Shin Megami Tensei IV Director Talks Story Connections And More

By Sato . May 19, 2013 . 4:30pm

Shin Megami Tensei IV’s release is just a couple months away and there are still plenty of questions left unanswered. Director Kazuyuki Yamai answers some of these questions, including any possible connections between stories, the Black Samurai and more, in a recent Dengeki Online interview.


When you compare Shin Megami Tensei IV to previous installments, one part that has captured some attention is the new interface style, which Dengeki considers to be quite fancy.



“It’s not that it was made with the intention to look fancy, but it was actually intended to look more up to date by matching trends these days,” explained Yamai. “We used smartphones and tablets as a hint for the interface we have today.”  He continued, “Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei II had the image of computer DOS commands. I believe it was the trend at the time.”


Some people may be wondering whether you need to have played past main numbered titles to fully enjoy Shin Megami Tensei IV. Dengeki asks if there will be content that is made more for those who’ve enjoyed the past games and what’s offered to people new to the series.


The people that are involved in the development are people that love MegaTen. Naturally, there will be plenty of such elements [for those people].” He continues, “One of our goals for this title is to get as many people to understand the enjoyment of MegaTen, so we’ve included plenty of content that newer players will be able to appreciate.”


An example of this is the game’s Press Turn battle system, which was also present in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Yamai explains.


Some may also wonder about the significance of the Black Samurai character, who looks similar in appearance to the Demonica Suits in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. Could there be any connection between the two games?


“No, there are not,” Yamai clarifies. “If anything, it is more of an extra little something, so it won’t be, in a way, where people who haven’t played Strange Journey won’t be able to enjoy [this game]. However, we had a little fun and put some stuff in here and there. For example, Strange Journey’s navigation system was named ‘Arthur’. This time we have a revised version named ‘Burroughs’.”


So if Arthur is for the letter ‘A’ and Burroughs is ‘B’, the next navigation system might have a name starting with ‘C’. Story-wise, the two navigation systems aren’t related, but that’s an example of the little things Atlus threw in for the older fans of the series.


For the first time, Shin Megami Tensei IV will be a main numbered title for a handheld console. Yamai talked about their reason for going portable.


“Actually, nobody from our development staff felt that it was required to make a main numbered title on a non-handheld console,” Yamai says. “If anything, we believe that handhelds are perfect for RPGs that involve character growth. For example, you can try fusing some demons before going to bed and fall asleep after making one that satisfies you, or test out any demons you made.”


“You can open it whenever and simply put it in sleep mode when you close it. I believe that handheld consoles allow you to enjoy it in this lighthearted way.”


Dengeki tried their best to get further information about Tokyo, but unfortunately Yamai was not allowed to say much. However, he did say that the situation between the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado and Tokyo are completely different, as Tokyo is infested by demons and the people living there are living their lives shaking in fear.


Shin Megami Tensei IV will be released on July 16th in North America.

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  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Cant we still fuse demons before going to bed and test them out if it were on consoles? Kind of an odd response.

    • DuskSharkEX

      I think they’re assuming your console isn’t in the room with you. At least with a portable, you don’t need to get up from your bed.

      • Amagidyne

        Clearly, they underestimate the modern gamer and our ability to play console games in bed.

        • You’re also underestimating your body’s ability to be affected by sleeping around electronics

          • MrTyrant

            We gamers have special bodies.

          • Yo I was breed with the blessed body of Mortal Kombat. Shh come talking to me about “special” think you’re Kazama dont’cha? Hitoshura’s gonna get ya.

          • amagidyne

            You have a point; I feel kind of schizophrenic right now.

    • Zeik56

      With a handheld you can fuse, put it in sleep mode and go to sleep, and then wake up in the middle of the night from an intense fever dream and immediately start fusing some more.

  • malek86

    Oh my, lol, what’s up with the Jojo screenshot?

  • Tales_of_Master

    Is that………is that a pic from the old JoJo game for the SNES ? I’m not sure why it’s there but it’s still awesome to have both SMT and JJBA in the same article.

    • DesmaX

      Jojo SNES games on a SMT news…
      Jojo is based around these characters that use some sorta “Humanoid being” to help them in battle (From what I can see in that pic)

      Persona 5 confirmed

    • No, I believe that’s from Shin Megami Tensei II on the SFC.

      • Hinataharem

        Lol unless you are sarcastic, that is clearly Jojo. Even has “Jotaro” as the character name and “Oraora” as as a move.

        • DesmaX

          Just drag-and-drop that image onto google

      • Guest

        It’s not. That is some kind of fan edit. Those character are Jotaro Kujo and Star Platinum from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

      • Guest

        Nah lol it’s Jotaro and Star Platinum from JJBA. It’s clearly some kind of fan edit, gets the general design across but it’s not from a real game…

      • @Hinataharem:disqus Oh? Thanks for the heads up, then. I’ll replace it with an actual SMT image. :P

        • Zeik56

          Well I think you had the right idea juxtaposing the two menus.

          • Barrylocke89

            I agree, it’s easier to see the “DOS Style” that Yamai was referring to when you look at the status and menu screens.

  • DesmaX

    … I’d rather not take my handheld to bed. I wouldn’t really sleep (Just one more enemy OH CRAP GAME OVER, BASTARD YOU WILL PAY *revive*) at all with them.

    At least I can control it more on my home console

  • MrTyrant

    I thinks the easiest way to response about the advantages of handheld is that you don’t need to be in your house to play and since most people have busy lives they tend to be out of their house for a long time.

  • Istillduno

    Agree with the devs on the handheld thing, so much easier to spend a bit of time here and there on the bus or on lunch breaks to grind up that pixie you want to end the game with or whatever than it is to justify sitting down at home and dedicating time you could spend doing other things to grinding.

    I know you could technically be doing something different on a bus or lunch break but it feels more like killing time and getting something out of it than time wasted.

  • The advantages of portables to consoles is simple. In Japan the portable market has outgrown the console market. More Japanese play games on their portables so there is more money and sales to be made by going on platforms people actually own. It also helps to keep development costs low and work with 6th generation era tech and budgets that they’re comfortable with.

    HD development hasn’t been kind to the Japanese gaming market and now more power and higher budgets in 8th generation doesn’t sound too appealing to them. The 3DS (hopefully eventually the Vita) is gonna attract a ton of games due to lower budgets and a higher install base. If Nintendo can get their act together and start gaining some market share in Japan with Wii U they might also be able to attract more Japanese 3rd party games. Teaming up publishers like Sega and developers like Atlus/Platinum helps a ton too.

  • Barrylocke89

    Y’know, I just thought of something. Maybe Mikado and Tokyo are supposed to represent law and chaos. It’d make sense, and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this pops up in the story.

    As for the interviews, it was good stuff, especially the part about the UI’s roots. I notice the DOSish style, looking back at SMT 1.

  • IshimaruKaito

    i wonder if they are gonna have anybody from previous games in this as extra bosses…i love it when they do stuff like that!

  • Argama

    “For example, you can try fusing some demons before going to bed and fall
    asleep after making one that satisfies you, or test out any demons you

    I did this exact same thing while playing Devil Survivor 2, It’s like I can’t sleep right if I’m not content with the current Demon I have…

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    From that screenshot of the status screen, it looks like Flynn’s default last name is Samurai.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Could also be a title/game rank. The opening of the game has him taking that test to be a samurai.

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        Yeah, I thought of that. SMT games usually have a full name for the protagonist and no class/title system. It’d be pretty funny if it was his name.

        Of course it could be a placeholder as we generally see characters named ATLUS in the previews.

  • Kalis Konig

    Everything looks nice with this game but the battle system looks like crap. Not because of the first person view either.

    • Pockystix

      I think most either have resigned to it’s design, or actually dig it.

      I could’ve been cool with it if there was a FeMC, partly because they really aren’t animating much outside the exploration sections.

    • Zeik56

      I’m honestly quite impressed with what I’ve seen of the combat so far. Spell and attack animations look great. Some of the best the series has seen. I love how enemies have varying death animations based on the attack used. (Enemies exploding into ice crystals when killed by bufu is amazing.) And just the overall aesthetic of the battle screen is quite spiffy.

      Really the only area it’s kind of lacking is with enemy animation, but with 400+ demons in the game I think it gets the job done.

      • Kalis Konig

        You’ve brought up some nice things that I did not know about. thank you.

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