Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Mission Overview

By Laura . July 21, 2009 . 9:54pm

smtsjA spatial rift appeared over Antarctica, threatening the seven billion humans who live on planet Earth. Humans call the place it leads to “Schwarz-verse,” and exploring this mysterious dimension is your goal as the protagonist in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.


As a member of the exploration team sent in order to find a way to counter this unknown factor, you discover that the other world was much harsher than you could have imagined, with demons that only appear in legends and myths appearing before you.


“You” are the nameless protagonist, a Japanese elite soldier who has received harsh training and discipline. Under the orders of the country, you join the exploration team on the ship Red Sprite No. 1. This amphibious ship serves as a base in the unknown world, being the only place you can consider safe. Aside from the Red Sprite No. 1 that the protagonist rides, there also exist other ships, named the Blue Jet No. 2, Elves No. 3, and Gigantic No. 4.


Your crew is a hodgepodge gathering of elite scientists and soldiers from all over the world. The men on No. 1 are the commanding crew, while those on No. 2 and 4 specialize in battle, and the people on No. 3 are scientists. Here is a quick glimpse at some of your crew members:


Captain Gore – The Captain of the Schwartz-verse exploration team. On account of his exceptional skills and leadership abilities, he was appointed to be the leader of the team that determines the fate of mankind. “So long as all in this ship cooperate, investigation is not an impossibility.”


Himenez – An American who has had experience in campaigns. He’s worked his way up from the bottom and, looking forward to the rewards after this is all done and over with, he volunteered for the team. “As long as I get what I deserve, I plan on contributing what I can as long as I’m not dead.”


Selenin – A Russian scientist, she was recruited based on her knowledge related to the Schwarz-verse. “The populace is being deceived with the false information that there is a large blizzard storm, but the truth is…”


The game is laid out in sprawling 3-D dungeons. The top screen shows the world as you see it, in first person. With upgrades that you can pick up through the game, you may be able to discover things you couldn’t see before. The bottom screen reflects the screen on the arm-piece of the Demonica Suit you wear, which displays vital information. Thus far, the only confirmed function is a map, but almost certainly there are several other support options available such as mission log, analyze, and videmonica.


In order for humans to stand a chance against the danger of this new world, they wear the Demonica Suit, state-of-the-art armor pieced together by scientists. Not only does it have the ability to adjust to the environment, but in anticipation of encounters with unknown life forms, it also improves battle capabilities. Various applications are included in the suit, such as the ability to search for enemies that won’t appear at first sight or to confirm unknown life forms, as well as a system for the suit to improve itself. There are other mysteries surrounding this armor and you’ll discover more about them as you customize the suit to your liking.


image Essential to the series are the demons, and there are plenty of them in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. In fact, there are more in here than in any other series in the SMT main series, numbering at 300. Kaneko Kazuma, the artist behind the SMT series since the very first game, returned to create new monsters for Strange Journey. Morax, a humanoid with a bison head (one of the many demons in the Key of Solomon), and the demonic-looking Bugaboo are two examples.


And of course, all of these monsters can be recruited and used to fuse new ones. This is done through conversation. Each demon has their own personality and the correct choices must be chosen in order to convince them to join you. However, sometimes, instead of joining, a monster will just give you an item or heal you instead.


These demons can be used in battle, taking advantage of enemy’s weaknesses or performing combos with fellow teammate demons. Various monsters will also give you quests out of boredom, allowing you to find rare items. Just like core SMT games monsters can also be fused, combining their abilities and gaining even stronger ones.


Also of note is the importance of your relation to your crew members. No matter how many demons you collect, you cannot complete your missions without the cooperation of your crew members. With their help you can create new items. Based on your answers in crew conversations, the story may move towards a happier future for mankind or an apocalypse. You decide.


Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is scheduled to come out in Japan on October 8. A North American release has not been announced at this time.

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  • Cloud_ST

    DS again?…damn….

    • Hraesvelgr

      Fine by me. It’s definitely lower risk than making it for PS3 or 360, and they need to get off the PS2 already.

      • MisterNiwa

        Persona 5 for PS3 baby!

        • shin megami tensei: persona isn’t a game that would benefit from ps3 specs… it would make more sense using wii and something related to IR waggle with demons than ps360 since persona is an “ugly” game(read it as a game that dun need pretty visuals) i think it’s past time to shin megami tensei: “spin off horror game wiii using demons and the flashlight” lol or something in that veins

          • Haha, like a silent hill-type horror? That’d be interesting. Only problem would be that you’d need the demons to be a bit scarier…

          • malek86

            No waggling in my RPGs, please. If they want to make it for the Wii, they are free to do so as long as the motion controls aren’t invasive. Or give you Classic Controller support.

            Maybe motion could be better used in something like Devil Summoner, because of its action-RPG nature.

          • Certainly glad a lot of people don’t share you opinion. Persona would be a perfect for for an HD system. Not just for the graphics benefit either.

          • lostinblue

            I won’t even go along with the waggle mention, but yes; Shin Megami Tensei in general doesn’t need a powerful platform, neither can they compete in graphics. that’s why they go for artistic direction instead.

            and that’s what I like about them.

          • i didn’t said waggle i thought something in point and click =.= draw something in with tarot cards, or magic symbols those things, and yup i do agree with artistic direction is better than “real graphics”( look no more heroes, ookami, etc, they do benefit from hd, if they were on hd, but they are grea only because of thei artistic direction)

          • lostinblue


            I’m not really opposed to waggle and/or pointing in menu’s target’s and stuff, plus it would be pretty fun to do for, for example, the part time jobs and tasks in a persona (even for fishing).

            I’m certainly not waggle/motion control/wiimote phobic like a lot so called “hardcore gamers” out there. but then again it shouldn’t get overused either… instead should only be used when it makes sense.

            But, with that said, and precisely because of that… I won’t ask for it. I think the Wii is a perfectly fine platform and that they should be developing for it since the hardware is kind of a win-win situation for them, but I won’t ask for such features and whatnot… Instead I’ll leave it to them, whatever they do is fine.

            not that they’re doing anything for it, though. (negativist, yeah)

          • i agree completely with you, but just to tell the only game that waggle was hurting for me was ookami and the rosary =.=

      • Volcynika

        There was a blog entry from Atlus following Devil Summoner 2’s release in Japan which basically said “Thanks PS2, you’ve been awesome, but we’re leaving you now.” So unless something changes, expect future games for handhelds / current gen systems.

  • I dig the SMT in space concept in Strange Journey and how this has 300 (!!) demons. This is going to be a huge game, perhaps, one too big just to release in Japan…

    • lostinblue

      It’ll come out of japan, that’s a given.

      that said I think it’s way more niche than pretty much every other shin megami tensei in recent years… not to mention probably the most niche ever released outside japan.

      • SMT is pretty niche in and of itself, and the main series even more so. I guess that’s why Persona did better than the main series? (Although really … I think the only main series SMT that’s come to the US is 3.)

        • lostinblue

          indeed it is, but my point was that I think first person dungeon crawling really has no place in 2009, in a modern shin megami tensei game.

          Atlus knows that and that’s why SMT3 wasn’t first person, for example.

          That said the only aceptable platform for a first person dungeon crawler is the DS, so it is aceptable, it’s just that I’m not atracted for it. The nostalgia factor doesn’t draw me in.

          • Did I read correctly somewhere that there is a first-person view option after you finish Nocturne (the U.S. version)?

            EDIT: After finishing once, it’s usable. (I apologize for the wasted post. The answer was easy to find) I would like to replay the game with this option for the old-school feel.

        • lostinblue

          please delete this one, I was having server timeouts

    • Do you know the count for other SMT games, demon-wise?

      I hope all these demons don’t take too much space away from plot and passable graphics, although knowing Atlus, we won’t have to worry much =D

      • I believe Nocturne had around 200. I’d have to pull out the Doublejump guide to count for sure, though.

  • lostinblue

    First person, blergh.

    count me out, even if I’ll eventually purchase it just for the fact it is shin megami tensei.

  • KanekoISgod

    old-school SMT WAS always in first person. This is awesome, finally old-school SMT game I’ve been craving for years. Love the art, Kaneko is god. After the Persona/Devil Summoner overdose, FINALLY Shin Megami Tensei is BACK.

    • Yep, it seems like they’re targetting old-school fans especially, in this game. Old demons that haven’t been seen in a while are going to make an appearance, I think they said, not to mention this is kind of in line with the main SMT storyline (post-apocalyptic and all).

      • lostinblue

        I like the SNES SMT games and yet I don’t want any more first person dungeon crawling.

        that said the DS is the right platform for it, whereas if it was the Wii I’d be throwing a fit, but damn if this isn’t a “DO NOT WANT” for me.

        I’ll still buy it though, but my hype for it is zero. I’m also not really liking how Atlus only seems to approach the DS with software with gameplay mechanics they would never ever try anywhere else. How about a… normal “modern” shin megami tensei? S-RPG’s and First Person Dungeon Crawlers aren’t it. But I digress.

        Disclaimer: YES, I’M THE PROBLEM HERE. (but it is still my opinion)

        • ragolslayer



          But as far as I’m concerned, a first person dungeon crawler is as close to an actual SMT game as you can possibly get (excluding all the spin-offs).

          • lostinblue

            yup, I know.

            But since I slept over it (literally) this kinda grew on me, I’m a little hyped for it now.

            Same happened when I threw a fit at how Devil Survivor was S-RPG (and before that, when we only knew the name I threw a fit beforehand thinking it would be a first person dungeon crawler) but yeah, to this day I still would have prefered something that wasn’t a S-RPG, (it was particularly painful that it looked like a persona 2 ds graphically) but I can cope with it.

            I’ll put my first person dungeon crawler sickness aside and do one more mission on it. But I do think DS is the only platform where I’d be able to accept it.

    • lostinblue

      I’m glad someone is happy.

  • Would have rathered a console game after Devil Survivor and not first person (not that First Person is bad just that I felt I got enough of that in the battles in DS) still, it’s better than nothing.

    • Hraesvelgr

      First-person view is fine with me, at least it’s something different from the PS2 SMT games (sans Devil Summoner).

  • DDanny

    As you can see from the scans, the game practically SCREAMS classic megaten, a surprise since the last one was uh, If… in 1994 or something.
    I can only hope for a story of the same quality as the older games now!
    It’s great to see they are finally targeting the classic megaten fans again!
    I think it’s 100% we’ll get this in English as Atlus has released most of the new SMT games now, I think we didn’t get only original devil summoner for psp and some random mobile games.

    • lostinblue

      We didn’t get it because Sony blocked it (devil summoner psp port)

      a shame.

      • While Sony might have cockblocked the release anyway, Devil Summoner PSP didn’t even get that far. It was out of the question from the start, because Atlus Japan lost the source code—making a translation impossible without hacking.

        The same thing goes for Princess Crown PSP. Both run on a Saturn emulator.

        • lostinblue

          I’ve read Atlus was interested in doing it though.

          I’ve heard the emulator thing before too, but never heard the source code was lost. A shame.

  • Nabe

    True SMT. Day 1 for sure!

    Notice they didn’t add IV to the title — so this should only be seen as a side-story or not-so-spinoff kind of deal. Those wanting that console SMTIV, looks like there’s still hope!

  • keriaku

    Though I’m more of a classic jRPG kind of person (loving Devil Survivor :D), I’m kind of interested in this because I tried to get into the first 2 SMTs, but couldn’t due to the clunkiness of the interface/gameplay.

    And I’m 99% I won’t have to worry about that with this.
    Anyone else feel the same as me?

  • Yes! Yes! After learning to love Devil Survivor on the DS, I want more SMT on the little portable that could. This seems like a throwback to the old PS1 SMT games with the first person view. Can’t wait!

  • Sweet SMT Dungeon Crawler on the go can’t wait!!!

  • malek86

    Is it normal that, every time a company puts up a teaser site, Famitsu/Dengeki/etc. puntually comes out two days earlier to spoil it?

    Anyway… great news. At first I thought it was going to be something weird, but I’m definitely interested now.

    • jj984jj

      Yes it is since these are all weekly leaks from people who get the magazine early.

      I can’t wait for this game, I hope Atlus USA can bring it over by Q1 next year!

      • malek86

        In that case, it kinda makes you wonder what’s the point of making a countdown in the first place. A standard teaser would be ok for generating hype, i guess.

  • ryne11

    I have a raging……

    I’ll stop there.

    Pre-order Day one when Atlus announces it

  • JeremyR

    Schwarz-verse? I hope there are some Spaceballs in it.

    I hope this is something that gets localized into something less ridiculous.

    • thaKingRocka

      i’m shocked it took so long before i saw a like-minded commenter on this one.

  • “Schwarz-verse?” Maybe the game actually takes place in California.

    On a more serious note…awesome post! When I saw the screenshots, I thought this took place in space or something. It’s very sci-fi-esque…not sure how I feel about that…although Megaten is hardly new to the genre.

    Like a lot of people are noticing, it also seems like a throwback to the older, darker Megaten games. Some of the character designs reflect this, too.

    I’m a little concerned about random encounters in first-person. I’ve always thought of that perspective as one that encourages you to explore…I hope they remember to keep the random battles manageable.

    • I’m not sure it’s random battles, per se. They didn’t mention anything about that. What they DID say was that you could use the scope to spot enemies, during which you can go and encounter them (or at least, that was how I interpreted it). On another note, I think the “first person” battle system is going to be something like Digimon Story’s, where you only see the enemy’s monsters, but you have a team behind you.

      Schwarz-verse was the best translation I could come up with, although it sounds kind of…eh. Schwarz is black in German. I guess we can attribute this naming to the fact that in the far far future, people are getting less creative? On another note, the name sounds almost fine in Japanese, and that’s all that really matters to them. Localization has its job cut out for them =p

      • MadMirko

        Schwarz could also be the name of the discoverer? Like the Strait of Magellan? In that case “Schwarz-verse” is at least a bit shorter than “Universe of Schwarz”.

  • bonafide

    Ohh! Very informative article. I like the fact that you’ll have choices in conversations with your allies and it will affect the game in the long-run. It adds replayability in a game. One question though, will you only be able to have demons in your party, or will your allies be leaders of their own? I hope we get more info on this game.

    • From all the screenshots, you only have Demons in your party. This does not mean that you won’t be able to have other humans, but…

      On another note, judging from character descriptions already given, it seems that the humans WILL only have a primarily supportive role.

  • Enact

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious that the main’s suit makes him look like the Rocketter?

    Anyway, being a Megaten fan, this seems quite interesting. Not exactly what I had in mind (as with many others I was thinking it was gonna be a PS3 game) but the DS has a muuuuch higher install base then the PS3 does so I think we won’t see any SMT games (or even the rumored P5) till much later in it’s lifepspan

    • …No. I saw the suit and wondered what happened to people’s fashion sense in the apocalyptic future.

    • malek86

      It looked a bit like Dead Space to me.

      • I also thought Dead Space.


  • MadMirko

    Completely, utterly awesome.

    Great: No school kids anywhere! Grown-ups!

    But best of all: Real SMT 1st person dungeon crawling greatness.

    • jarrodand

      Agreed! I haven’t been this excited about a SMT since Nocturne!

    • ManiacDesert

      yea im kinda getting sick of persona stealing the spotlight of what is truly SMT, although i will miss letting the fate of the world be tampered with by high school kids in SMT Nocturne, but i like how they are doing something different and bringing back 1st person dungeon crawlers back, all thats left is to remake SMT I & II on DS and im happy

  • Interesting. True to the classic SMT formula, but not a main game. I wonder if there’s really a “main” game anymore, at all. It seems the SMT Universe is just going in all sorts of places and directions. With Devil Survivor, Digital Devil Saga, and now this, I kind of think there’s no real reason to wait for a “canonical” SMT IV. There’s almost… no such thing. Just a ton of awesome games that share similar themes and creatures.

    • memoryofwater

      Really, we haven’t had a “canonical” SMT series since the Super Famicom. And even that was sort of a reboot, in a way, wasn’t it? Personally, I like this and it’s a smart move on Atlus’ part. Lots of splinter series’ with varying moods means reaching (and maybe hooking) a wider audience.

      Plus, it’s just more interesting this way!

      • Yep! We are completely in agreement. Keeps it fresh, too. How many times do you really want to travel a destroyed Tokyo and ultimately face off against God and/or Satan before it gets old?

        I support all SMT splinters, as they are all ultimately part of the 2×4 Atlus uses to spank money out of my wallet.

        • memoryofwater

          Not to mention time. Actually, I’m beginning to suspect that the Megaten franchise is all a front for some diabolical conspiracy to rob the world of free time.

          I’m half serious and sort of expect that to get absorbed into the series at some point.

          • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Time Demon Saga confirmed?

          • memoryofwater

            First in the brand new Devil Procrastinator series! Spend hours staring at walls with up to six demon companions! Make small talk with over 200 demons! Exciting new Idonwanna system adds new challenge to fusing! Over three hundred hours of real time drooling cinematics and a captivating new storyline about doing laundry!

            …I’d buy it, anyway.

          • Heck yeah. Have you SEEN some of those laundry dungeons? Those wash cycles are INTENSE. If you don’t have the right detergent demons in your party, might as well wave goodbye to those bright colors.

  • Wake me up when Atlus decides to do console games again. Sick of all this portable crap.

    • I believe it’s safe to bet that they’re developing SMT IV for another console. We’ll find out soon enough.

  • memoryofwater

    So, this is basically Devil Summoner 3: Legend of The Final Do-Over? I’m in. That’s the game I’ve wanted for ages. I’m sort of surprised to see it actually happening.

    On another note, “Schwarz-verse” doesn’t sit well with me either, and evokes sillier Japanese RPGs and gimmicky names, but I guess it really isn’t any worse than the oh-so-90s plaid with bluejeans vibe of “Paradigm X” or anything.

    • lostinblue

      what do you mean by Devil Summoner 3?

      • Name

        This game looks very similar to the Sega Saturn/Playstation Devil Summoner games. The devil summoner we know in the states is more of a spin-off of those games.

        • memoryofwater

          Bingo. It sort of slipped my mind that the last Raidou Devil Summoner was actually numbered, making it look like I was referring to that, instead of commenting on how this looks like a direct continuation of the Saturn era Devil Summoner aesthetic. But at this point every Megaten series has some sort of confusing sequence like that, so if anything I’m glad to have made everything briefly even more confusing.

          • lostinblue

            Oh, I was hoping for some kind of story link since you were saying “Legend of The Final Do-Over” I though it was some profetized scenario of sorts that never came to fruition or something.

            Kinda got my imagination running wild.

  • Saturnus

    wowowowowowowowow! I felt a bit disappointed that that it would be on DS and not PS3 but I got over that easily. This game is going to be great, hopefully we get it this year though.

    I still need to get Devil Survivor.

    • Yes, do get Devil Survivor!

  • gvnmadeinheaven

    OMG first-person~!!!! How beary nostalgic~

  • noookie

    meh i hoped for a PS3 version ^-^”

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