The original Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey was a fairly straightforward game. Players went into an anomaly covering the South Pole, found out it housed multiple dimensions and demons and needed to find a way to halt its progress. You need to don the Demonica to survive, teaming up with demons to make your way through. But in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, you are not the only foreigner in the area. Alex is there too.
Editor’s note: spoilers for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux will follow.
When players first meet Alex in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, she tries to kill you. But what is notable is that her mission and nature does not seem all that different. She is also wearing a Demonica, though it is a different version. She has an AI aiding her, which resembles Arthur. Her goal is the same as yours. She wants to stop the Schwarzwelt’s progress too. It is just that to accomplish her goal, she apparently needs to try and prevent you from carrying out your own goal.
It is an interesting parallel. Especially since Alex has this hostility toward the group attempting to do what she wants. But then, this is tied to the new endings. Alex is a woman from the future. She knows what would happen to the world if the player character managed to cause the original Chaotic, Lawful or Neutral endings.
The alignment you fell into after the introductory quiz determines what happened, which acts as an epilogue for those in the know. If you are Chaotic, the game assumes you sided with Jimenez. Alex ended up being the only human left, as it was a world where only the strongest survived. Lawful characters will find Alex as the sole survivor of people who weren’t brainwashed by Zelenin’s song. Someone who is Neutral will learn people forgot about what happened, the Schwarzwelt returned, and there was no one there to stop it.
This means that success in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux involves trying to convince and work with Alex. You have to go through the new dungeon and deal with the encounters there. You have to be willing to accept and believe what the woman who tried to kill you said. Because even though she considered murder an option (and will still think it is valid if you decide not to go down one of the new ending routes), she is not wrong. Alex has been there and knows what could happen. And, in that way, it is almost like Alex is there as the voice of people who played Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey before. You could consider her the voice of people who did not approve of the forced brainwashing in the original Lawful outcome or the concept that anyone who was not “strong” would be dead in the Chaotic ending.
Alex can feel like an anomaly and outsider, but that is because she is there to be the voice of people who played Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey before. She is from the future those of us in the know have already earned and seen. Because of this, her extreme behavior can be easily explained. It also provides a strong foundation for these extra endings. Of course the appearance of a new person can suddenly make three new options available. Her interference can alter the existing possibilities to offer more reasonable, more temperate and, most importantly, more enduring options.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux is available for the Nintendo 3DS.