How Shin Megami Tensei IV Makes Fusing Demons More User Friendly

By Spencer . April 26, 2013 . 4:00pm

I’m old school, so I don’t mind starting fusions and canceling them until I get the perfect set of skills. It’s still a tedious process to go through and to know what demons you should have. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey introduced a password system so friends can share demons.


Shin Megami Tensei IV solves this problem with a detailed compendium. You can look up demons that have different skills like electricity, force, ice or in this video fire. After you select what traits you want Shin Megami Tensei IV shows the fusion recipe. You can also select what skills to inherit from the fused monsters.



If that’s too much work then select recommended fusion and pick one of the demons like Throne that Shin Megami Tensei IV suggests to use. Oh, that’s Azazel who should be familiar to everyone playing Soul Hackers


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  • riceisnice

    But I don’t want to fuse demons. Pixie was my best friend. And I just fused her! Just like that! She was so kind and helpful! AND I KILLED HER!

    • Derek E Nay

      You didn’t kill her. She became something more. In Nocturne, if you keep your Pixie since the beginning of the game, even if you fused her, you will get a buffed up version of her. Lore wise, they still retain a bit of them selfs in fusing.

      • Testsubject909

        That said. In that particular event. Pixie’s consciousness when reaching that final portion of the labyrinth undergoes a reincarnation as she returns to you stronger then she had ever been originally and maintains her adventures with you.

    • Testsubject909

      Check out the SMT manga. Pixie is basically the main companion of the hero.

      • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

        Is it translated? Or even available in the net? I couldnt find it.

  • Oh, thank god. The inability to pick your skills during fusion has been a glaring (and endlessly frustrating) flaw in the SMT games for ages. I just can’t believe it took Atlus this long to fix it.

    • I’ve only played Persona 3 Portable and know what you mean!

    • You can do that since P4G, but yeah it took the damn long to make it possible.

      • P4G is not a SMT game. And it came from DeSu first. Edit: Mods, I am sorry for causing this mayhem I really didn’t mean to though I guess I should have known it would.

        • LynxAmali

          If you go far enough back, yes. Yes, it is.

          Just saying. It’s just that in Japan, Persona was different enough that it pretty much jumped off and became its own thing after the original.

        • DeSu’s demon skill system is kind of not the same as in the other games, though. If we ignore that then yes you’re right. And sorry but they’re using pretty much 90% of the same demons in Persona that are also in the main series, which for me at least makes it enough of a SMT.

          • Testsubject909

            The demons they use in persona are mythological creatures or theological figures…

            By the sole idea that they’re using the same “demons”. You could argue that any game featuring any uses of… Say… Norse Mythology… Egyptian Gods… Aztec Gods… Hinduism… Would be SMT.

            Edit: God of War is totally an SMT game.

          • I’m saying they are using the exact same designs.

        • Oh please, let’s not have the pedantic “is Persona a SMT game” debate. Even if it TECHNICALLY isn’t, in Japan, the overlap in shared mechanics, sound and art assets, and stylistic elements make it a SMT spinoff in all but name.

          • Steven Higgins

            It’s a spin-off series. Like Devil Survivor and Devil Summoner.

            It’s like Family Guy and The Cleveland Show.

          • AkuLord3

            you really had to make that comparison *shame look* but yeah you’re right though

          • Testsubject909

            Yeah, The Megami Ibunroku series is a spinoff from way back. But it pretty much quickly became it’s own series… Which is where spinoff comes from. It breaks from the series to become it’s own thing inspired by…

          • Testsubject909

            Central theme and ongoing series setting and whatnot keep it separate from SMT itself.

            Plus if you decide to toss Persona into SMT just because of what you’ve stated, then you’re saying that only less then half of the Persona series is in the SMT line as Persona 1 and Persona 2 IS and EP would not fit with your definitions of what would make it an SMT spinoff…

            It’s a Megami Ibunroku game. Now. Megami Ibunroku itself is closely tied to SMT, yes. But that’s for reasons wholly different then the superficial ones you decided to give…

            (Edit: On another note. I do understand that gameplay elements are central to a game. But fusion systems were not solely maintained by SMT. Yes the more recent fusion system utilized in Nocturne has been spread over to the Persona series, but the Persona series has it’s own system that is in equal part core or perhaps more important then the fusion system which would be the S.Link system. Also, the whole Chaos or Law system is absent entirely from Persona, which is where theme meets gameplay makes the whole Persona series entirely different.)


            This isn’t pedantic… It’s just about knowing the objective truth. And the objective truth is that the only reason why it is an SMT in people’s minds is because the SMT brand name has been recognized thanks to the success of Nocturne which in turn was utilized to aide in the sales of other series that Atlus has made for us here in the West. It is a false identity slapped unto it solely for marketing reasons and is in no way the truth.

            If you wish to live in said lie. You are free to do so. But do not discourage the truth from being told. While yes you may not appreciate or enjoy the truth, the truth is what it is… And Persona is Megami Ibunroku… Not SMT… No matter what you say, or no matter how much you cling to a superficially slapped on name for purpose of marketing and sale…

            Because if, say, I renamed Final Fantasy as Mario’s Final Fantasy and that began to sell millions more by name alone… As much as you’d love to bash on about how Final Fantasy is a Mario game… You’d be wrong… Quite entirely wrong…

            And yes, I know that little example left it open for you to shove the “Ah-hah! But Person and SMT have similarities in their system!”

            Then how about Final Fantasy Legends… Care to tell me that Final Fantasy Legends isn’t Romancing Saga?

            Because if you do…


            I’ll just give up on you.

          • klkAlexar

            I always believed that SMT, Devil Summoner, Devil Survivor, DDS, Persona, etc all belonged to the MegaTen franchise. I think people sometimes just mean MegaTen instead of SMT. I wish Atlus USA had use the name Megami Tensei if they wanted group all the games under one brand.

          • Kaitsu

            Yes, but Megami Ibunroku is a spin-off of SMT. That’s a fact. You literally made everything more complicated than it needed to be. And even then, only Persona 1 had that title. All the rest just bared the name “Persona” in the Japanese releases.

            I think it’s rather that you can’t accept the truth that Persona is a SMT spin-off, not everyone else. Unless of course, you can find a good source for me where it says that Megami Ibunroku isn’t an SMT spin-off, and that the other titles are actually a Megami Ibunroku while at it, then be my guest. I’ll only go with the facts shown in majority.

            Also, I do count the NA releases as a legit title. I doubt they’d change it to “SMT: Persona” without a reason. You are literally trying too hard with ridiculous comparisons.

          • Yeah, both Persona 1 and Devil Survivor 1 are “Megami Ibunroku” games in Japan. I’d even go as far as to say that Maken X is an SMT spin-off, too.

        • Testsubject909

          I don’t quite understand the downvotes.

          Is it really that hard for people to just accept a plain truth about the differences between a Shin Megami Tensei game and a Megami Ibunroku game?

          Yes… Because if it’s not simplified to their liking, they’d rather not wrap their mind around the issue…

          Or is the dislike because you stated it came from DeSu first?

          • M’iau M’iaut

            I do think everyone does need to understand that at least stateside, folks are going to put them under the same umbrella. That same umbrella is what has made all of the games in the the series relevant in the states. That is not a bad thing.

          • Kaitsu

            It’s not our fault the game is literally titled, “Shin Megami Tensei: Persona”.

          • P4G was not labeled with SMT though…

          • P4G was the first Persona game in the states that removed the SMT moniker. But yes for the first 10-11 games or so they did call it SMT.

          • It is likely a mix of both. But I don’t care so much. Both statements are true.

    • Julien_N

      That is one of the reasons why Devil Survivor is great. Inheriting skills from fusions is so easy and user-friendly.
      Extending this design choice to mainline games is a great move from Atlus, even if the tabletop-RPG fans who like to roll dices to generate stats and actions might be disappointed. SMT games were initially inspired by Western dungeon crawlers that mimicked tabletop RPGs, if I remember well.

      • It would be one (even more frustrating) thing if skill inheritance in old games were like rolling dice to select your skills in a tabletop RPG. But (at least in the ones I’ve played) they let you cancel the fusion and start again to get a different skill set – better skills even have lower odds of appearing – thereby making the random skill selection TOTALLY POINTLESS, serving absolutely no purpose other than to waste players’ time.

        • malek86

          Most computer RPGs were like this too, giving you the chance to reroll your stats any number of times before the game started. I guess it was supposed to avoid people restarting the game if they didn’t get the stats they wanted.

          Fortunately almost every RPG today allows you to manually distribute your stat points, which solves the problem. So it’s about time SMT also gets rid of its old system.

        • Julien_N

          Indeed, as the result is the same in the end, it can seem pointless. But there might be some sort of satisfaction as you manage to get the right combination.

          Not that I am trying to defend this mechanic as I am also happy to see the skill transmission process streamlined. I am trying to think of an explanation.

          • The “explanation” is laziness and rigidity. Atlus did it because old-school RPGs did it, and old-school RPGs did it because, as malek explains below, it is a mechanic that was carried over wholesale from tabletop RPGs, even though it no longer made sense in the context of a video game. There is no “satisfaction” involved in eventually getting the desired combination of skills because it takes no skill on the part of the player, only patience for mind-numbing tedium. Which is, as a rule, not good game design.

      • Testsubject909

        I quite enjoy the ease but it does feels like it slightly cheapens down the demons I fused up for me.

        Mind you ease of use is appreciated. Certainly cuts down the time to 1 minute instead of 3 hours… But the demon in question now becomes a 1 minute deal rather then a whole 3 hour investment. It’s a minor point and really one that isn’t appealing to a lot for obvious reasons, but you feel more invested and thankful for a demon you made to your liking with 3 hours of investment then you do for one of 1 minute.

        But again, it’s pretty minor, plus the game’ll be over in anywhere from between 40 hours and 200 hours.

  • malek86

    Finally. Repeatedly cancelling and retrying fusions until you got the skillset you wanted, didn’t make the game more challenging, it just made it more frustrating. There was no point.


      • M’iau M’iaut

        Mai heart belongs to mai waifu Shiori and no you can’t have her.

        • Testsubject909

          Which Shiori?

          Great Scott… So many mangas, animes and games… Which Shiori are you talking about!?

          Is it her?

          Because that’s always the first Shiori I think of.

      • Testsubject909

        It probably died of old age.

    • Testsubject909

      Part luck and dealing with the hand you’re dealt with, similar to rolling up a character in old school western RPGs.

      Edit: Plus it can make for some interesting challenges.

      Edit 2: By which I mean challenges set up by the community.

      • malek86

        That would only make sense if you couldn’t see the fusion skillset until after it’s done. And then they’d need to immediately autosave the game after the fusion. And there must be only one save slot. Then yes, it would make sense.

        There’s a reason if roguelikes are often randomized: it adds challenge to the game, since if something goes wrong you can’t even reload. So you have to learn to stick with what you get.

        But SMT is not randomized and you can reload anytime you want anyway, and most likely you will. So there’s no point.

      • ragingmerifes

        I think the battles and fusion mechanics gameplay itself is challenging, diverse and fun enough. There’s no need to waste time rerolling skillsets when you can take a shortcut and spend more time playing and less doing something clearly inefficient and retrograde.
        Though the other SMT did just fine with the system, so either way si fine with me.

    • almostautumn

      I wonder though— even though probably EVERYONE would reload games until they got that skill-set— that doesn’t mean it was necessarily “cheap” or “frustrating.” As far as I see, that is almost the point; that dedication to manifesting the team. I’m not saying it was enjoyable, but at the same time— I mean, ask yourself; what compelled you to do that, other than immersion? I mean, if you take that away from the gameplay, and you totally streamline it— I dunno; seems like it might just result in a layer of apathy, rather than that “frustration,” which I think should rather be described as immersion and dedication.

      • malek86

        “I’m not saying it was enjoyable, but at the same time— I mean, ask yourself; what compelled you to do that, other than immersion?”

        It wasn’t enjoyable. And what compelled me to do that wasn’t immersion, not at all. If anything, that was a good way to break immersion. The only reason I did it was because I wanted a stronger demon so I could have less trouble in battles.

        Honestly, if they didn’t let you reroll, it was a different question. But since they let you reroll, there was no point. It’s like in those old cRPGs where you could reroll your stats at the start. After a while developers got the hint and just allowed you to distribute your points in the way you wanted. And now Atlus got the hint too.

      • Looking at many fanbases and communities, it’s apparent that some people can derive enjoyment out of virtually any mechanic, regardless of convenience or original intention; it’s only a matter of how popular each particular quirky enjoyment was. That’s the point of game design: Sure, you can technically leave things as is for the comfort of a fraction of players that are hardheaded enough to get used to the quirks, but why do that when you can relieve the frustration for other players as well? It’s a simple matter of service.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    (ಥ_ಥ) Thank you for fixing that!

    • Testsubject909

      Persona 4 Golden had that. So I’m not surprised they’re bringing that to SMT…

      Since Persona 3’s Persona Fusion system borrowed directly from SMT 3’s, it’s not too surprising it’d go back to SMT afterwards.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        I haven’t played the Golden yet.. maybe I need to take, I mean borrow my friends vita to get ready for SMT4

        • MrTyrant

          You should had borrowed the 3ds haha.

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            I already hav one >:}

          • ShawnOtakuSomething

            I already hav one >:}

  • Shane Guidaboni

    It’s about time.

  • ragingmerifes

    It’s not Azazel. It’s Nishi-chan.

    • Detrimont

      Azazel is Nishi

      • ragingmerifes

        In my heart,he will always be Nishi-chan.

  • MrTyrant

    Ha! can you summon Soul Hacker bosses?

  • Barrylocke89

    Maybe it’s the oldschool in me, but I still think they could have found a happy medium between “reroll these skills because this demon has this inheritance type” and “screw it, just let ’em pick whatever”. Maybe putting restrictions that make Fire Demons unable to learn ice moves, but other moves can be picked or something.

    • Testsubject909

      If we base ourselves off of Persona 4 Golden which allows you to choose which skills to impart. That game had skill restriction as you’ve stated.

      So if they do the same thing… No problem I imagine.

      • Barrylocke89

        Oh it did? I thought it was like Devil Survivor where you could pick any skill.

        Guess I learned something new.

  • Bjørnty

    No Velvet room music? :((

  • Jirin

    Nothing wrong with this so long as you’re free to ignore it. I don’t think the game’s recommendations would be better than my own ideas anyway.

    I like that you don’t have to reroll over and over anymore. What I might have liked it some sort of point system for transfers, so instead of ‘Just pick anything’, you can either have a few stronger abilities or several weaker abilities. I like it when games let you customize but stop you from making broken ‘All strengths and no weaknesses’ characters.

    And, old school gamer as I am, as much as I think Nocturne is one of the greatest games of all time. “Pass up on an ability once and lose it forever” was just plain stupid.

  • John

    YES! Yggdrasil is in another SMT game. He’s so awesome.

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