Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha versus King Abaddon
RETURN TO 1920's JAPAN IN THIS UNIQUE ACTION RPG SEQUEL! Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha versus King Abaddon is the newest game in a popular SMT subseries that delivers significant gameplay advancements over the original while maintaining its stylish design and unique setting. New features, like demon negotiation, combine with fully enhanced and retooled components of the previous game, like the battle system, weapon alchemy and more. Possibly the PS2's RPG swansong, and sure to be one of the more popular games in the famed SMT series, Devil Summoner 2 is poised to make a big splash among genre fans upon its release.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha versus King Abaddon is the newest game in a popular Shin Megami Tensei subseries that delivers significant gameplay advancements over the original while maintaining its stylish design and unique setting. New features, like demon negotiation, combine with fully enhanced and retooled components of the previous game, like the battle system, weapon alchemy, and more. Possibly the PS2’s RPG swansong, and sure to be one of the more popular games in the famed SMT series, Devil Summoner 2 is poised to make a big splash among genre fans upon its release.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
Shin Megami Tensei: Debiru Samanā
December 25, 1995
Sega Saturn "Special Box version"
October 09, 1996
Sega Saturn "Saturn Collection version"
June 07, 1997
December 22, 2005
PSP "Atlus Best Collection"
March 08, 2007
The player character is an unnamed college student who is attacked by demons and saved by the timely appearance of a mysterious demon-hunter named Kyouji. Shortly thereafter, Kyouji is found dead under suspicious circumstances. The protagonist is then trapped inside of a warehouse and murdered by Sid Davis, a deranged serial killer and self-made priest. Rather than crossing the river of Styx, the hero finds himself in the reanimated body of the slain Kyouji, and escapes from the hospital. With the help of Rei Reiho, Kyouji's assistant detective, the protagonist seeks to save the life of his girlfriend and to stop demons from wreaking havoc.
- Protagonist: A young man who is killed early on in the game. He possesses the body of Kyouji.
- Kyouji Kuzunoha: A devil summoner who dies under mysterious circumstances.
- Rei Reiho: Kyouji's female detective partner.
- Kumiko Hatano: The protagonist's girlfriend.
- Charon: Ferryman of the Sanzu River.
- Marie Kisaragi: A fortune teller who gives Kyouji cases. She takes 95% of the pay.
- Victor: A half-vampire who runs the Hotel Gouma-Den.
- Professor Azuma: History professor at Kitayama University.
- Hideo Momochi: A police inspector that's always suspicious of Kyouji.
- "T-Shirt" Isono: A police detective that follows Momochi around.
- Redman: An informant for the protagonist that communicates over DDS-NET.
- Dr. Thrill: A mad scientist obsessed with creating artificial demons.
- Madame Ginko: Overseer of the Kuzunoha Clan and old acquaintance of Kyouji.
- Sid Davis: A dark summoner who kills the protagonist.
- Takashi: A Yakuza thug turned vampire.
- Tenzan Tendou: The leader of the Tendou-Gumi.
- Seichii Yamashiro: Hirasaki councilman at the forefront of the city redevelopment project.
- Atsushi Nakagome: Chief of Hirasaki police station. He arrested opposers of the city redevelopment project.
The gameplay is more or less identical to that of Shin Megami Tensei or Shin Megami Tensei II, with the exception that there is no player Alignment or multiple endings, and there's a Loyalty system in place. Each demon has a Loyalty value between 1 and 10. At lower values, the player can merely suggest demons how to act in battle (which they will follow differently depending on their Personality type), while at higher values the player gets more complete control of their actions. Each demon has a different form of raising Loyalty, which can include participating in battles, being given gifts, or being of a lower level than the main character.
Differences in the Special Box edition:
- Several bugs have been fixed (this also applies to the Saturn Collection version).
- Comes with a second disc called Akuma Zensho, an encyclopedia of the game's demons detailing their stats, Race, personality type, Loyalty type, and their mythological background. The information in it would serve as the base for the Demonic Compendium entries in future games.
- Comes with a mini-disc containing an interview with Cozy Okada and Kazuma Kaneko set to tracks of the game.
- The manual includes a map of Chinatown and clearer explanations of Loyalty.
Differences in the PSP release compared to the Saturn version:
- A new title screen featuring art by Kazuma Kaneko.
- A "Special" option on the title screen to watch the opening movie for the then-upcoming Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha VS the Soulless Army.
- The option to change the screen size.
- The addition of the Demonic Compendium to the Gouma-den to purchase registered demons at the cost of Magnetite.
- A new "Hard" difficulty. On this difficulty, enemies inflict 1.5 times more damage, bosses have twice the HP, Demonic Compendium demons cost twice as more, and the Back-Upper can only be used during a New Moon.
- The option to input names in Roman characters.
- Slightly polished graphics
- Menu interfaces changed into those of Soul Hackers.
- Unlimited save files.
- The Back-Upper item that allows saving anywhere now has infinite uses.
- Four new bosses in the Astral World based on the Zeeds: David, Enoch, Leviathan, and Skoll. Defeating them nets the Death Tally item which halves the costs of the Demonic Compendium.
- Glitches from the original version have been fixed, but a new one was added: if the player saves their game in front of a locked door, then shuts down their PSP, the door will be opened upon loading.
- Four sprites have been censored: Angel (leather straps added, consistent with later design), Waxwork (exposed breast covered), Todomeki (exposed buttocks covered) and Rahu (horn changed to look less phallic).
Promotional Artwork 2
Promotional Artwork 3
Promotional Artwork 4
- This is the only game in the Devil Summoner series that hasn't received an official release outside Japan.
- Presently, a fan translation for the PSP version is being worked on by CJ Iwakura.
- It became the 14th best seller for Sega Saturn in Japan, selling over 350,000 copies on the system.
- It is the only game in the franchise to have received a television drama adaptation.
Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army
2006 video game
Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army[a] is an action role-playing game developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 2. The game is the third in the Devil Summoner series, which is a part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. It was published by Atlus in Japan and North America in 2006, and in Europe the following year.
The game differs from the two previous Devil Summoner titles in having real-time battles and a named protagonist and is first in the entire franchise to be set in the past – specifically the year 1931, the fictional twentieth year of the Taishō period of Japan, wherein it deals with historical figures such as Grigori Rasputin in addition to the Shin Megami Tensei series' traditional use of real-world mythological figures. Though somewhat criticized for being the shortest of recent games in the franchise, it generally received favorable reception. In April 2014, the game was ported to the PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Store. A sequel, Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, was released in 2008.
Unlike previous Megami Tensei titles which used turn-based battle systems, the battle system in this game is action-based. The main character can attack with either his close range sword or his long range gun (provided he has enough bullets). He can also summon one of the demons from his collection to assist him in battle. Battles themselves take place in small enclosed "arenas" similar to Namco's "Tales" series and can generally be escaped from, though this takes a random amount of time.
Like other Megami Tensei games, Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army allows fusion between demons. However, in the Devil Summoner franchise, the demons must have absolute loyalty towards Raidou; to increase the Loyalty, they must fight together through many battles. A high level of Loyalty unlocks also a combined attack with the sword or the gun. Aside from the basic "two-for-one" fusion, a demon can also be fused into Raidou's sword, thus making the weapon more powerful.
During a routine investigation by the Narumi Detective Agency, Shohei and his teenaged apprentice Raidou Kuzunoha respond to a call for help from a client. When the client reveals herself to be Kaya Daidōji, she requests them to kill her. The two are baffled but before they can ask why, mysterious men wearing red armored suits and capes kidnap Kaya while they attack Raido to halt his pursuit.
Raidō investigates the Daidōji manor for clues before learning he must rescue Rin, a close friend of Kaya Daidōji. Raidou traverses into the Dark Realm and battles for the return of Rin. Once Rin is rescued she in turn relinquishes information about a curse within the Daidōji family. This curse causes spiritual possession that affects only females near their sixteenth birthday. Raidō then returns to the Daidōji manor to search its secret basement which is knowingly inhabited by demons only to find Kaya's diary detailing her abduction and imprisonment by her uncle shortly before her birthday. Raidō reports back to Shouhei Narumi with detail about his investigation thus far before returning to the manor one last time to confront Kaya's uncle Kiyoshi but Kiyoshi morphs into a demon and runs away. Afterwards, the mansion gets pulled into the dark realm and Ichimokuren appears. After the battle ends Raidō is taunted by an unnamed and unseen Devil Summoner. Upon returning to headquarters Narumi and Raidou strategize on what to do next. They decide to investigate their only lead: "The Red Caped Monster".
Tae Asakura (a local reporter and friend of Narumi) stops by the Narumi Detective Agency to report a sighting of The Red Cape in Ginza-Cho and gives Raidō a photo as proof to help with his investigation. Raidō arrives at a café looking for witnesses when the owner recommends that he search out a carrier named Denpachi. Upon arriving in Fukagawa-Cho he is greeted by unfriendly thugs who suggest he enter the nearby bathhouse to request permission to search the village. After a nude showdown with two yakuza thugs the boss Satake authorizes the search but warns to that the Red Cape has been frequently sighted. Raidō is confronted at Denpachis’ home by four Soldiers and pulled into the Dark Realm where he meets an imprisoned man he must help escape. After helping Denpachi escape he refuses to give information about the Red Cape unless Raido finds his sister Shizu. Raido then goes to Satake who informs him that Shizu is working in the Red-Light District in order to accumulate the funds to pay for his medical expenses after being attacked by The Red Cape. Raido then travels back to Ginza for clues when he's confronted by a demonic car who accuses Raido of being Red Cape that attacked him; after the battle the car gives him a rickshaw knob that according to Shizu belongs to her brother. Afterwards Raido travels to Dark Ginza to battle The Red Cape only to find that it's in fact Denpachi. Denpachi's parting words are of the Daidouji Factory operated by Kaya's uncle Kiyoshi Daidouji. Tae then reports sighting all over the capitol of the Red Cape.
Raido reports back what he has learned thus far and Narumi informs him that Tae was also heading for the Daidouji Factory. Once Raido arrives he finds a cane that belongs to Kiyoshi Daidouji, then meets Tae before being greeted once more by the ominous unseen enemy from before. Six matryoshka begin to levitate in the room as the voice informs Raido that unless he can retrieve the three colored shards from the Matrix Labyrinth he will not see Daidouji. Once the Matrix Labyrinth is done the seal on the door confining Kiyoshi breaks. Kiyoshi prepares to divulge all information on the Daidouji family, only to begin morphing back into The Red Cape, but dies as the entity disconnects from his body and escapes. Out of the shadows steps a figure identifying himself as the Dark Summoner Rasputin. He then informs Raido that the entity he just saw was Hiruku, a demon that feeds on its hosts fear and anxiety and that Kaya is part of the next phase in his plan. Before leaving he summons one last demon from a matryoshka. Back at the detective agency the Herald of Yatagarasu stops in to warn Raido about Rasputin saying that he was thought to have died fifteen years prior and is somehow still alive and also that the strongest of Devil Summoners is no match for a Dark Summoner.
Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army is the third entry in the Devil Summoner series, which forms part of the larger Megami Tensei series developed and published by Atlus: as with other entries, its narrative takes the form of a modern-day detective story as opposed to the series' more prevalent post-apocalyptic settings. The concept for Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army began in 2003, coming to producer Kazuyuki Yamai while he was feeling under pressure during the creation of the Maniax edition for Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. After the release and positive reception, the development team decided to move on to a project that would offer new challenges. During these discussions, multiple team members voiced their wish to create a new Devil Summoner. The initial concept was for a small-scale, low-budgeted title for a portable system, which many felt fitted with the themes and gameplay mechanics of Devil Summoner. As the scale of their ideas increased, using a portable gaming device became impractical, and so they expanded the narrative to fit their grander vision. One of the hardest parts of gameplay to perfecting the new systems, which required a lot of trial and error and multiple redrafts to the game's proposed elements. The biggest change from previous Megami Tensei titles was that demons were visibly following the player around environments. The variety of demons, which took in multiple world mythologies, also fitted in with the game's chosen setting. The music was composed by Shoji Meguro, a regular composer and sound director for the Megami Tensei series. Unlike many of his previous compositions, Meguro made heavy use of wind instrumentation and a jazzy accompaniment in tune with the game's setting. For his inspiration, Meguro drew on the soundtracks created for procedural crime dramas on television. For battle themes, he continued to use his signature guitar-heavy "MegaTen sound". Meguro also handled the recording of vocal effects for the demons. Despite being little more than odd sounds and gibberish, the sounds were recorded with professional voice actors.
The basic concept for the story as visualized by Yamai was for a modern detective drama, which fitted in with the previous games' detective story style. Unlike other entries in the Megami Tensei series, which were set in modern Japan, Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army was set during a fictionalized version of the Taishō period. This time period was chosen as it fitted in with the themes of coexistence the game contained as it was a period where Eastern and Western culture were in a state of uneasy coexistence. How the city's residents adapted to or resisted these changes became one of the game's narrative themes. To properly convey the period and style, the team mixed Western Art Deco buildings with city districts still using extensive architecture from the late Edo period. Pre-rendered backgrounds were used by the developers over real-time ones as they wanted a high amount of detail and ease of experience with gameplay. The game's background graphic designer Masayuki Doi did extensive research into the time period to ensure the city was as faithful as possible, although later he added buildings not present at the time due to the setting's fictionalization. Another reason for the use of pre-rendered backgrounds was that polygon-rendered backgrounds would have needed too much power. The possible use of the Taishō period as a setting originally came from discussions during the development of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. The Soulless Army, or in Japanese the "Super-Powered Army Corps", came about from Yamai's speculative thinking into how Japan would create supersoldiers using then-existing technology with the aim of global expansion, a sentiment dominant in Japan at the time. Their red cloaks were influenced by the urban legend of the Aka Manto.
Kazuma Kaneko, the game's character designer, wanted an exhilarating title to counter the general mood of the time, which seemed quite bleak with subjects such as declining birth rates and economy in Japan dominating the news. The main theme of the game is "passion", denoting the main protagonist's drive to protect the city from demon attacks. The character of Raidou Kuzunoha had been in Kaneko's mind since he had worked on the original Devil Summoner ten years before. When he produced the character fully formed for Yamai during a difficult period in story development, Yamai was quite relieved. The concept behind his character was a positive image that would contrast with the dark setting and storyline. The character's given name being an inherited title rather than his true name was influenced by the Shūmei ceremony from kabuki theater. The summoning tubes used by Kuzunoha were based on legends of the kuda-gitsune, a spirit that lived inside bamboo sticks. Shōhei Narumi, whose profession as private detective was still little-acknowledge at the time, was created to offer an adult perspective on events. Tae Asakura was created as Kaneko felt women of the era were somewhat neglected. Her pen name "Kichō" was inspired by Raicho Hiratsuka, a famous Japanese women's activist. They also wanted a writer-type character who could investigate the city's supernatural phenomena from a writer's perspective equivalent to the noted folklore writer Kunio Yanagita. For the character designs for the game, the team tried to stay as true as possible to clothing of the time: for instance, Kuzunoha's outfit was based on the typical Japanese male high school uniform of the time. Many of the demons used in the game were carried over from previous games for the PlayStation 2 console, but they were given revamped textures so they looked distinct from their earlier counterparts.
Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army was first revealed in July 2005 in an issue of Famitsu under the provisional title Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha. The game's choice of subtitle styling was so that the Raidou Kuzunoha games could be distinguished from the rest of the Devil Summoner series. It was also a reference to and emulation of the novels of Japanese author Edogawa Ranpo. It was first shown off in the West at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The game's localization was handled by Atlus USA, and led by regular project leader Yu Namba. As with previous localization works, the team stayed as close as possible to the original text, although some adjustments needed to be made such as a Japanese song being changed to a more recognisable English one, and the removal of a mahjong minigame due to the total lack of a tutorial and its minor player benefits. Something unique to the localized version was the incorporation of 1920s slang into character dialogue. In Europe, the game was published by Koei. The two Raidou Kuzunoha titles received limited reprints in 2012 to commemorate the release of the 3DS port of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers and give new players a chance to experience earlier entries in the Devil Summoner series. It was explained at the time that their release on PlayStation Network (PSN) was being delayed due to the software the Devil Summoner games were created for being incompatible with the then-current version of PSN.Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army eventually released on PSN on April 1, 2014.
Reception towards the game was generally positive. GameSpot rated it 7.3 out of 10, saying that it "definitely delivers on the unique storyline front, serving up a dark narrative filled with a variety of personable and powerful demons to recruit, control, and fuse." even though it was "not as polished as previous games in the series.". IGN UK rated it 7.2 out of 10, pointing out that the only flaw is with the visuals and they were "rather unappealing, and the lack of a strong plot to begin with could easily turn some people away;" however, he did praise the use of multiple demons within the historical Japanese setting.
On the other hand, the game received some high praises. For instance, Netjak rated it 9.1 out of 10. It praised the use of demons with the game's battle system and a good story. digital entertainment news rated it 8.5 out of 10, removing points based on the uneven tone and lack of voice acting.
- ^デビルサマナー 葛葉ライドウ対超力兵団 (Japanese: Debiru Samanā: Kuzunoha Raidō tai Chōriki Heidan)
- ^ abWinkler, Chsi (October 19, 2006). "Devil Summoner Receives Budget Re-Release". RPGFan. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
- ^ abPurchese, Rob (February 26, 2007). "SMT: Devil Summoner for Europe". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
- ^Lada, Jenny (November 13, 2009). "Important Importables: Shin Megami Tensei". Technology Tell. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- ^ abYamai, Kazuyuki (October 3, 2007). . Atlus. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ abcde. Atlus. July 22, 2005. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ ab. Atlus. August 5, 2005. Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^. Atlus. 2005. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ abcShin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army Official Strategy Guide. DoubleJump Publishing. October 10, 2006. pp. 384–387. ISBN .TranscriptArchived June 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- ^. Atlus. 2006. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ ab. Famitsu. March 2, 2003. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ ab. Atlus. 2005. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^Payton, Ryan; Mielke, James (September 12, 2005). "Devil Summoner: 1UP Interviews Kazuma Kaneko". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- ^. Atlus. 2005. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^ ab. Atlus. July 8, 2005. Archived from the original on April 8, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^. Atlus. August 19, 2005. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^IGN Staff (July 6, 2005). "New Devil Summoner Game".
- ^. Atlus. 2005. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- ^Alfonso, Andrew (May 10, 2006). "E3 2006: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Hands-On".
- ^"Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Interview". Digital Devil Database. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- ^Sahdev, Ishaan (April 10, 2013). "Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Interview On The Missing MegaTen Game". Siliconera. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- ^https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/smt-devil-summoner-raidou-kuzunoha-vs-the-soulless-army-(ps2-classic)/cid=UP9000-NPUD21431_00-0000000000000000Archived May 8, 2016, at WebCite
- ^Gamespot's SMT Devil Summoner review.Archived December 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
- ^Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner UK Review.Archived September 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
- ^Netjak's Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army review.Archived May 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
- ^Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner.Archived October 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
1995 role-playing video game
This article is about the 1995 Sega Saturn game. For the 2006 PlayStation 2 game, see Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army.
1995 video game
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner[a] is a role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus. Forming part of the Megami Tensei series, it is the first title in the Devil Summoner subseries. It was first released for the Sega Saturn in December 1995, and received a port to the PlayStation Portable in December 2005. Despite reports of it being planned for localization, neither version has been released outside Japan.
Set in the city of Hirasaki in modern-day Japan, the story follows a college student whose death at the hands of demons forces his soul into the body of Summoner Kyouji Kuzunoha. Now in Kuzunoha's body, the protagonist must investigate the appearance of demons in the town and the activities of Sid Davis, the Dark Summoner responsible for killing the protagonist and Kuzunoha. The gameplay carries over multiple classic elements from the Megami Tensei series, including first-person dungeon navigation, turn-based battles, and negotiation with demons to recruit them into the player's party.
Devil Summoner began development after the positive reception of Shin Megami Tensei If.... Designed from the outset as a spin-off from the main Megami Tensei series, it drew on elements of detective fiction. It was also the series' first appearance on fifth-generationhome consoles. Regular Megami Tensei staff were involved with the project, including director Kouji Okada, writer Ryutaro Ito, and character designer Kazuma Kaneko. The music was composed by Toshiko Tasaki and Tsukasa Masuko. Upon its release in Japan, the original version garnered positive reviews from Japanese press and strong sales. It went on to spawn both a television series and multiple sequels.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner is a role-playing video game in which the player takes control of a silent protagonist that can be named and whose personality is determined by dialogue choices made in the game. Navigation is split into two types: standard navigation through the game's three-dimensional (3D) dungeons in a first-person view, and navigation around the protagonist's home of Hirasaki City using a 3D overworld map. During dungeon navigation, the player's route is automatically mapped, and the map can be viewed in the menu screen.Non-playable characters (NPCs) are represented in first-person navigation with 2D sprites, and their speech is represented with head-and-shoulder portraits above dialogue boxes. Quests are available at a location called the House of Divination, which the player can choose to accept in exchange for rewards. Various stores are scattered throughout Hirasaki City for buying items, weapons and armor, and healing the player's party and reserves. A key currency in the game is Magnetite, which is used for summoning demons and as currency in some of the stores.
Enemies are confronted on the overworld map and in dungeons through both random encounters and staged battles. Battles are governed by a turn-based system: the player's and enemy's parties each get a turn during which they can perform available actions. The player party is arranged in a three-by-two grid, with their positioning effecting how they can attack enemies: for instance, short-ranged attacks are made less effective if the selected party member is in the back row. The player has access to multiple commands in battle: "Sword", "Gun", "Magic" and "Extra". Items can also be used in battle, and the player can choose to escape from most encounters aside from key boss battles. An "Auto" option is also available, where the entire party is commanded using the game's artificial intelligence. At the end of each successful battle, experience points are distributed among party members depending on the strength of the enemy, and the protagonist is given Ability Points to assign to six different attributes which affect his performance in battle.
Key elements in the game are negotiation with and the fusion and creation of demons. Encountered in battle, demons can be talked with and negotiated into running from the battle, giving money or items, or joining the player's party. If the negotiation fails, the demon will attack. Once a demon is won over, they are given a loyalty meter which is influenced by the player's actions. If the demon is treated well and performs actions in battle it approves of, its loyalty will increase. If the opposite occurs, the demon will begin to disobey the protagonist, then leave. Demons can be fused together at a special location in the game called the Hotel Goumaden, where fusions are supervised by the NPC Dr. Victor. Demon fusion is governed by a comparability system, with more favorable fusions emerging from better demon compatibility. Demons can also be fused with weapons to grant stat boosts, and after a certain point in the game artificial demons called Zomas can be used and strengthened through repeated fusions.
Devil Summoner takes place in Hirasaki, a coastal Japanese city that has seen a recent rise in supernatural activity. The player character, an unnamed college student, is asked to accompany his girlfriend Kumiko Hatano to check out a book on the occult for her studies. Going to an amusement park to buy some concert tickets at Kumiko's request, the protagonist is attacked by demons and saved by Kyouji Kuzunoha, a Summoner belonging to an ancient clan dedicated to protecting Japan from supernatural threats. Shortly after leaving him, Kuzunoha dies under mysterious circumstances. Shortly after this, the protagonist is attacked by a Dark Summoner named Sid Davis. Killed by Davis, he is returned to the land of the living by Charon. Upon waking, the protagonist finds himself in the body of Kuzunoha, who was also killed by Davis. Now trapped in Kuzunoha's body, the protagonist is forced to work in his place to investigate the reasons behind Sid Davis' activities alongside Kuzunoha's partner Rei Reiho: he does this to both protect the city and return Kuzunoha and himself to their original bodies.
During his investigations, the protagonist and Rei learn of multiple demon-run criminal organizations causing chaos in Hirasaki including factions of the Yakuza, all of them connected to Davis. The protagonist's efforts against the demon threats are hindered by Hideo Momochi, who accuses the pair of being involved in the incidents until the police station is infested by demons and the police chief is revealed to be a demon in disguise. The protagonist also foils an attempt to Kumiko for unknown reasons. After taking down each of the five major demon factions, Davis reveals that the entire affair was orchestrated to break five seals holding prisoner the spirit of Inaruna: once a powerful regional priestess who was executed for resisting the forces of Emperor Jimmu with her magical powers during the unification of Japan, her spirit's hatred for her conquerors has grown beyond control and she will destroy the city if released. Kumiko, the reincarnation of Inaruna, is successfully abducted by Davis and used as a host for Inaruna's spirit. Although she is summoned, the protagonist and Rei rescue Kumiko and kill Davis. They then successfully defeat Inaruna. With the city returned to normal, the protagonist remains trapped in Kuzunoha's body, and can choose either to use his own name or adopt the Kuzunoha title.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner is the first entry in the Devil Summoner series, which forms part of the larger Megami Tensei series: as with other entries, its narrative takes the form of a modern-day detective story as opposed to the series' more prevalent post-apocalyptic settings. The concept for Devil Summoner originated during the development of Shin Megami Tensei II and Shin Megami Tensei If... for the Super Famicom. During the development of II, series producer Kouji Okada considered creating a more imposing sequel, but instead created If... as a smaller-scale spin-off title. The positive reaction to If... gave Okada the freedom to realize long-held concepts for a "parallel world" as an extension of the original concept for If.... Odaka was the game's director, while the script was written by regular Megami Tensei writer Ryutaro Ito. The story and atmosphere drew on themes from detective fiction, particularly the melancholic and hardboiled fiction of Raymond Chandler. One of Ito's favorite pieces of dialogue was the opening segment, where the protagonist is dragged about by Kumiko on her errands, during which the protagonist's personality is determined by the player. The name of the game's setting, Hirasaki City, was constructed using kanji taken from the names of places in Kanagawa Prefecture. The city's name also served as a reference to Heijo City, a location in Patriotic Squadron Dai-Nippon.
Devil Summoner was the first Megami Tensei title to be released on a 32-bitfifth-generationhome video game console, and the first Megami Tensei game to feature 3D graphics. The latter presented a new challenge for the development team: while they found adjusting to the new specifications a challenge, they also greatly enjoyed working with the Sega Saturn, the which was unlike anything previously experienced by the team. Among the design staff were Katsura Hashino, who focused on combat, and Shogo Isogai, who focused on coordination between gameplay events. The demon conversation system was conceived by Okada based on experiences with the multiple accents encountered in the Kansai region of Japan. Using this as a base, he created the response system to give demon negotiation a more realistic feeling than previous Megami Tensei games. It was also a means of equalizing the relationship between demons and the player party, which had previously been more akin to master and servant than equal partners. The Zoma demons, which could be freely tailored into different demon types, was created while the team was balancing out the game's difficulty. The gameplay difficulty, which by later standards would be considered quite high, was toned down from the difficulty of earlier Megami Tensei titles to appeal to a wider audience. This necessitated balancing a more forgiving difficulty with keeping traditional Megami Tensei gameplay elements.
The character designs were created by Kazuma Kaneko. In keeping with the "MegaTen Detective" theme, Kaneko emulated the genre's hard-boiled elements in his character designs. Kuzunoha's character design was inspired by the first animated version of Japanese character Lupin III, the main protagonists of Tantei Monogatari and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and the titular character from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Rei Reiho, who Kaneko later referred to as his favorite female character design, was created to be the main character's sidekick and consequently was portrayed as a strong character. Her appearance was influenced by Japanese model Kitaura Tomoe. Her choker necklace, which was hung with coins needed to cross the Sanzu River after death, was part of how Kaneko expressed the story's hard-boiled elements. The character Sid Davis was created as Ito wanted a black character in the game: the star mark on his forehead represented a pentagram, which resulted in him getting the production nickname "shooting star". The name of true antagonist Inaruna was influenced by Sumerian mythology. She was originally going to be Princess Takiyasha, the legendary daughter of Taira no Masakado: while the explicit details were changed, Inaruna's character was still influenced by the tales surrounding Takiyasha. Her reincarnation in the form of Kumiko was a conscious reference to the Megami Tensei series' titular concept of reincarnation. Kumiko's early portrayal was far gentler than she was in the final game: given a high-class background, she would come across as a Yamato nadeshiko. Supporting character Dr. Victor was based on the titular protagonist of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Future character designer Shigenori Soejima worked on the game a sprite designer. Devil Summoner would be his very first work within the Megami Tensei franchise.
The music was composed by Toshiko Tasaki and Tsukasa Masuko, with additional arrangements by Tasaki, Masuko, Taku Iwasaki, Hisaaki Takemori and Don McCow. In their commentary on the game's music, the two main composers noted that tracks such as "Conduct Record" and "Sid Davis" were composed quite quickly: the latter track was rewritten, but circumstances led to the original version being used in the final game. "Kuzunoha Detective Agency" was Tasaki's favorite composition. Several environmental tracks were themed after their respective locations. The theme for Dr. Victor's location, the Goumaden Hotel, made heavy use of the organ despite Toshiko's original decision against this. The theme for 3D dungeons was re-purposed during debugging into the "level up" theme. The normal battle theme was originally intended to be a sub-boss theme, while the first battle theme to be composed was the main boss theme. The boss battle theme used in the game is a toned-down version of Tsukasa's original version, which was too large for comfortable use within the game. The final boss theme was divided into two parts: in the first part, Tsukasa made the guitar solo "jerky", but brought it back to normal for the second half. The staff roll music was composed by Masuko with a strong guitar element. For some tracks, the team was restricted by the available disc space.
Devil Summoner was released by Atlus for the Sega Saturn on December 25, 1995. A supplementary release containing bonus material such as the ability to view the game's demon collection, titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Akuma Zensho, was released on April 26, 1996. In 2005, it was announced that a port to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) was in development as part of the Devil Summoner subseries' tenth anniversary celebrations. The port included a demon compendium, adjustable difficulty levels, a save-anywhere option, adjustable screen ratio, and additional bosses and interface alterations for user convenience. Hashino and Isogai returned to the project, this time taking up the respective roles of producer and director. The port was decided upon when it was decided to begin development on the third Devil Summoner game so players who had missed the Saturn original could experience it again. An important element of the port was ensuring short loading times, an issue plaguing other PSP ports of the time. The port was released in Japan on December 20, 2005.
In March 1996, it was reported that Devil Summoner was being localized for a North American release in June (per GameFan) or July (per GamePro) of that year. For unknown reasons, it remained exclusive to Japan. During the run-up towards its release, it was rumored that the PSP port would be picked for a western release in 2006. Ultimately, the port was not localized. It was speculated that the reason for its continuing exclusivity was that Sony had blocked a localization attempt due to a lack of new content. As part of staff interviews in 2006 relating to the third Devil Summoner game, Atlus confirmed that they had no plans to localize the title for the West, preferring to prioritize new entries in the franchise. It was also said that the "top-secret reasons" for this were unrelated to the game's content or censorship issues.
In its first week of release, the Sega Saturn version of Devil Summoner sold 264,822 copies. As of 2007, it sold 355,656, becoming the 14th best-selling game for the system in Japan. In contrast, the PSP remake did not appear in the top 500 best-selling titles either for 2005 or 2006.
Famitsu gave the original version a positive review, with it scoring 35 out of 40 points: the four reviews gave it scores of 9, 9, 9 and 8 out of 10.SoftBank Creative's magazine publication Sega Saturn Magazine gave it a score of 24/30 points, with the three reviewers giving it respective scores of 8, 9 and 7 out of 10. In a feature on the game for GameFan, Casey Loe noted the game's "clean and crisp" 3D visuals, called the enemy design excellent, and thought the full-motion video sequences were the best to be found on the Saturn system. He ended by praising Atlus' plans for releasing a title so deep and mature for the Western market. Fellow gaming magazine GamePro also liked the visuals, and called it "sure to be a hit" based on screenshots. Another magazine, Game Players, wrote in a feature on upcoming role-playing game releases in North America that the premise and previewed gameplay showed it to be a promising title after its positive Japanese reception. Kurt Kalata and Christopher J. Snelgrove, writing for gaming website Hardcore Gaming 101, called the game decent despite its slow pacing, an unpolished look, and some aggravating aspects to the demon loyalty system. In a 2015 feature on recommended software produced for the Saturn, Dengeki Online highlighted Devil Summoner as one of the system's most notable games. The writer ranked it among the best early Megami Tensei titles despite its high difficulty.
Famitsu's writers expressed disappointment over how the PSP version's graphics and screen size had not been changed in comparison to the Sega Saturn version, and of how few adjustments had been made. Despite this, the reviewers positively noted the easier gameplay experience and praised the battle system. Kalata and Snelgrove appreciated the graphics used in the game's dungeons, which they found to be detailed and better-looking than ones in previous games in the series; they also appreciated the battle transitions. On the other hand, they found the graphics for the game's maps to be "not particularly impressive looking", and the graphics for the enemies to be lacking and "barely animated".
The commercial and critical success of Devil Summoner prompted the development of a second game in the subseries. Titled Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, it was released for the Saturn in November 1997, and served as an indirect sequel. Two prequels for the PlayStation 2 were released, focusing on the adventures of Raidou Kuzunoha in 1920s Japan: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army and Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon. The third Devil Summoner was the first to be released outside Japan.
A live-action TV series adaptation of the first game, titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, was produced and aired in Japan. Originally only scheduled for one thirteen-episode season in 1997, popular demand prompted the production of a second season, which broadcast in 1998. The first series follows the plot of Devil Summoner, while the second season follows an original story. For their VHS release, the subtitle Bright Demon Advent was added.
- ^Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (真・女神転生 デビルサマナー, Shin Megami Tensei Debiru Samanā, lit. True Goddess Reincarnation: Devil Summoner)
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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
The missing entry in the classic Shin Megami Tensei RPG series finally arrives in North America!
Never before released in North America, this long-awaited entry in the acclaimed Devil Summoner series takes players into a future in which technology and otherworldly forces meet in a macabre fusion of cyberpunk futurism and gothic horror. A first-person sci-fi RPG epic, Soul Hackers tells of a city held up as a beacon of humanity's triumph of technology, but with an infernal secret. In this would-be utopia, a group of hackers takes on a centuries-old mystic society, and a battle for control over humanity's fate is about to begin...
In a society originated from a bizarre marriage of technology and demonology, an unleashed evil—borne of an inconvenient truth—threatens to bring an end not just to the deceptive harmony, but to mankind itself.
Improved graphics marry with extensive voice acting, a host of technical enhancements, and 3D dungeon exploration to make Soul Hackers a natural fit to the Nintendo 3DS.
The portable COMP units allow players to tap into the tech-heavy world and can be upgraded to offer new features and abilities. In tandem with tech, demons can be recruited (through negotiation), leveled and even fused, giving the player new summoning potential in battle.
- Release date:
- April 16, 2013
- 1 player
- Game file size:
- 1.8 GB
- ESRB Rating:
*MSRP: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Actual price may vary. See retailer for details.
*To enjoy the 3D effect of Nintendo 3DS software, you must experience it from the system itself. All screenshots and videos on this website have been captured in 2D mode.
Use Parental Controls to restrict 3D mode for children 6 and under.
*If eligible for a Just for You offer, the final price reflects the combined Sale and Just for You offers. The Just for You offer is discounted from the sale price.
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And having collected my things, I flew to her city. Upon arrival, having finished business, having bathed, shaved, I collected a whip, collar, bracers, butt. Plug in a bag, I went to her. On the phone, her voice trembled and it was not clear why.
From excitement, excitement or fear.