Who Is The Protagonist In Shin Megami Tensei IV?

By Spencer . November 14, 2012 . 2:30pm

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The short answer is you since you get to name the protagonist. Shin Megami Tensei IV is set in East Mikado, a country that draws from medieval Europe, but has samurai instead of knights. Shin Megami Tensei IV takes place in 1492 where East Mikado is protected by walls that cover that perimeter. Higher walls in the center of the city shield the castle and King Ahaziah Mikado.


Famitsu explains the protagonist is an 18-year-old male. He has a revelation in a dream that his choices will shape the world. When he wakes up he completes the Gauntlet Ritual and becomes a samurai. In Shin Megami Tensei IV, samurai hunt demons in secret. Only a few people know demons exist.


Issachar (left) is your childhood friend and kind of acts like a big brother. He wanted to become a samurai his entire life and is with the protagonist during the Gauntlet Ritual. Hope (right) is the leader of the samurai. He guides initiates like the protagonist and puts protecting the nation above everything else.


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While your mission is to exterminate demons, Shin Megami Tensei IV gives players demon allies too. You can fuse demons and talk with them. Below, on the right, Nekomata is asking the protagonist to show his feelings. It looks like Atlus redesigned some demons for Shin Megami Tensei IV. Yomotsu-Shikome looks different compared to her Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne design.


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  • Herok♞

    I hope it can come out in 2013 in US and Europe as well.

  • Ninten

    Still 2013’s (that’s when it comes out, right?) game of the year. No doubt about it.

  • Isaac Todd

    “He has a revelation in a dream that his that his choices will shape the world” Needs fixed.

    • Crok425

       Legally, he is already an adult :P.

      • Isaac Todd

        I meant that the repetition of “that his” needed fixed :P Seems like it’s been fixed now.

  • Marcellus Guerin

    Teenagers once again save the world from utter destruction and annihilation.

    • Berialos

      Dude he’s 18, guy is a grown ass man.

      • LightZero

        Well he would be a grown ass man by 1492 standards. Back then you were grown by the age of 13-14. Not in 2012 though. I don’t really consider anyone an adult until they are at least 21. Even then some people in this current generation mature slower due to the times.

    • LightZero

      Welcome to the jrpg genre. I hate it too but it is what it is. This has been the case for 2 almost 3 decades now. In jrpgs standards us 25+ years old are old geezers. 

      • Morricane

        …where’s my walking stick? Awww, my back…T_T

  • JustThisOne

    A male childhood friend?! But then who will get all tsundere on my back when I skip school? :< No special lunch boxes either…

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      maybe he in love with you 

    • No lunchboxes no buy!

    • LightZero

      Isabeau perhaps? She could be SMT1 heroine to our MC. :p

  • Ben Sylvia

    Hopes Katana is a lightsaber.

    calling it.

  • Aww, his name is Ezekiel? My friend and I /just/ started calling him Poniki and it was really cute haha. 

    2013, I’m ready for you if it means SMTIV!

  • >It looks like Atlus redesigned some demons for Shin Megami Tensei IV. Yomotsu-Shikome looks different compared to her Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne design.
    That’s just her older design from Devil Summoner.

    •  Now that’s someone who knows their SMT facts, I truly appreciate that :D

      *e-hi five*

    • Nice catch.

  • i want this bad

  • Tales_of_Master

    Hope’s look screams “Boss battle”, probably when playing through the chaos path. I like his design, especially his sword that invokes the image of a Iaido master, which is badass. I’m not sure how Ezekiel is going to affect the story, but hopefully he will have an impact on the story. The wait for more news on SMTIV is really painful. Here is hoping for Atlus to announce the Soul Hackers localization soon, so we can focus our efforts on getting SMTIV localized :D

  • Spider-Man

    I’d rather have a female, YANDERE childhood friend instead. :<

    • sd28

      you do realize you typed yandere right

      • Spider-Man

        Yes, I like crazies.

  • I love when two males are childhood friends. Brolationships always make me happy, especially big bro/little bro ones. X3 Wahaha, I’m already thinking about what to name the Protag. Can’t wait for it to get localized! >:D

  • benhofb

    Hmm. If it takes place in an alternate 1492, then why do some scenes depict Shibuya in modern-ish day and cities that have sky-scrapers? Perhaps the characters time travel somehow? Or maybe what says 1492, it is a super futuristic/still in the past setting (like some of the final fantasy games that seem to take place in medieval times then have hovercratfs).

    • Barrylocke89

      I’m actually kinda confused about this too. Remember back in those interviews for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey where they said that the only reason that game wasn’t listed as a numbered SMT was because it didn’t take place it Tokyo? But if this game really does take place in a fictional country in the fictional past, that’s not exactly Tokyo either.

      • benhofb

        I know! Although SMT: Strange Journey is really similar to the old school SNES SMT titles, it is “not a numbered title”. It kinda annoys me considering how it was developed to be SMT IV. I mean, I am not complaining about this SMT IV, I just wish they could actually tell us what is considered a numbered SMT title. I really would also like to know if I am seeing press-turns at the top of the screen… (!)

      • Tokyo is part of the story, too. Famitsu mentioned it in a past report. :)

  • KyoyaHibari

    Is it first or third person? *Crosses fingers for third* 

    • pokefloote

      Third person walking around, first person in battles.

      • yeah too bad….not sure what this big buzz about having first person battles in jrpg’s now ?

        i know that was big back in the day….i don’t understand why it’s becoming popular again…..never was a fan of it never will be.

        • LightZero

          To probably give the old school crowd something to be happy about. Believe it or not some people actually do like the old school style. I don’t mind it at all plus it’s fast paced. At least I have my third person dungeon crawling that was the only thing I cared about. 

        • Quinton Cunningham

          I’m split on it. I don’t MIND 1st Person gameplay, but it feels kinda lazy here. =/

          Stille mega hyped though cause the environments look AMAZING.

        • Barrylocke89

          Personally it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. The battle is still operating in the same way, you just don’t see your character on the screen. If that’s saving the developers cash on creating combat models/sprites for the player characters, then more power to em.

          It might help that my first jrpg (Earthbound) had first person battles, and I didn’t even know 3rd person battles were a thing until I was 10.

    • Barrylocke89

      Sounds like you missed the the trailer from the TGS earlier this year.


      It’s in 3rd person.

  • Pajaro Pitoshura

    His name is “Issachar” not Ezekiel. (It’s still a Bible-thing though)

    • Yeah, we caught that, too, and edited our report. Thanks. :)

  • Grenalie

    I can’t wait to go neutral and kill all my friends.

    • MrTyrant


      Everyone think they are in the right, try to force me in their army but at the end I choose whatever i want and destroy the rest D: I love that.

    • AuraGuyChris

      Atsubro will always stick with you.

      Screw Daichi, though.

      • komiko12

        Made me think of how I want a DeSu3 for 3DS.

    • Isn’t in DeSu neutral = best ending? Or in SMT neutral are paint in more bad light?

      • Grenalie

        I was more referring to SMT I neutral end.

  • yoUNg_grOUp568

    I can’t be the only one who thought the protagonist was a girl, right?

    • Quinton Cunningham

      I blame Korra and a bit of adrogyny.

    • LightZero

      No but I knew it was going to be a guy. The shoulder is too broad and masculine. Not to mention most megaten protagonist are males. Unfortunately, it seems that most people have watch a lot of animes or played enough video games to know when a male character is just a bishie. 

    • anonymous

      I thought that the protagonist was a girl, too! >A<

    • PreyMantis

      I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one. I guess I’ve seen enough anime to predict if a character showing its back is either a male or a female.

  • amagidyne

    Aw, I was hoping for selectable gender. With SMT they wouldn’t have to change anything except the character model, or maybe even just the text (you could probably convince someone that was a very tomboyish girl).

    That said, the only reason I haven’t bought a 3DS for this and Soul Hackers is because I don’t know if either one will ever come out in Europe. Atlus hasn’t been very nice to us lately.

    • “Atlus hasn’t been very nice to us lately.”

      Well they don’t have an European branch, so there’s nothing they can actually do. Maybe Ghostlight will step up on this one.

      • amagidyne

        That’s true, I guess I shouldn’t be too upset at Atlus specifically. That said, we never got Strange Journey or any Etrian Odyssey game after the first one either. That didn’t matter as much with games for the regular DS, the PSP or the PS3 (before P4A, anyway). Importing isn’t such a big deal.

        Now that all their games are shifting into region locked consoles again, I feel like we might end up getting locked out of all but their biggest releases, with even those being delayed for ages.

        …I’m still bitter about Devil Summoner 2.

        • AnimusVox

          Europe didn’t get Devil Summoner 2? (I swear I’m not trying to rub it in). That sucks. I wonder why they haven’t opened up a Euro branch, instead of passing it onto someone else or hoping someone else will localize their games for said region.
          Is the European fanbase so small they can’t open up a branch?
          *friendly comfort hug* :<

    • benhofb

      The last time we had a choice of gender in an canon SMT title was…. well…. “If…” I believe that was the only SMT title (as in has Shin Megami Tensei as the full title) that has had a choice of gender. The most recent gender change SMT series game was P3P, but ever since they have kinda dropped it. Although, I totally thought the MC of IV was a chick. I think it would have a cool step for Atlus to make one of the numbered SMT games’ mc a chick, but whatever. Alas, we’re stuck with a dude with a ponytail. 

  • Funny coincidence, I was just playing SMT: Strange Journey, stopped playing and decided to go for a random vydia newz check, only to be pleasently surprised with this SMT IV juicy update :D

    This game is going to be awesome beyond words.

  • wish the battle system was 3rd person, atleast sol trigger has special moves in 3rd person.

    • Robert M. Fenner

       what does that have to do with SMT?

      • Kibbitz

        SMT’s battles are in first person after all, so I guess do mo and co who liked its comment would prefer it be in 3rd person to enjoy their own party members’ likeness and attack animations. Sol Trigger also has a first person combat viewpoint, but when techs are used, they pan out to show the character performing the animation for the tech.

        • Same with Lost Heroes, and 7th Dragon 2020 is first person only before attacking, you can see your characters attacking the enemy. I understand that SMT wants to keep its dungeon crawler feel, but seriously I can’t really appreciate it at this point anymore :/

          • Kibbitz

            Yeah, I totally get where you’re coming from. While it’s not really something that bugs me, I am very confused as to their reasons. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they already went with the third person visual look in Nocturne and DDS, right? I can buy the argument to some degree that it might have been more of a pain to do on the DS, but to still hold to this for the 3DS feels a bit weird.

  • darkfox1

    Ahhhh man I can’t wait to play this. Soul Hackers may not come but I have no doubt this will pass us by!

    • LightZero

      Why would you have doubts? The only reason it didn’t come over in the first place was because of Sony. Originally it was going to be localize. Not to mention the game isn’t even controversial. IS had more controversy and it finally got localize last year. I’m quite certain Atlus put SH on the 3DS to not only take advance of the dual screen but allow us westerners to play it for the first time. 

    • How ’bout Eternal Punishment T.T

      • darkfox1

        Oh wow I completely forgot about the PSP version still has no announcement yet!

  • So, which will make it to the US first: SMT IV, Bravely Default, Dragon Quest VII, or Soul Hackers?

    Whoever wins, we win.

    • Rogerrmark

      I think we’ll get them in order,however,till now,I still have some doubts about Bravely Default.

      DQVII remake is already being considered,since the remakes and DQIX sold well in DS.

      Almost sure SMTIV and SH will come though…Atlus brings almost everything they release there.I mean,come on,it will even bring Etrian Odyssey IV,even though the US fanbase is waaaaaaaay smaller than SMT’s.

      Atlus lives dangerously.

      • LightZero

        Bravely Default will probably localize within a year. Its spiritual prequel took that long on the DS. DQVII will most certainly be localize. If SE doesn’t want to then Nintendo sure as hell will. You are correct SH and SMT4 will most certainly be localize. I suspect we will get SH during the spring of 2013. We might get SMT4 late 2013 since it doesn’t have a concrete release window in Japan besides 2013. 

        • I’m actually starting to wonder about Soul Hackers a little. I know Atlus usually localizes everything, but the game’s been out in Japan for nearly 3 months now and there’s still not so much as a hint from them, which seems unusual. On top of that, the game’s, what, a remake of a 15-year-old dungeon crawler that never came out anywhere but Japan? Even by their standards, that’s pretty niche – and while I know they localized a bunch of similar games for the DS, this one has extensive voice acting and would thus be a lot costlier to bring over. And then on top of THAT, they’ve got another, bigger title that will probably be more popular (SMT IV) on their plate at the same time. I’m probably wrong, but I wonder whether this might be the first self-published handheld game that Atlus will take a pass on in some time.

          • Robert M. Fenner

             They passed on Noora and the Time Studio last year, too.

            Not that I was particularly interested in it, but just sayin’.

          • I’m going to guess that the reason Soul Hackers isn’t announced yet is because they just announced Etrian Odyssey IV, which is a similar game in that they’re both dungeon crawlers. Give it time. They aren’t going to leave Soul Hackers in Japan.

          • LightZero

            Right now P4G is the main focus. Until that is out of the way we won’t hear anything about SH. But I have completely faith it will be localize. You just got to be patient. This game never got localize and I believe that is the secondary reason for it to be on the 3DS. If IS can be localize then SH will. If anything I would be more concern about EP (PSP). 

          • Rogerrmark

            Yeah,I’m starting to lose hope for P2:EP port.However,the absence of the PS1 version on PSN is probably still a good sign that it might cross the ocean.

  • For me he’s gonna be Raidou Kuzunoha, like any other MC I got to name before. :P

  • Hinataharem

    Hope looks like SMT Obi-Wan or something

  • puchinri

    As much as I love the protags for SMT (and related/spin-off series) and their designs, I really wish more than one/two titles had female leads (as an option, at the least) from the get go. It’d be really cool. ;u;

    Really excited for the game though~. Even with so little info, I’m eager to play it.

  • Profesor Agumon

    “…East Mikado is protected by walls that cover that perimeter. Higher walls in the center of the city shield the castle and King Ahaziah Mikado…” 
    isn’t that very close to the description of the Milleniun Kingdom?

  • s07195

    ‘Puts protecting the nation above everything else.’

  • Btw the name for the MC in the trailer is Flynn acc to the SMT wiki. I think I will go with that. Or something else.

    Changing the world… Its in the job description for every SMT MC lol ^.^;

    So, the bet for Hope being a boss is open?? :PWill Issachar be our tsuntsun bromance material XD Too bad he didn’t get to be a samurai (yet?)

    Ps, wht demon is the 1st and 3rd one is again?

  • brian yep

    I thought MC was announced as a girl.

  • Guest

    I like the setting, I still prefer the settings in the style of the original SMT, but this is really interesting. Can’t wait to see more of the game.

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