Nintendo 3DS

Shin Megami Tensei IV Tips For The Aspiring Samurai


Shin Megami Tensei IV is out today, and in case you hadn’t heard, it’s a pretty tough game. We’ve compiled a list of tips for everyone that plans on picking the game up. Some of these are just reminders of the basics, while others are a little more specific. Read on and be educated!


  • When you’re exploring as Flynn, make sure to pre-emptively strike enemies whenever you can. This is important because there’s no defense stat in the game, so even weaker enemies can hurt you quite a bit with regular spells.


  • Check around for relics every time you enter a dungeon in Tokyo. Relics regenerate every so often, and are your primary source of money, which you’ll need a lot of in this game. You’ll be able to sell these relics to Yakuza-type people in Tokyo, and then buy things from them.


  • The three main things you require money for are armor/weapons, negotiating with demons and paying Charon when you get a game over. However, you can also pay Charon using Nintendo 3DS play coins instead of Macca, which is SMTIV’s currency.


  • Armor in Shin Megami Tensei IV is important, but in our experience it isn’t as important to pay attention to how it alters your stats. While armor does affect stats in the game, it’s more important to base your armor choices on what resistances and weaknesses they give you.


  • You can also buy other items in the game, but aside from early in the game, we wouldn’t recommend resorting to buying too many items, since demons tend to drop a lot of them anyway.


  • Recruit demons whenever possible. The compendium is a rip-off, and you won’t have that kind of money, especially early on.


  • Shin Megami Tensei IV uses the Press-Turn battle system, by which you get extra turns for targeting enemy weaknesses. However, during battle, it’s important to look out for enemy resistances and immunities, too. Don’t use spells like Maragi and Mabufu (which hit all enemies) to target the opposing party if any of the enemies are immune to those element-types. Attacks being nullified or repeled will cost you turns.


  • It’s very easy for an enemy to turn the tide of battle. Make sure you aren’t low on MP and have your other preparations in order while you’re in a dungeon area.


  • Don’t be afraid of the poison floor/swamp.


  • Always have a “Ma” spell in your party. Recarm (which revives fallen party members) is especially handy to have, too. Recarm costs a lot of MP, so it’s best to have it on multiple demons, instead of having multiple demons in your party exhaust all their MP by using it over and over. (And you will find use for Recarm.)


  • This sounds counterintuitive, but if you’re towards the end of a battle, don’t be afraid to let Flynn die. Even if Flynn’s dead, your demons can still fight, and if they have Recarm, they can resurrect him. Keep in mind, though, that if Flynn is down, you won’t be able to swap demons in and out because Flynn is the one with the Gauntlet.


  • Also, if you’re close enough to the end of a fight, don’t bother casting Recarm to resurrect Flynn. He’ll come back to life with 1HP after the battle is over, and you won’t have to waste the extra MP on resurrecting him.


  • Save often, especially during fighting quests. Many times you’ll have to battle five really tough enemies, and just as you’re taking out the fifth, they’ll call in reinforcements.


  • Make sure to use both your save spots, especially in demon domains. These are like mazes where your map doesn’t work. If you’re lost and on the brink of death, and you happen to save in that state, you’re kind of stuck unless you can find your way out. So make sure to save once in a safe spot and use your second save slot for a save deeper inside the dungeon.


  • When you die in Shin Megami Tensei IV, Charon revives you exactly where you were. You start out right before the battle, and you’ll have a few seconds’ time while the enemy is inert, so you can use that to land a pre-emptive strike or hop into a menu and sort your party out.


  • Smirking is useful in battle. Offensively, it almost always guarantees a critical hit and more damage. Defensively, it almost always guarantees a miss, which makes the enemy lose a turn.


  • While negotiating with demons, if you find an effective tactic for recruiting a particular demon, it will generally work on other demons of that species as well.


  • While negotiating, don’t be afraid to refuse to give demons items. It isn’t worth it, especially because sometimes they’ll ask for something stupidly rare. It isn’t worth it to play the odds because handing items over is by no means a guarantee they’ll join you.


  • Try to destroy the demon’s party before you attempt to recruit him. Sometimes, you can terrorize them into joining you this way. However, even if you can’t do that, it’s better to have one demon attack you than his entire party, should you fail to recruit him.


  • If you fail to recruit, keep talking to the demon. It’ll be like nothing happened. You can keep trying until they leave you, even if they attacked you before.


  • If you want to try using the Fundraise app (which makes you throw yourself at a demon and beg for money), the first time seems to be a guaranteed success. The second time is less likely to work, and the third is even less likely. When Fundraise fails, the demon attacks.


  • Alternatively, sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll get all their money on the first try using Fundraise. They go, “AHHH, YOU’RE SCARY, FINE I GIVE UP, TAKE IT ALL!”


  • Fundraise is useful at the start of the game, when money is hard to come by. However, it isn’t really worth the time once you reach Tokyo.


  • Remember, delivery quests never expire, and you can do them over and over gain for extra EXP and money. On the other hand, fighting quests must be accepted first, and while you’re in the middle of one, you can’t take on any other fighting quest or main quest. If you do try to continue with the main story, the game will ask if you want to cancel your sidequest.


  • Guest characters are great and terrible at the same time. They act as damage absorbers in battle, since they can’t die, and they attack once for you. Unfortunately, their AI is terrible and they don’t seem to target weaknesses. The Auto Lock-on ability might help offset this, but we haven’t had a chance to try this yet. Auto Lock-on allows autobattle to target enemy weaknesses, so it may affect guest characters, too.


  • You can save anywhere in Shin Megami Tensei IV.


Shin Megam Tensei IV is available in North America today, both at retail and via the Nintendo eShop for 3DS. The game costs $50.