Why Charon Resurrects You In Shin Megami Tensei IV

By Spencer . May 8, 2013 . 12:16am

When you die in Shin Megami Tensei IV, the game doesn’t end. Instead, Charon greets the player, who is waiting to be ferried across the river Styx. He says he could ferry you over to the other side, but he’s tired of all the work. Charon laments that there is an endless line of people he has to process and that it would be easier if he were to just resurrect you.


The catch is that Charon wants macca because macca makes the world move. Macca is Shin Megami Tensei IV’s currency.


In other Shin Megami Tensei titles and spin-offs, players see a somber note that reminds them how they failed to make a difference in the world. “The comfort of death will come to men and demons alike by the guidance of the great will,” Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne says, as the camera pans out to a spiraling staircase of angels. Meanwhile, Devil Survivor 2 tells you the world is going to nothingness and it’s your fault. D’oh. Charon instead is cleverly inserted as comic relief so players don’t feel that bad about dying. Plus, if you give him a nominal amount of macca he brings you back to life with a little HP.


If you don’t have macca you can take a loan out. Don’t forget to use Dia or medicine, otherwise you’ll see Charon again.


Actually, you don’t have to give Charon macca either. He asks you if you want to be revived and you can turn him down. Do so and he’ll ask you the same question again, reminding you that if you say no you will die. Reject him a second time and you’ll see a hilarious Game Over screen. This might be considered a spoiler, so highlight the text if you’re curious.


Charon stops trying to convince you. He hands you a number and tells you to wait until mountains crumble to sand. Frustrated with all of the souls to ferry across Styx, Charon rants about how this is going to take forever and then you see a Game Over screen.


Charon is essentially a frustrated bureaucrat who is stuck doing a thankless job with a never ending amount of work. He just wants a break, so let him resurrect you, OK? If he has to resurrect you twice, you’ll unlock an option to dial down the game’s difficulty.

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  • XypherCode

    I couldn’t help but highlight the text! Arggg…. lol

  • Didn’t highlight the text — a first for me, I’ll admit.

    Anyway, thanks for all the SMT IV coverage lately! It’s been a blast to read, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.

  • Lubulos

    Must resist… AARGH!

  • DyLaN

    Poor guy ^^;

  • Suicunesol

    Highlighted the text… not a big deal to me. :P Just makes me want to play the game more.

  • Silversun92

    I think it would be nice if he was redrawn by Masayuki Doi… but on the other hand, I’m not going to highlight that text!

  • JustThisOne

    This highlighting business seems to be a bit of a social experiment, doesn’t it? :P I’m on to you, Spence.

    I’m glad they’re going to put a comical spin on dying. Let’s face it, we’re going to be dying a lot.

  • I can’t believe that I never noticed how much he looks like P3’s Tanaka in the face to me until now.

  • Mister_Nep

    Err…how is that a spoiler? No seriously. That’s doesn’t even remotely resemble a spoiler. I don’t get it.

  • Alena Ipatyeva

    Nice reference from Devil Summoner

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Good guy, Charon.

  • kassandra

    I come here everyday just to read the news about shin megami tensei IV

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    DeSuOC’s message is baffling, or just not as witty as that one. Hopefully I never meet game over in this, assuming guides/walkthroughts are out before domestic release CONUS.

  • jeb

    Sounds like an easy way to avoid dying, after P4G I was worried Atlus was to into easier/accessible games so this sounds lame.

    • Aerozeta

      I agree, I liked the difficulty the original P4 and Nocturne had, they were challenging and very interesting and fun as well. The Game Over screens in those were very interesting as well, it kind of makes you feel like not giving up and still going strong, you ARE an important person in those games after all.

  • Adriaan den Ouden

    Kind of funny, because in Greek myth, Charon wants money to take souls across the river in the first place. That’s why their funeral ceremonies included placing coins over the dead’s eyes.

    Personally, I love the original devil survivor’s death message, where your COMP crashes.

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