Shin Megami Tensei IV Returns To Tokyo; Will Have Lots Of New Demons

By Ishaan and Laura . September 18, 2012 . 6:58pm

This week’s Famitsu magazine also brings details of Shin Megami Tensei IV. The game’s story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo that has fallen into darkness and is overrun by demons. The only hope are the “Samurai” characters mentioned in the latest trailer, who are able to control these demons.


These Samurai characters hail from the fictional country of East Mikado, which is said to be similar in its civilization to Middle Ages Europe. East Mikado appears to have a link to Tokyo. “Mikado” is the Japanese word for the emperor, who resides in the capital. In the Kanji that form the word Tokyo, the “Tou” Kanji is East while the “Kyou” Kanji is Capital, which is what implies the connection.


Back to the Samurai. The Samurai wear gauntlets on their hands that allow them to summon demons. Famitsu say to expects lots of new demons in the game. Demon art for the game is being provided by various people that have worked on the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai (and similar) franchises. Famitsu’s report mentions the following demons and designers:


Asmodeus: designed by Yasushi Nirasawa

Kogasaburo: designed by Tamotsu Shinohara

Omoikane: designed by Yoshihiro Nishimura

Raphael: designed by Keita Amemiya

Kuebiko: designed by Aki Kyouma


Character design for Shin Megami Tensei IV is being done by Masayuki Doi, who was the art director and character design on Trauma Team. As shown in the game’s trailer, the four main characters in the game are you, Jonathan, Isabeau, Walter, and Famitsu also mention a fifth character named Navarre. Here’s a quick rundown of each:


You: A member of the Samurai group. You’re 18-years-old.

Jonathan: Described as being gentle with a good upbringing. Jonathan is the mediator between the Samurai.

Isabeau: The sole girl in the group. She’s described as a strong-minded lady with a dignified character, but there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Walter: Walter appears to be badly-behaved with gruff language, but is described as passionate underneath his exterior.

Navarre: An elitist character who is described as a sore loser. For some reason, Navarre appears to be listed in the demon section?


Music for Shin Megami Tensei IV is being composed by Ryota Kozuka, who has worked as a composer on Persona 4, Trauma Team and both Devil Survivor games. Also working on the game’s music is Kenichi  Tsuchiya, who has worked on Catherine, Trauma Team and Devil Survivor, among other Atlus titles.


Shin Megami Tensei IV will be released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. As with other Shin Megami Tensei titles, you will get to choose between Chaos and Law in the game.

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  • Jirin

    Gah, come on Atlus, we won’t know whether we like the characters or not until we actually play the game.  Give us combat details!!

  • D-Rev

    I’m surprised Kazuma Kaneko isn’t doing this one…
    Am I out of the loop or did something happen with him and Index/Atlus?

    • Shane Guidaboni

      I hear he went free lance. Oddly enough, his most recent work was a character design for MVC3. 

      • Let’s not jump to conclusions here. I haven’t seen anything to explicitly suggest that he’s no longer working with Index.

      • Adam Primaeros

        No, he was merely credited in MvC3 because the design of Dante’s Devil trigger from Devil May Cry 3 was used.

  • Herok♞

    I am incredibly hyped for this game because it looks beyond good.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Crazy how no one I expected to be working on this game is working on it. Meguro and Kaneko are sadly absent. Kaneko especially for new demon designs. Though, I love the soundtracks to Devil Survivor, Catherine and Trauma Team. The theme that’s been playing in both of the trailers is also excellent. I go to the website just to hear it.

    Wish the main character was older, at least in his twenties, but that’s okay.

    Besides all this, I’m extremely excited for this game and everything I’ve seen so far has me pumped.

    • “Wish the main character was older, at least in his twenties, but that’s okay.”

      Honestly, at this point, I’ll take what I can get. Anything’s a step up from the usual 15-year-olds. 

      • MrTyrant

         I agree, I don’t want kids. At least 18 is the age when your are becoming an adult and you can empathize the hard choices in life but that depends on how deep can the plot get.

        • LightZero

          18 kind of was the age you start becoming adult. However, I would say 21 is when you truly start to become an adult IRL. Of course everyone mature differently. Some can be very mature even at a young age. Others so called adults still act like they are in HS. 

          • Morricane

            Yeah…I’m kinda feeling too that attaining some state of maturity (which is an emotional concept and has almost nothing to with age) takes longer for young people nowadays…boy many of the first semester students at my university…just make me want to shake my head in disbelief :)

    • LightZero

      I would prefer them being older too but it is what it is. The SMT1 hero and the Demi-Fiend were high school students too. All the other megaten leads were teenagers with the exception of Maya, SJ MC, and Serph (kind of). I’ll take 18 over 14-15 any day of the week for lead characters.

      • Ninten

        I might put the Megami Tensei 2 MC in the same league as Maya, SJ MC and Serph. Maybe Aleph too, seems like he’s in his early 20s.

        • LightZero

          I was tempted to say Aleph but I remember something spoilerific about that. But I guess we can say he looks to be in his early 20s at least. 

    • Isaac Newton

      A JRPG with a main character that’s over 20???
      What wrong with you. 
      Are you referring to a WRPG or a FPS games????
      That a Taboo in JRPGs(Except for SJ but the MC there is NOT COOL)….

      Remember in Japan over 20 MC are applied to

      1. Ero-games.
      2. Visual Novels.
      3. Action Games.
      4. Horror Games.
      5. Anime/Manga/Novel to game adaptations.  

      *sarcasms* :P

  • Shiki

    I have money , ATLUS! :(

  • Raze

    Where are Meguro and Kaneko??
    Minus 2 Point!!!!

  • MrTyrant

    >Kamen rider designer doing new demons
    >confirmed not kaneko
    >not Meguro, kenichi tsuchiya, toshiko tasaki (from nocturne) or Tsukasa Masuko (from the first two smt)

    Somehow my hyped is reduced a lot. Although the music seems good enough if Ryota can do a similar work in this one like the others I won’t see much problem.

  • seraphinw1

    About the Meguro comments… do people realize that he’s not the only composer responsible for the series’ music? I don’t even think he started working on the mainline series until Nocturne.

    • LightZero

      From what I heard you are correct. Meguro didn’t really start to become the main composer until Maken X and Nocturne came out. I like the man’s music but he was getting bit too overexposed. I’m sure both Kaneko and Meguro are contributing to the game. They probably decided to step down and let others take the spotlight for a change.

      • memoryofwater

        I think Meguro mostly did the remixes for Maken Shao (which are all interesting reinterpretations actually: ), but only contributed to the original. I’ve never been able to find reliable credits for who did what (and I’m not SO nerdy as to go out of my way for this…yet), but I hear Tsuchiya and Tasaki all over that thing. Nocturne features more Meguro, but it was still a group effort. Meguro didn’t really get promoted from “contributor”/”remix guy” until Digital Devil Saga. And then everybody else disappeared…

        Maybe Meguro’s just been keeping the seats warm while Tsuchiya was in East Mikado.

  • superdry

    At least the game still has that SMT flair which is important even if we have different people working on the game.

    I can only assume both Kaneko and Meguro are working on another project (Persona 5?) or working on SMTIV, but not in the driver seat.

  • Suicunesol

    Famitsu pages here:

    I don’t know–I kinda like the monsters. :P A bit amusing to know that the “monsters of the week” from Power Rangers will be demons that I can recruit.

  • N…no Kazuma Kaneko? No Shoji Meguro…?

  • IkouKuhn

    Damn, I thought it was Shoji Meguro who’s doing the musics…

    The music on the trailer kinda similar to his style…
    But as long as it’s good, it’s fine for me.

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    no meguro is a really turn down, his music is the main factor for me in the series.

  • LightZero

    I like the combination of Samurai, medieval castle, and modern society in this game. I always found Samurai rather interesting so this definitely peaks my interest even more. I hope the cyber-punk themes of the first two SMT titles and Soul Hackers are added in too. 

    I know some are sadden by the lack of Kaneko and Meguro but I like the idea of some new blood. Besides Meguro only really did Nocturne. He didn’t compose for SMT1 and SMT2. 

  • Saraneth

    Those character designs look pretty ridiculous to me except for the guy and the girl to the right of the MC. I don’t know why, but character designs like that annoy me when I’m playing a game, like those ridiculously large boobs in Devil Survivor 2.

    • LightZero

      I guess it’s because you prefer more normal designs? I think they are fine well minus Navarre’s which is just decent. I actually like the MC’s designs the best. I can’t design which one I like better between his and the Demi-fiends. But I prefer his over the SMT1 MC, Aleph, and SJ MC’s. To each his own I guess. 

    • Ninten

      Thankfully the girl doesn’t have anti-gravity tits.

      • Ha ha, “anti-gravity tits” is a good way to describe them!  Seriously, they looked like they weren’t even part of the characters… nothing about the rest of their posture or proportions fit those over-the-top zeppelins. They weren’t sexy; they were friggen’ weird.

    • They look pretty normal (except the afro) to me. And keep in mind this is post-apocalyptic. It looks normal in context.

  • imaguni

    I really liked the Devil Survivor music but I can’t help but be sorely disappointed about no Meguro…

    • Morricane

      Except that most of Devil Survivor (I)’s score was done by Takami Asano…:D

  • Ninten

    Okay, it might not have Kaneko and Meguro (although didn’t like his stuff after Raidou 1), but hopefully some Atlus veterans are supervising this project.

    I really like this “Samurai with COMPs” setting.

  • N-no Meguro? Kaneko?


    Oh hell, I’m still getting this.

  • DDanny

    Oh my, I can’t stop laughing over how Strange Journey already is more of a main SMT game than the actual SMTIV
    No really, no kaneko, no meguro or any of the other older music guys, doi trying hard to clone kaneko’s style, kamen rider designing and redesigning kaneko’s demons
    This is what we waited 8 years for? At least there’s still Soul Hackers and it can’t get better than that I guess
    Will still obviously play the game and probably enjoy it as well but hype is pretty much dead.

    • LightZero

      I guess SMT1, SMT2, and SMT if… aren’t main SMT either since Meguro didn’t work on them either. Meguro didn’t even work on the main titles until Nocturne. You have a right to your opinion but you can phrase it better without sounding a bit condescending. 

      • DDanny

        That’s why I said or any other of the older music guys, Persona 2 for example had quite a lot of them working on its OST. Although I just found out Kenichi Tsuchiya is in.
        And are you really that surprised that people are disappointed over the suddenly shift in a staple of the series that fans have come to love?
        Kaneko was a big part of all the titles you mentioned and now suddenly he’s gone?

        • LightZero

          I’m not surprise but it doesn’t automatically means the game is going to be bad. For all we know this could be the best SMT game yet. It’s a shame that Kaneko isn’t working on it but sooner or later he will retire and be replaced by someone else. We all aren’t getting any younger. Besides I think Doi is a good middle ground between Kaneko and Soejima. All I have to say just keep an open mind. The game could (and most likely will) turn out to be good.

    • Kenichi Tsuchiya’s been around since the first Persona game, though.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Lol, being to dependent to certain person can cause many problem here. Who knows many of the new guys here will be able to bring better experience here.

  • Kenichi Tsuchiya is fine to me.

  • Jessi Cat

    I just realized I’d be slightly hyped if this wasn’t a main series game. But it is so… hype is drained on this -_-; No Kaneko, 2D battles, and the remaining art is mixed up between random artists… Guess I’ll get the game for completion purposes XD

    Someone go find Kaneko! Is this how Atdex plans to celebrate the series’ 25th anniversary?! :/

  • Chiupon

    No matter how hard I try, the more I find out about this game, the less excited I get about it.

    I’m definitely turned off by the character design. As an ensemble cast, they don’t look too good. I was hoping that maybe the MC would be female to spice it up, but he’s not and now the cast looks really dreary. Uninspired, I guess? Been there done that kind of designs. The gameplay looks fun at least, but if I can’t get into the characters I can’t get into the story. Hopefully there will be way more. :V

  • I’ve always wanted to be a part of a samurai group and be 18..oh wait, I am.
    Well, that’s half my dream fulfilled!

    Also, on the site there were a couple dates (I’m guessing either for only-SMT4 events at TGS? Can’t read it very well). I thought that trailer that came out this week was really cool and I’m hoping to see some more of it. Whatever they may have to show!

  • Laith Rem

    Meguro is busy working on Persona 5.

    Can get behind the DeSu composers because Will of the Species is still one of my favorite battle themes.

  • kylehyde

    Come on, personally I liked the design of the new demons, yeah is not the same staff that we expected, but still I have a lot of faith in Atlus and I’m pretty sure that they know what they are doing. Maybe they wanted to make a new take on the series. I will wait patienly to see the final product, but I have the feeling that this would be awesome.

  • keithmaxx

    Maybe Navarre takes his cue from Soul Hackers… Perhaps he has been possessed by a demon? Dun dun dun… the plot thickens.

    Hype hype hype!

  • Wait wait wait… no Kazuma Kaneko on character designs? No Shoji Meguro on music?

    How is this even a main entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series without those two playing critical roles in its design? That would be like a Final Fantasy game without Yoshitaka Amano on character designs and Nobuo Uematsu on music. Just plain silly, if you ask me! ;)

    • neetyneety

      Though I feel the same way, let’s give the game a chance; who knows, if the new guys have the skills, we could in usher in a whole new age of SMT. For the better, I hope.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      Amano and Uematsu haven’t worked on a Final Fantasy game in a long time. 

      • Exactly.

      • That was the joke.

        …Though it was also a semi-serious ribbing, I’ll admit, as I haven’t enjoyed a single Final Fantasy game since FF9, which was the last title Uematsu exclusively composed for. But I don’t think it’s the lack of Uematsu (or Amano) that resulted in my dislike for Final Fantasies 10 through 14.

    • LightZero

      You do know that Meguro only worked on Nocturne and SJ right? He took over for someone else. Amano stopped being the lead character designer since FFVII came into existence. So that’s a bad example. 

  • I can understand Meguro not being a part of the soundtrack (he’s not the only SMT composer, you guys!) but having a mainline SMT game without Kaneko just feels weird. Either way, I’ve no problem with the artwork so whatevs.

  • Isaac Newton

    I think I figure this one…..

    Atlus:Okay because Persona 3 and 4 is a sure money maker our plan now is to put Shoji Meguro at P5 and Kazuma Kaneko at the Persona/Demon Design….

    That’s what I thought…..

    And also you know etrian oddysey for the 3ds right the enemies where all 3d so why can’t SMT 4….. I think I’ll wait for the upgraded version(like an update for the 2d to be a 3d battles) of this just like SMT: 3 Maniacs version….

  • Hmm…. now I am kinda interested in those redesigned demons. About time lol.

    Well I liked the DeSu soundtracks so I’m fine with it. After all, Shoji Meguro could be working on P5. And the charac design aren’t too bad. But dat Afro is distracting lol. Wht his name??

    Navarre….. half demon hybrid?? Demonic possession?? Human looking demons?? The mystery deepens.

  • Morricane

    What, no Meguro OST? :/
    …that being said, I have basically no idea about the skills of the new guy. Seems like he only did additional music, mainly title themes, for some ports/remakes and about half of Trauma Team (which I don’t know) so far…

    •  That’s how I felt when Meguro started taking over from Tasaki Toshiko :

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    A great news here.^_^ and considering many of the music guys here are kinda new or not so famous yet, who knows they can bring us a whole new experience for SMT here.

    I believe Atlus won’t choose them to do their main titles without any consideration here.^_^

  •  Meguro to focus and busy making a soundtrack for a better game :)

    • Crok425

       If you mean P5… then you seriously are one of THOSE…

  • SpaceSurvivor

    I find this situation to be pretty ridiculous… I mean, days ago, almost everyone was so hyped about the awesome music, 3D exploration, voices and, in some cases, good char design… the only thing that caused mixed views was the 2D first person battles. No one knew about who was working on each of these aspects, there was only speculation.

    Now that we know that not only Kaneko isn’t participating, but also Meguro is missing from the list of people involved in this game, a lot of people just… started to see the good things previously stated in a bad or doubtful light…

    What is wrong with other people trying or taking chances at an important game franchise? Don’t get me wrong, I love Kaneko’s design and love Meguro’s music, but, in my opinion, I also love that Atlus doesn’t need to always rely on big names to make a good and appealing game.

    SMT IV is still looking awesome in my book and I’m getting more and more curious as to how this group of people will handle the responsibility of making another excellent mainline game.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      People will not appreciate what things given as always there.T_T

    • Honestly, I thought the character designs seemed a bit lackluster from the start, and still do — and now I know why.

      The music seems fine, though, so far.

    • LightZero

      My thoughts exactly

  • $30632660

    I’ll wait for an Overclocked version with a 3D Battle System.

  • I think the only thing that bugs is the battle design

    other than that, I’m fine with the game

  • It’s strange to have a main SMT game without Meguro and Kaneko working on the music and characters/monster design, I won’t lie, but it’s a good chance as any for the new scrubs to show the world they can make a good SMT game :) I’m more than willing to give this team a chance, I’m very pleased with what I saw, so, bring it!

  • cj_iwakura

    Surprised they don’t have Tsuchiya doing the music, but I love what’s been done so far(I bet that trailer music is Tsuchiya’s).

    No Kaneko is the major loss. Something’s up, and it’s not good. He IS SMT, no two ways about it. He’s always been involved deeply with core SMT, from art to even story and world design; he’s mentioned in interviews that he ties the story into whatever he draws.

    And you know Atlus were trying to keep it under wraps, since the first trailers and images deliberately hid the characters’ eyes(Kaneko trademark).

    • Crok425

       His trademark is pretty much that and the lips he makes. The upper lip of the characters is always darker or just black.

    • Tsuchiya is working on the music. 

      • cj_iwakura

         Sound designer != composer, sadly. He may do a track or two, but that’s about it.

        • That is sort of what I assumed, though. Even though one composer is “widely” credited on a lot of recent Atlus games, there’s always at least a couple of them working together. Anyhow, I really liked Trauma Team’s OST, so here’s hoping we get something on par.

          • cj_iwakura

            As did I. Don’t get me wrong,  I think what we’ve heard so far sounds amazing.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

     battle design BLAH  Every thing else I LOVE 

  • Göran Isacson

    Crazy speculation time- East Mikado is actually in the post-apocalyptic FUTURE, and these four have been sent BACK in time to prevent some kind of Tokyo-related disaster that will end up spawning their weird, Middle Age yet featuring modern gauntlets world. Any takers? Any other theories?

    • amagidyne

      Crazy speculation time- the Tokyo-related disaster involves sticks laying all over the place, causing mayhem and carnage. Mikado is an alien planet, and the team has traveled there to make sure they pick up sticks.

      Crazy speculation time- the main antagonist is that dude’s ponytail.

      Crazy clown time- it’s crazy clown time.

      Crazy speculation time- all of the main characters are actually the same person and they’re all dead and in purgatory and it was all a dream.

      Crazy speculation time- the “shin” in Shin Megami Tensei now refers to the the larger of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates.

      • Adam Primaeros

        Crazy speculation time- Kazuma Kaneko is absent from the team because he is the bonus near-impossible boss fight.

        • amagidyne

           And the game is actually a documentary!

      • Göran Isacson

        Of course. The ponytail, under the tutelage of Bayonetta, gains the power to summon demons through hair! It is genius.

  • Technically Kaneko is still in spirit if they keep the classic demons design in but with new artwork for them. If they completely re-do the designs then I will be complaining.

    I think the game is still in good hands, it isn’t outsourced and we know Atlus makes great games on and off of SMT.

  • Brimfyre

    I really hope there is some kind of stated link between this and SMT I, II, and Nocturne.  If this is a separate world in the Amala Network, then why even call this SMT IV.  Strange Journey was the most like SMT I and II and there were reports that it was supposed to be SMT IV until this was announced. 

    What is it about this game that makes it Shin Megami Tensei IV?  Especially with a new creative team.

    • Laith Rem

      Because it is set in Tokyo (Which is why SJ is not IV) and deals with Law versus Chaos. No more, no less.

      • Brimfyre

        So is Devil Survivor and it isn’t a straight up numbered SMT game.

        There has to be a connection.

        • Devil Survivor (1) actually had the same spin-off sub-title in Japan as the first Persona game. They were both “Megami Ibunroku”.

        • Laith Rem

           Whoops forgot that the gameplay is turn based and has dungeons. Sorry about that. (Also what Ishaan down there said)

  • amagidyne

    No Kaneko or Meguro? That’s a shame. Have Kozuka or Tsuchiya made anything especially memorable? I’ve played some of the games they’ve worked on, but nothing really springs to mind (please prove me wrong, I would welcome it with open arms). Having no Kaneko however is just downright sad. He’s impossible to replace.

    I’m not opposed to the idea of having different artists and composers on the series, I just think it’s a little weird to use the other guys on Shin Megami Tensei IV of all things. Persona has become their flagship, but SMT launched it.

    I won’t lie, I am a little more skeptical now. I love the sound of this game, but it might not be “RUSH OUT AND BUY A 3DS” love.

    • memoryofwater

       Tsuchiya did some of the music for Nocturne: 

      I’m pretty sure he can churn out a good soundtrack; the title loop is already a great start. I would’ve liked to see Toshiko Tasaki’s name as well, though–Tasaki did a lot of the memorably weirder music for Nocturne. 

      I’m disappointed that Kaneko’s not involved in any way, but otherwise happy to see the game getting passed to a different set of people. As much as Meguro is a pretty good composer when he sticks to electronica/industrial rock type stuff, it has been weird to see him just totally take over the Megaten series. I’ve wondered what the heck happened to the rest of Atlus’ sound department… It’s good to know some are still around; Tsuchiya might even be a better fit for flagship Megaten than Meguro, really.

  • imaguni

    Not the biggest Kenichi Tsuchiya fan tbh, buit if he can bring out more tracks like Beelzebub, which surprised me by how awesome it was, I’m all for it. Anyway, Kaneko and Meguro or not, I’m still really excited and the game still looks awesome. Still gonna throw my money at it.

  • 4shiki

    I’m not a big fan of his designs (sorry!), so I’m okay with no Kaneko. Hope we can play it!

  • revenent hell

    Ew..I may get hate on for this but im am not a fan of the charecter art here….It just rubs me the wrong way…I mean I may be a bit picky on charecter looks but I dont know how to describe it……It almost reminds me of old school anime,and not that thats a bad thing because I adore oldschool anime but it was not realy what I was expecting out of this particular game,thats the best way I can describe how I feel about the style of charecters here.
    I was looking forward to the game but after seeing the charecters im not realy “hyped” for it…Im posative the game will be enjoyable still but im going to say id probably not play it right away or be a day one for me. Though on the pluss side I cant wait to hear word about/when/If Soul Hackers is released in the US.

  • Ricardo Guedes

    lots of love here!! just waiting for this game to buy a 3ds.. tired of looking at my turned off vita!

  • Scallion

    They really want that Persona money, huh? 
    I hope it doesn’t water down the game itself.

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