Shin Megami Tensei V’s Demons Are Cheeky Little Bastards

Shin Megami Tensei V’s Demons Are Cheeky Little Bastards
Image: Atlus / atk work, Shutterstock

It’s rough being a demon in Shin Megami Tensei V. The demonic netherworld is a barely hospitable wasteland even when there’s not a blue-haired anime boy beating up your friends and collecting them like Pokémon. Honestly, I can’t even blame these creatures for occasionally getting cheeky.

Or so I thought as I began — the demons in Atlus’ JRPGs, when you try to negotiate with them, are usually a little bit cheeky. But Shin Megami Tensei V takes it to another level. I’ve been snapping screens throughout just so I can show y’all all the snarky demon crap I’ve had to deal with whenever I need to recruit some fresh fighters to my (undoubtedly noble) cause. It’s been a lot, y’all.

Gold diggers

Whenever you’re trying to recruit a demon in SMTV, they usually demand a little something in return. While the cost isn’t anything as dramatic as your immortal soul, the cost can still feel extortionate. Money isn’t plentiful in this game, and the only consistent ways to earn it is to interact with vending machines or defeat a rare type of money demon.

So it really does rankle me to see this Oni act like they’ve got the protagonist by the purse strings, especially when I can probably craft them with my future demon stock for free. That’s right, gold digger. I’ll be able to fuse you at any time I want. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

Violent maniacs

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

Ooh, I’m so scared of this level 7 Preta. I’ll be screaming, crying, and puking when I blast them dead with my fire skill.

Unsolicited opinions put forth as questions

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

The Mandrake’s got flowers growing out of its head, and they’re asking me about my hair? Have you seen some of the demons walking around the Netherworld? I get it, it’s a lot riskier to ask the Bicorn about its wicked ram horns, or a Bug why it has that skull in its innards. But I’m still not taking lip from the ambulatory flower.

Just straight-up mocking me

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

I know that the demon responses are randomised, but I still burst a gut when a Tsuchigumo challenged my character to an arm-wrestling contest. Like no shit, I lost. This demon is in a totally different weight class!

Sad emotional energy vampires

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

I needed to recruit Azumi before I fought Hydra, but boy was it uncomfortable. They clearly have some self esteem issues around their age, and I was totally taking advantage of their loneliness to add them to my roster. Don’t worry, Azumi. If you don’t like how you look now, I’ll give you a complete makeover when I fuse you with another demon to create an evil unicorn or something.

(I eventually fused them with Mermaid to create Andras. I don’t know if the transformation to a nude owl-person was necessarily an improvement, though.)

Moon arseholes

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

This is the most serial killer question that I’ve been asked in this entire game. Oh my god, Sandman.

Loud talkers

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

BICORN SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS. BICORN IS GOOD. BICORN IS A FRIEND. I WILL ABSOLUTELY TAKE CARE OF BICORN UNTIL I DECIDE TO USE HIM AS A CRAFTING INGREDIENT.

Felines who expect too much

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

This is way too intense for a first meeting, but I can respect that Cait Sith has really high standards for the human who’s going to be bossing them around for however long I decide to keep them. Shit, it feels like Cait Sith is getting a really bad deal? I just wanna grab my friends and escape this place, which I guess is a pretty lacklustre reason for busting into the angels’ compound.

Practical jokesters

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

How delightful. “This is more like it,” I thought as I took the Onmoraki up on their kind offer. I was significantly less impressed when the handshake yielded a piece of paper with the words “Too bad!” What a cheeky little shit.

Sex perverts

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

Excuse me, Ippon-Datara? Isn’t this question a little bit personal? Especially while you’re holding that rusty pair of pliers. ????

Unsolicited opinions put forth as questions, but hostile

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

Another such demon inquired about my luscious hair, and I answered with a joke. I admit, their comeback was pretty good, even if it was the leadup to a pummelling.

I’m kind of done with Ippon-Dataras

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

Yet another. Jesus. Ippon-Dataras are bad news, is my overall takeaway.

Smol arseholes

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

You little fuck.

Turning the tables?

Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku Screenshot: Atlus / Kotaku

OK, granted, sometimes I’m the one jerkin’ folks around. Unfortunately for him(?) this mook was taken in by my naked attempts at manipulation. I hope that they don’t feel bad when they realise I’m also technically engaged to the other six demons in the roster. And by “roster” I mean my demonic polycule. Heh heh heh heh heh.

Am I…the bad guy?

Am I that transparent? Eh. Every trick is fair when you’re trying to mount a demon rebellion against the powers that be. Just don’t be too surprised when your sweet-talking ways catch up with your Nahobino, because these cheeky demons will let you know exactly what they think about you and your blue-haired fancylad.

If you’ve been exploring the netherworld wastelands yourself you know how wild these bastards can get. What have been your most memorable encounters?

Comments

  • “While the cost isn’t anything as dramatic as your immortal soul,” Well, there are demons that ask you for varying amounts of your health and stamina, so yes, it is kinda as dramatic as your immortal soul since it nearly kills you if you’re not careful.

    “This is the most serial killer question that I’ve been asked in this entire game. Oh my god, Sandman.” You have this wrong, and this should have gone under the “Am I… the bad guy” heading. In other conversations and level up comments you learn that Sandman is an old dude, so here he’s actually implying you are the serial killer, going around killing old people like him. Which isn’t actually far from the truth.

    But really, the cheekiest thing the demons do is stay alive at 1 health instead of dying. It’s a mechanic that’s been in a number of SMT games and you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had battles go wrong because some demon decides they just ain’t gonna die today.

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