It's sometimes hard to tell if Naoya's truly a bad guy or not.
God himself got this as well, being one of the more merciful depictions in MegaTen... until Overclocked, anyway, which just fed the flames further.
Annoying Video Game Helper: 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.
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.
During the Bel rush in Amane and Naoya's final battles, Jezebel spawns in a previously blocked part of the map with only 3 attack range, no party-wide attack, and no flunkies, giving the player as much time as they need to heal themselves before continuing the battle.
Breather Level: The fourth day as a whole. While it starts with a major turning point for Keisuke, none of what happens in the day measures up to Beldr the previous day or the fact that numerous character arcs have a climax on the fifth day.
Complete Monster: Belberith is a Demon Lord and the cause of almost all disasters in the game. A demon who inherited the power and memories of the original King of Bel, Belberith swore revenge against God. To do this, he waged war against other demons who inherited the power of Bel and manipulated the Founder of the Shomonkai, making him believe that he was going to protect humanity from God's Ordeal. Under his orders, the Shomonkai causes the weakening of the Barrier between worlds leading to demons to escape to Tokyo, forcing the Japanese Army to lock the city to prevent a worldwide demonic spread, something which causes the death of hundreds of civilians. When he is summoned to the Human world by the Founder sacrificing his own life, Belberith confesses his real intentions, taking revenge on God by killing "all his children" and mocking the Founder for believing in him. In Yuzu's 8th day in Overclocked. Belberith shows his sadism by killing his newest servant after he asked when Belberith would revive his family and then gloating about how he truly did " reunite him with his family".
Basilisks have repeated ways of turning you to stone (stoned enemies are have a chance of being instantly killed when hit by physical and force 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, which all have party-hitting force elemental spells (Mazan).
Ariochs become this in Overclocked, 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, as they have an attack range of three thanks to their Chaos Wave racial ability, meaning they're free from retaliation unless you also have a Vile in your party. If you're fortunate enough to be able to fight back, it is generally possible to Kill It with Fire, 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.
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!
Decarabias. Their signature move is Shield-All, which they will use at THE most inopportune time. And as mentioned, they tend to appear in conjunction with other obnoxious Goddamn Bats as well.
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. While having certain races of demons (such as Kishin for Double Up) can make the fight go faster, it's still a bit of a time-waster for those who are speeding through the game just to unlock more endings, since you can't just One-Hit Kill him like most other bosses in the game.
On Atsuro's route, you get to fight Naoya. He likes to spam Devil Speed to go all over the map.
Keisuke refuses to feel sorry for his ideals being cruelly subverted, despite suffering physical abuse and emotional torment as a result.
Amane spends most of the game emotionally repressed, screwed over by her father and nearly consumed by a demon. Once the third problem is fixed, she goes right back to helping people and kicking demon ass.
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.
Magnificent Bastard: Naoya is The Protagonist's cousin, the mastermind behind the story and the biblical Cain. Creating the Demon Summoning Program, Naoya shares it with the Shomonkai, knowing they will use it to break the barrier between worlds and causing a divine crises. Keeping himself secure during the demonic invasion of Tokyo, Naoya allows his cousin free choice though tries to convince him to become the King of Bel. Having prepared himself for multiple scenarios and never losing his sarcastic, calm demeanour even in the the catastrophe of Gods Ordeal, Naoya manages to win in one way or another in almost all routes, only truly being defeated if his cousin sides with God and the angels.
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.
This is MegaTen, 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?
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 of YOUR 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...
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.
The Magnetite mechanic. How it works is: as you defeat enemies, a Magnetite meter will go up, and when it's full, you'll be able to teach the demons on your team any skill that you have already cracked. The problem is, there's no way to check how full this meter is, and if you're content with the skills your demons have, you can't save it for later; it resets to 0 whether you use it or not. Also, it fills up much faster during plot-related battles than in Free Battles.
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?
In the manga, Atsuro gets shattered by the revelation that Kaido, an Ax-CrazyDeath Seeker has come to understand his former best friend in a couple of minutes' meeting better than he ever did in years. Kazuya gently telling him he does not have to force himself to smile after failing to avert Keisuke's death breaks his mask.
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,its 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 health 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.
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.
Belial. He can attack 3 times every turn, he's strong against everything except ice, and has about 3000 hp. Additionally, he recovers 10% of his health after every one of his turns, spams team-wide silences and high level fire spells, and hits like a truck. Plus, once you finally get him on his last legs, he summons a swarm of demons that's just strong enough to distract you and make you waste precious resources long enough for his regeneration to top him up again, AND gets Gomorrah's Fire, which does fairly sizable damage to every friendly unit on the map... including Haru, who is kept as a prisoner in a secluded corner of the map and has no means of protecting or healing herself, and must be kept alive. Unless you've got lots of sources of healing, revival, mana regen, and several users of Ice or Holy Dance, it's near impossible to get any type of momentum going, even on lower difficulties.
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.
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.
It should be noted that this mission is pacified massively if you petrify the boss, at which point you can just let Mari slap him until he dies.
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. It's implied those Impossibly Cool Clothes aren't hers for a start - they're Aya's. Yuzu also has this to a lesser extent.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: While Gin is pretty cool as a character, he has absolutely nothing going for him as a playable unit. Even beyond the fact that he's only playable on his own route, his main issue is that he has a nearly identical stat spread to Atsuro, gaining 2 Magic over him in exchange for 1 Strength, Vitality, and Agility. This becomes a problem when Atsuro is a Required Party Member for his final battle and there's barely enough physical skills to support one physical tamer, especially in the original release.
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).
The game also includes a shoutout to one of Atlus's previous Woolseyisms. At one point Yuzu sends you an email saying "i wana goho-m".
Complete Monster: Beldr proves to be far worse than his game counterpart. A Bel that feeds off grief and despair, Beldr introduces himself by draining the souls of a group of innocents that the heroes previously saved. When Atsuro finds out that Beldr is seemingly invulnerable, Beldr attempts to slowly burn him alive in response. After Kazuya buys time for the others to escape, Beldr tortures him to near death, talking about the pleasure he takes in Kazuya's hopelessness. When Kazuya escapes, Beldr goes on a killing spree for the next day before going to the cemetery. Beldr then attempts to drain the souls of over 300 innocent civilians to fully revive himself, intending to escape the Yamanote circle and turn the rest of the world into an apocalypse so that everyone will feel grief.
Like in the game, Naoya orchestrates nearly every event in the story by creating the Demon Summoning Program. The reincarnation of Cain, Naoya attempts to convince his cousin and reincarnation of Abel, Kazuya, to overthrow God. Naoya manipulates Kazuya into partaking in the Battle of Bel by promising to answer a question of his if he defeats Beldr, and later, forces a confrontation between Kazuya and Jezebel by risking Amanes life. When the heroes reach the server to send the demons back to the demon world, they find out that Naoya set it up so that only their demons will be sent back. When Naoya arrives, he has Loki brutally beat Kazuya in an attempt to get him consumed by hatred, and lead to Kazuya declaring war on God. Even when defeated, Naoya points out that he made progress to overthrow God next reincarnation now that Abel is the king of Bel.
The manga interpretation of Belial is far more cunning this his game counterpart. A master of illusions, Belial hypnotizes Haru into using her singing to summon a never ending swarm of demons. While he and his forces overwhelm the heroes, he uses his illusions to gently convince Haru into committing suicide so that he can gain her ability, nearly succeeding until she notices the heroes attempts to save her. When Kazuya attempts to absorb Belials soul after seemingly killing him, Belial uses his illusions to weaken Kazuyas mind in an attempt to consume his soul from the inside. When defeated, Belial accepts it with dignity, and tells Kazuya that hes more than willing to lend him his aid.