Neutral ending of this game (at least) Tomoharu even lampshades this in his final words (your human last boss summoning that Giant Space Flea made the fight easier to justify for himself)... then you get the statistics, and every monnote you still have in your computers individually saying their farewells to you before you switch off the DIO system for good. How are you feeling about all the demons you slaughtered now?
- Winged Humanoid: Some demons, angels, and Satan and Lucifer, are fought as their humanoid forms rather than their transformed states in earlier and later games in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.