Shin Megami Tensei IV Director Talks Story Connections And More
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.