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Video Game / Shin Megami Tensei II

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Several decades after the great destruction... While cultivating the wilderness, fighting off packs of demons, and through countless deaths, humanity survived... but people were not strong enough to survive without someone or something to cling to or to rely on... The Mesian religion preached the advent of a savior, gathered together believers and built a city on the site of the old cathedral...

The city came to be known as Tokyo Millennium.
Shin Megami Tensei II intro, Aeon Genesis version.

This page contains unmarked spoilers for Shin Megami Tensei I, particularly its Neutral ending.

The second game in the Shin Megami Tensei JRPG series and direct sequel to Shin Megami Tensei I. It was released in Japan in 1994 for the Super Nintendo, with remakes coming out for the Playstation and Game Boy Advance in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

At the end of Shin Megami Tensei, the protagonist decided to create a world where the forces of Law and Chaos could exist freely, and people would have the freedom to make their own choices. Well, decades later and something has clearly gone wrong with that initial plan. Demons run freely throughout the wastelands of the world, the air is unbreathable and the only place where humans can live is an encapsulated city called Tokyo Millennium, run by the Messians.

The main character is Hawk, an amnesiac gladiator living in the Valhalla district of Tokyo Millennium. The citizens of Valhalla regularly fight in a tournament for the prize of being allowed to live in the Center district, a place of luxury which is completely free of demons. Hawk wins one such tournament and gains his citizenship in the Center, only to find out from the leader of the Messian religion that his true identity is Aleph, the prophesied Saviour of the human race who will bring about a paradise called the Thousand Year Kingdom.

Aleph is set to work by the Center eradicating demons in preparation for the Thousand Year Kingdom, but as he fights he bears witness to the various tragedies brought about by the Center's rule, eventually learning that the Thousand Year Kingdom necessitates the complete genocide of everyone outside of the Center. But then again, the alternative is allowing the last bastion of human life to be over-run by demons. Should Aleph fulfil his destiny and become the Thousand Year Kingdom's champion, or should he turn to the other side and bring down Tokyo Millennium? And for that matter... what would doing so truly entail?

Main characters:

Yes, the game is chock-full of religious symbolism, but this was before it became popular to oversaturate your work with it. It uses the same system as Shin Megami Tensei but refines several aspects, such as the fact that you can now access your minimap with a single button press rather than having to go through three menu screens. The graphics and environments have been improved, though the difficulty is still as high as ever. Also, several features that would go on to be mainstays in the Shin Megami Tensei series were added, such as fusion accidents, skill inheritance from "parent" demons, demons (both friendly and hostile) being able to use more than three skills plus a normal attack, and certain bosses having their own unique skills.

Though the game was never released in the West, a group called Aeon Genesis has released a translation patch for the ROM.

Tropes seen in this game:

  • Advertised Extra: All the characters listed above except for Aleph, Hiroko, and Zayin, but this trope hits Gimmel especially hard, as you only need to see him once in the entire game and, after that, only appears in a sidequest.
  • After the End: Thor nuked Japan, God flooded the Earth, and two people killed the survivors' leaders to ensure humanity's future. This is the aftermath.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Abaddon is ultimately revealed to have been tricked by Michael, Raphael, and Uriel upon his death.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Most of the characters are named after Phoenician letters.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game has a few improvements over the first game that makes certain things much more convenient.
    • Once again, the mini-map in a dungeon crawler can be accessed by pressing a single button (applause)
    • You can sell and buy multiple items at once in a shop. You can also ask a shopkeeper to tell you what the items do, or what the equipment's stats are.
    • Two NPC shops, the appraiser and the fortune teller, now exist to make your life easier. The latter will give you hints on where to go next in the story. The former will tell you what an item does, a piece of equipment's stats, and whether or not it's cursed.
    • You can add your own markers onto the map so you can remember important locations to come back to (quest items, magic chests, spots where the Fiends can spawn, etc.), or traps to avoid.
    • The Heretic Mansion will now tell you the alignment of the resultant demon on the fusion matrix before you choose the demons you want to fuse.
  • Arch-Enemy: Satan and Lucifer despise each other - the reason the latter wanted to meet Aleph after he killed the Center leaders was to make sure he wasn't Satan, and Lucifer's initial goals are to stop Satan's revival. He fails, and Zayin becomes Satan.
  • Artificial Human: All of the main characters listed above, with the exception of Hiroko.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: YHVH. As long as at least one person continues to desire a Higher Power to believe in and rely upon, he can never truly be destroyed.
  • Big Bad: Shifts around quite a bit. The intro pits Aleph against various demons attacking Millennium, climaxing in a fight with Daleth. Not long after, it's revealed that the Center's leaders Michael, Raphael, and Uriel are the true villains. After they and the fake YHVH they created are defeated, Zayin and Lucifer take over until one or both are dead, leaving only the Greater Scope Villain YHVH.
  • Big Good: Satan/Zayin and YHVH in Law, Lucifer for Chaos, and Stephen for Neutral. However, in Law, Satan ends up so disgusted by having to wipe out everyone not in Eden that he turns on YHVH, who becomes the final boss for Law while Satan takes over as the sole Big Good until his own death.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While Neutral and Chaos are pretty happy endings, Law is this. YHVH is dead and you can establish a decent lawful kingdom without any mad gods, but Gabriel has no purpose, Satan/Zayin dies as a result of taking part in the final battle, and you participated in the genocide of the unchosen, even though this was what made you and Satan/Zayin turn against YHVH afterwards. Law at least is positioned to ensuring a true eternal peace under Aleph's guidance without any uncertainty, even if the cost was too high.
  • Bonus Boss: Beelzebub returns, with there also being five new Fiends. Two of these Fiends are the Breakout Characters among the Fiends: Alice and Matador. Also, while he's nowhere near as powerful or interesting as those mentioned before, there's one other plot important one in Gimmel.
  • Book Ends: In the Aeon Genesis translation, the opening (referenced above) reads "but people were not strong enough to survive without someone or something to cling to or to rely on." In a particular game ending, "someone or something to cling to or to rely on" is repeated with a new meaning. Specifically, in the opening, it is simply highlighting the weaknessess of humanity. In this particular ending, however, it's YHVH mocking humanity for relying on Him and warning that He will return as a result.
  • Born as an Adult: Each of the main characters except Hiroko is an Artificial Human created as an adult.
  • Boss Bonanza: On Chaos and Neutral, you have Eden, where you have to fight Sabaoth, Shaddai, Elohim, Satan, and YHVH. On Law, however, you only fight YHVH, subverting the trope. Earlier, there's also Uriel and Raphael, Michael, and the fake YHVH.
  • But Thou Must!: For the first part of the game. Eventually you get the freedom to make your own choices.
  • The Cameo: The spirits of Gotou, Ozawa, and his old gang can be found in a late game area, along with Red Bear and Beth.
  • Character Alignment:invoked Measured by two axis: Law-Neutral-Chaos and Light-Neutral-Dark. Your alignment affects what demons you can recruit (Lawful demons will not contract with a Chaotic protagonist and vice versa) and if you can use certain pieces of equipment.
  • The Chosen One: A major theme of the game. Aleph is revealed very early on to be the Chosen One of God. Then late game happens, and it's revealed that this was a lie created by the Archangels. Aleph was a mere pawn in their plot to hook everyone up to a virtual reality to bring in an artificial Thousand-Year Kingdom, which is actually Arcadia. If anything, Gimmel is the Chosen One of the Archangels, albeit a Dark Messiah. Even after all this, God does have a Chosen One...and it's not Aleph. It's Zayin, and much like Gimmel, he's a Dark Messiah due to God intending to have him become Satan and wipe out all life on Earth. On Law, while Zayin succeeds, he turns on YHVH and uses his last breath to pass on the title of Savior to Aleph.
  • Church Militant: The Messians are back, and are now even stronger and more genocidal than ever. However, they are the rulers of Tokyo Millennium, one of the last stable human civilizations left in the entire world. The Gaian Church also appears, but is significantly less important this time around.
  • Climax Boss: Uriel, Raphael, Michael, and the fake YHVH mark the end of the game's second major arc, introduces new boss music, and are the central antagonists up to that point.
  • Clone Jesus: Aleph, an artificial Messiah created by the Messians after they got bored waiting for the real Second Coming. Needless to say, YHVH is pretty pissed at this.
  • Crapsack World: Earth, AKA Malkuth. The environment is permanently polluted from a catastrophic nuclear war that happened decades ago, demons are everywhere, what might be the last human civilization on Earth is run by a bunch of sadistic, genocidal Church Militants, and depending on your actions, most of humanity eventually dies.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Archangels attempt this on all of Holytown. This is what finally prompts Zayin and Aleph to confront them.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: This game establishes Shin Megami Tensei I's Neutral/Balance ending as the canon ending, dealing with the aftermath of the Hero's attempts to bring about a world where Law and Chaos can coexist.
  • Cyberpunk: Totalitarian government controlled by Knight Templar angels? Check. The separation between the rich and the poor which are infested with demons? Check. Said the poor to achieve luxury was forced to participate in violent Gladiator Games? Check. Travelling through Cyber Space using terminals? Check. An Ancient Conspiracy involving mass genocide? BIG check.
  • Dark Messiah: All four male main characters count:
    • Daleth is the most obvious, even being called the False Messiah. Unlike most examples, he sincerely believes he's the actual Messiah and was tricked by the Archangels and their proxies.
    • Gimmel, the leader of Arcadia, is a murderous servant of the Archangels who fully cooperates in their plans to plug everyone into a virtual reality.
    • Aleph, at least on Law, cooperates in the annihilation of life on Earth.
    • Zayin, Aleph's bodyguard, has a much larger role than that. He's the Chosen One of YHVH, intended to become Satan and lead the Law faction in the aforementioned annihilation.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Gaians have been so weakened that they don't even have a role in the plot, only existing to run their temples as a Chaotic healing center.
  • Designer Babies: All of the main characters except for Hiroko.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: More of Did you just punch out GOD?
    • For a more literal interpretation of the trope, Cthulhu appears as a random encounter in the final dungeon... and yes, you can punch him out.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • The Four Archangels (sans Gabriel) and the fake YHVH.
    • Satan and Lucifer. In any other game, they'd be the Final Bosses. But in this game, YHVH decides to shake things up.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Center after the Archangels threaten to suffocate Holytown.
  • Disc-One Nuke: There are 2 races of "demons" that correspond to both Gaians and Templars which are composed entirely of trained humans, but in this game are in fact recruitable (unlike other games where human enemies aren't). Since they aren't demons in the strict sense, they don't follow the same rules regular demons do, and give random demons of a certain alignment depending of the fused human and demon; this by itself is not very impressive, but what is impressive is that the result of the fusions can be of a higher level than Aleph, yet remain playable. It is theoretically possible, if one has enough patience, to summon Metatron a lot earlier than intended, and what's worse, it is possible to do this in Valhalla, the first area on the game, since the weakest Gaian that appears there is a random encounter and is only level 8, meaning it is entirely possible to have a full team of end-game demons fused before finishing the second dungeon!
    • This is all, of course, why random humans are never recruitable in later SMT titles.
  • The Dragon: Numerous. The Fake YHVH seemingly has the Archangels, who, being the real cause of everything, have Gimmel. The real YHVH has Satan/Zayin. Lucifer has quite a few, such as Beelzebub, Lucifuge, and maybe Mara.
  • "End of the World" Special: This game shows what happens if the Neutral path happened in the first game and the Messians eventually won.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both the Archangel Gabriel and Satan himself are horrified by YHVH's apocalyptic plans. Satan, in the Law Path, even decides to sign up with you in his role as God's Judge and show the old man nobody is above his authority to judge... not even God Almighty.
    • YHVH Himself cannot stand Michael, Raphael, and Uriel's Messiah Project and Arcadia. In fact, this is the last straw that leads to His latest apocalyptic plans.
  • Evil Overlooker: Think Michael, Raphael, and Uriel in the page picture play roughly the same role as they did in the first game? They don't. They're much, much worse.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • Law vs Chaos again, though downplayed - Law's clearly more evil than Chaos this time, and the initial villains are most definitely Law aligned. While Lucifer is still a Well-Intentioned Extremist, he leans heavily towards the Well Intentioned side of it. Further downplaying it is YHVH managing to disgust Satan on the Law route to the point where Satan betrays Him. Becomes even further downplayed if Aleph takes the Law route and leads it to a heroic path after he takes over via killing YHVH and fulfilling his role as the Messiah as per Satan without any tyrannical ambitions.
    • More clearly, YHVH versus His Archangels - both Lawful, both evil, not on the same page. It turns out that Michael, Uriel and Raphael were running schemes that God didn't approve of and their Thousand Year Kingdom relied on a fake YHVH. YHVH responded by sending Satan to clean things up by wiping out most of humanity as well as the Archangels.
  • Fake Memories: Aleph and Hiroko were implanted with them. Mekata tries to reveal this after Daleth's first defeat, but ends up having to wait until the endgame.
  • Fan Disservice - Satan's true form has what are clearly six women's breasts on his chest.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Updated Re-release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne implies this happens to the main character. What do you expect when you commit deicide?
    • It helps that Aleph looks like Hijiri, minus the mustache.
  • Final Boss: YHVH in all routes. Unlike I, there aren't multiple ones (though Michael and Asura Lord have spiritual successors in Satan and Lucifer).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Virtual reality is a cheap service even in Valhalla. Arcadia is made in virtual reality.
    • You get to travel to most of the districts on foot, however Arcadia can only be accessed via a terminal. You can't exactly travel there on foot if it's a virtual reality.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Used as a central part of Tokyo Millennium.
  • God: Actually identified as "YHVH". Your first encounter with YHVH is actually just a false illusion made from the belief the Archangels had in Him. At the end of the game, you fight the various names He has, which all take up their own image, personality, and powers.
  • God Is Evil: YHVH in this game is an out-and-out villain who intends to murder basically all life on earth for not worshiping him (and this is treated as a monstrous act in all routes).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: YHVH. He set up the preparations for the plot, but took a back seat and let Zayin run the show, with Aleph and the Archangels being the wild cards.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The Fiends are back, but are found in a different way. There are far more potential locations one can fight a fiend, but instead of a message these spots are only indicated by the fact that your Magnetite won't decrease when stepping on them. And the chance of encountering a fiend has been increased from 1/256 to 1/32, but they only appear if you face a specific direction on the tile (usually a counterintuitive direction).
    • There's also one Fiend who can only appear in a 1/128 chance after opening a magic box during a full moon. If you've already opened all of the magic boxes in the game, then tough shit.
    • Want to get the Hinokagutsuchi, the best non-cursed sword you can get without fighting a fiend? Be prepared to go through a massive tree of sword and demon fusions, none of which is hinted at in-game, and has multiple dead ends you can accidentally end up at.
  • Happy Ending Override: Well, "happy" is a bit of a stretch considering that in SMT I both the Messians and the Gaeans, as well as both of the Hero's best friends, died in order for its canonical Neutral ending to happen, but at least it ended with the Hero and Heroine swearing to create a world where Law and Chaos can co-exist. The result as of the beginning of the game: a doomed city run by Messian fanatics and an uninhabitable outside world infested by demons, and the Hero was found in a cave-in.
  • Hate Sink: The game ultimately has quite a bit of them among the villains. While Zayin/Satan, Lucifer, and Gabriel are sympathetic, every other major villain is designed to be utterly unlikable. Michael, Raphael, and Uriel are responsible for the tyranny of Millennium and ultimately plan to hook everyone up to a virtual reality. Gimmel is involved in the virtual reality and attempts to kill Aleph when he finds out. YHVH is out for the annihilation of all of the unchosen. The villain who falls in an interesting situation is Daleth, who was designed by the Archangels to be a Hate Sink. It's only when he drops out of the plot that he becomes a decent character and actually survives on Chaos and Neutral.
  • Heaven's Devils: Satan is YHVH's Dragon and the most powerful demon of Law. On the Law path, he finally gets fed up with YHVH's bullshit and joins Aleph to take his boss down.
  • Heel Realization: Aleph, Hiroko, and Zayin on Law. After annihilating all life on Earth, they gladly turn on the true mastermind.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: All six characters listed above can be named. Choosing not to name them will stick them with their default names and push you towards Law.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Beth during the first Daleth fight.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Aleister Crowley now has real magic powers, is keen on performing demon "rituals", and sports a One-Winged Angel form named Master Therion, who has a big dick in his concept art, paying homage to Crowley's own drawings of demons. He's also horny and completely batshit insane. It's difficult to tell if he's the real Crowley, and it's also left a mystery to the ages if he is actually killed when you defeat him in battle.
  • Hope Spot: After all the trekking and fighting to destroy God's plan to enslave the Earth as engineered by three of the Four Archangels, it turns out God was never on board with their Messiah Project and never supported them. His true plan is to destroy Earth.
  • Karma Meter: The Law/Neutral/Chaos alignments. Law is associated with kind actions and generally maintaining order and rules, Chaos is associated with being cruel and being free, and Neutral is based on keeping a balance between the two Chaos and Law and refusing to ally with members associated with any alignment.
  • Kill Sat: The Megiddo Ark contains a massive laser system meant to "erase" all life on Earth after the Ark reaches orbit. Once fired, the beam splits into several smaller beams that then proceeds to rain down all over the planet.
  • Knight Templar: The elite Messians of the Center, including the Temple Knights, and the Angels (except for Archangel Gabriel). Zayin zig-zags between whether or not he's one. On Law, he stops being one at the end. On Neutral and Chaos, however, he falls straight into this.
  • Inside a Computer System: Arcadia.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: All of Arcadia.
  • Louis Cypher: Two of them, actually. Louis Cypher is Lucifer, who is a rebel angel who fights against the forces of YHVH, and Zayin is Satan, who is God's lapdog.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Fiends, in all of their 1/256 glory, are back, and now there are five of them. There is a single room in the game where their encounter rate skyrockets, but it's in the New Game Plus exclusive dungeon.
  • Multiple Endings: Just like before, we have Law, Chaos, and Neutral:
    • In Law, you side with Satan and kill Lucifer. Afterwards, you wipe out the unchosen with the Megiddo Ark. YHVH congratulates everyone for their hard work, at which points Satan announces that he must judge YHVH, leading to the final battle. After YHVH's defeat, Gabriel remarks that she has no purpose, and Satan/Zayin, having killed his creator, crumbles to dust. Those on Eden return to build a lawful society without a mad god like YHVH.
    • In Chaos, you side with Lucifer and assault Eden. After defeating the avatars of YHVH and Satan, YHVH challenges the party directly. After an exchange of wills between YHVH and Lucifer, the final battle begins. With YHVH's defeat, Aleph, Hiroko, and Lucifer are able to build a chaotic society where humans and demons live in harmony.
    • In Neutral, you reject both Satan and Lucifer's offers. You initially go to kill Lucifer, using Masakado's Katana to enter Kether Castle. After killing Lucifer, Stephen leads you to Kuzuryuu, who has gone berserk without Lucifer and needs to be put down. After killing it, you are taken to Eden, where you slay the avatars of YHVH and Satan. YHVH is amazed at you killing both Lucifer and Satan and fights you, ultimately losing. He curses Aleph into an endless cycle of death, rebirth, and suffering while warning you that He will return as long as one person wishes for a god.
  • Mutants: There is a small mutant population living in the ruins of Old Tokyo. Apart from blue skin, and a few with deformities they seem relatively healthy. This didn't stop the Centre from oppressing them and preventing them from leaving the Underworld.
  • Mythology Gag: Daleth and Hiroko were both designed to resemble the Hero and Yuriko of Shin Megami Tensei I. Hiroko's relentless chasing of Daleth while under the influence of a Love Potion is reminiscent of Yuriko's initial behavior towards the Hero.
    • A lot of content was ripped straight from Megami Tensei II from collecting the seven pillars of Solomon to killing God who is also portrayed as a big floating head.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Just like the previous game, Aleph's Law-Chaos alignment can be changed, but his virtue is fixed to Light.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: The manual makes it canon that the ending for the first game was the comparatively moral Omnicidal Neutral route — and no, that's not a mistake describing Omnicidal Neutral as "comparatively moral." Mesia just managed to take over in the interim.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mr. Thriller is an obvious pastiche of Michael Jackson. Also, Stephen's back.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Satan/Zayin crumbles to dust after helping you defeat YHVH in the Law path, as he cannot survive having destroyed his creator.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Due to the game mechanics, if Aleph should be in a dying state in the second fight with Daleth after you beat him then you'll get a game over in the middle of the next cutscene because Beth sacrifices herself to defend you. A bit of a Tear Jerker when you realize that this means that both Aleph and Beth crossover to Nirvana together in what is literally a better fate than what'll happen to Aleph when he kills God.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Endgame+/New Game Plus exclusive dungeon is a combination of numerous areas from the first game, all centered around the Diamond Realm. The catch is that you can only access certain areas based on your alignment and having enough of the right stats.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Averted. You can get punched in the face by demons, even those much weaker than you, and get hurt. But get thrown out of Eden for refusing to ally with the Messians and you fall hundreds of feet to the surface without so much as a single hit point lost.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In response to how easily broken the first game could get, the devs heavily changed numerous aspects here:
    • Ailment immunity is far more common now, especially on boss fights. This means you can't force bosses to kill themselves with Charm or stunlock them with Zio or Bufu spells. To hammer this home, nearly every endgame boss will be completely immune to Gun, Ice, and Electric.
    • Michael and Asura, the final bosses, excelled only in HP, and were otherwise taken down like any other boss. Beyond benefitting from the removal of the three skill cap and bosses now having unique skills, the last three major bosses (Lucifer, Satan, and YHVH), in addition to having massive health, also have insane evasion to the point where only high-end swords and Divine Retribution can consistently land hits on them.
  • Omnicidal Neutral: As usual, the Neutral route goes "kill them all, don't even leave God around to sort them all out." It is heavily implied that it doesn't end well for Aleph.
  • One-Hit Kill: In addition to Hama and Mudo returning, the last two bosses have unique, unavoidable instant kills. Satan will point at whoever's in the left most position to kill them, while YHVH will simply speak and kill whoever has the lowest Intelligence.
  • One-Winged Angel: Quite obviously, there's Louis Cypher, who has his angelic and demonic Lucifer form, the latter of which is his boss form. In addition, Beelzebub's giant fly form debuts in this game as the form he takes as the ultimate boss. There's one more major example: Zayin. After fusing with Seth, he gains glowing eyes and a massive makeover as he becomes Satan. On Neutral and Chaos, he becomes an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Though it's less "Messiah vs Gaia" like in the previous game as it is "Satan and YHVH vs Lucifer".
  • Pietà Plagiarism: See the page image.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Chaos has this in spades, and Neutral applies because you have to reject both sides to maintain that alignment. But Law also counts, since you are asked to put down God since even the Law factions think He has gone too far.
  • The Reveal: Each of the main characters save Beth, Daleth, and Lucifer have their own, unique reveal, though Aleph and Hiroko share theirs:
    • Aleph and Hiroko: They are son and mother.
    • Zayin: He is one half of Satan, this game's Law representative.
    • Gimmel: He is the murderous head of a virtual reality, not the peaceful head of a utopia.
    • YHVH: He wants to destroy the world except for a few people He has chosen. He is the Final Boss on all routes, including Law.
  • Route Boss: The Final Boss is the same in all three routes, but the bosses you fight before that are different.
    • In the Law Route, you fight Lucifer.
    • In the Chaos Route, you have to fight your way through a Boss Bonanza that consists of Sabaoth, Saddai and Elohim, before fighting Satan.
    • In the Neutral route, you have to fight all of the above, plus Kuzuryuu.
  • Satan: Lucifer is back in this game, taking up the traditional role. The character named Satan, however, is actually much closer to the haSatan of the original Torah in that it's essentially the Judge of God's court and is actually Zayin's One Winged Angel form and the sub-leader of the Law faction.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Betelguise is one of the bosses.
    • At one point, Zayin is frozen in stone in a manner that's very obviously a nod to being carbonized.
  • Signature Move: This is the first game in the series to give certain bosses unique skills, with King Frost having the honor of getting the first unique skill in the franchise: Ice Bound, a stronger version of Mabufula.
  • Simulated Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic Reality: Most of the game is set in a fantastical post-apocalyptic landscape; however, going through a spatial distortion in the Abyss takes you to a mysterious facility full of people plugged into computers. These people are residents of the Arcadia area: the paradise you may have visited earlier was actually a simulation run by Gimmel on the Center Elders' behalf.
  • Source Music: The Factory sector has its own overworld track. It isn't actually a random piece of BGM, but is actually being sung by a Siren, that the Center is enslaving to brainwash all of the workers. Once you free the Siren, the BGM changes back to the normal Tokyo Millennium overworld track.
  • Starter Villain: Notably, every villain up to and including Daleth qualify since all are separate threats, though Haneda and Daleth are the most important while Haneda is the first.
  • Stripperiffic: Almost all of the women seen in the dance clubs dress this way.
  • Take a Third Option: What to do with Arcadia after defeating Gimmel? Destroy the computer (Chaos)? Everybody dies thanks to shock of sudden disconnecting. Give the name of a new Messiah (Law)? Nothing changes, the people will die in this trap eventually. But what's not communicated at all is that you could also just leave (Neutral). This results in people with still functioning brains slowly starting to figure out that something odd is going on, implying some might break free given enough time.
  • Tears from a Stone: There is a statue of the hero from the first game in the Colosseum labeled "First Champion". Should you look at it right before the first fight with Daleth, tears can be seen streaming down its face.
  • That's No Moon: Mountains seen in Makai and the Underground are actually the spines of the giant dragon Kuzuryu. They actually move. The top of Tokyo Millennium is, in fact, a space station.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A central theme. The Center leaders and later YHVH put Aleph and Zayin through this, and while both choose good in the first case, what happens with the second case depends on who Aleph sides with.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Villainous example - Michael is is outraged at Aleph killing Raphael and Uriel, calling it unforgivable.
  • The Unfought: Gabriel and Seth, though Digital Devil Saga 2 lets you fight a human infected with a virus that turned them into this Gabriel as well as what is pretty much Seth's soul as Bonus Bosses.
  • Unwitting Pawn: All of the main characters except for Gimmel had no idea that the Archangels were using them to make Aleph the Messiah and plug the world into a virtual reality.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Kether Castle for Law, Eden for Neutral and Chaos.
  • Walking Spoiler: A few, but two take the cake:
    • Zayin actually is a major character in the game and not an Advertised Extra. He stands against the Archangels and later becomes Satan, YHVH's representative in the Law faction, making him the Big Bad along with Lucifer for a good portion of the game. His actions on the Law route further the spoilers, as he manages to turn on YHVH.
    • YHVH is really, really evil. Lucifer's interpretation of Him is dead-on, and as a result of the Archangels' actions and not everyone worshipping Him, He intends to kill everyone not willing to give up free will.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Megiddo Arc.
  • Wham Line: While the Center was slowly becoming suspect, one line starts shattering everything you were told:
    Zayin: This is awful! Valhalla was swallowed up by Tyrant Abaddon!
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: YHVH and His fake speak in this manner in the translation. Notably, they're the only ones who do so - not even the Archangels, Satan, or YHVH's avatars do it.
  • You Bastard!: After killing Lucifer in the Law route, he attempts this. He ultimately succeeds, leading to the protagonists to turn on YHVH.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: You can't stop Zayin from becoming Satan.
  • Younger Than They Look: All of the main characters except for Hiroko. Exaggerated, in fact, since while all the characters could pass for young adults, Mekata implies that Aleph, the oldest of the five, was only born a few months prior to the beginning of the game.