Instead, I started digging right into the other Shin Megami Tensei games: Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga, Devil Summoner, Devil Survivor. I liked each of them, yet I always hit a suggest wbelow I couldn’t store going. Sometimes, it’s been due to an absurd obstacle curve, yet even more often it’s the endless grinding. In some of these games, you can’t take more than a few procedures without acquiring struck.

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With 2013’s release of SMT IV for the 3DS, I was determined to break the curse of unfiniburned games. I bought the game on day one, and also told myself, This is a mainline SMT game, and I’m going to beat it. It ended up being a point of pride. I felt insecure about the principle that SMT was undoubtedly my favorite game franchise, but I had never cleared a “real” one. It felt choose I was a fake fan.

SMT IV was, as supposed, wonderful. Like many kind of games in the franchise, it depicts a post-apocalypse rife via demons, only this time, you played as a medieval samurai of sorts. Hailing from a blessed land, you are tasked with trying out Tokyo to root out the resource of evil. All SMT games are preoccupied with the magnificent and also the occult yet IV embraces the concept further by positing you as a character that might or might not be an angel.


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The battle mechanism, as constantly, is top-notch. Every demon you encountered can be convinced to join your reason, yet this isn’t as simple as damaging them and also throwing a Pokéround. You reason through each demon and also negotiate to provide them what they want. Some demons are thoughtful and also simply desire to talk to you about the definition of life. Others desire to steal as much as they can from you. Some don’t also sheight your language, at least, not initially. Better yet, there are thousands of demons, and they can all be fprovided through each various other to develop a new one. I loved the complexity behind it all, and also that’s simply among many interesting devices in the game.

The gravitational pull was tbelow from the initially time I tried SMT IV. I still stumbled on two roadblocks. For one thing—and I feel embarrassed to say this, offered the game is much easier than others in the franchise—IV is difficult as hell. I preserved getting stuck on bosses that would wipe the floor with me for hrs. Grinding and overleveling could not conserve me. But largely, it was the map.

SMT IV, prefer many type of games in the series, takes place in Tokyo. I have actually no idea just how very closely the games resemble the actual locales, but from visiting Japan when, I know how confutilizing navigating specific cities deserve to be for a foreigner. Some roads don’t display up on maps, or tbelow are roads through no names. In that feeling, SMT IV feels true to the resource product, however still, it was annoying to play. Characters would tell you to go to areas you’d never before seen prior to, and also the map sprawls in eextremely direction. You have actually no concept where to go, and wandering is dangerous. Even low-level demons have the right to damage you if you’re not careful.

The first time approximately, I obtained shed. Normally, this is wright here I pull up a FAQ or a YouTube walkwith, yet at the moment, there wasn’t much out tright here. For all the popularity behind Persona, SMT is still somewhat niche. And so, ever before considering that 2013, I’ve been stuck in a vicious loop. I will certainly begin a new save file, go through the motions, and then gain shed. I’ll look up wbelow to go, acquire a tiny bit farther, only to get shed aobtain. I’ll drop the game, pick it ago up, and forget wbelow I was or what I was doing. I’ll start a brand-new conserve file, only to drop the totality point aacquire. SMT IV became a game that I can never before completely wrap my hands about, my digital Moby Cock.

Even low-level demons can destroy you if you’re not careful.

Since late 2017, I’ve been eating healthier, functioning out more, and trying to press myself beyond what I assumed was physically feasible for me. Over the last few months, I’ve spent most time functioning up my cardio. It’s been brutal. I hate running. If depression renders me feel devastating emotionally and also psychologically, running is the one thing that virtually provides me feel prefer all that stuff is physically manifesting itself. Not being able to save up, being out of breath, gasping for air: I abhor every one of it. I likewise, paradoxically, love playing soccer, yet being good at it indicates being able to sprint and also run. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been spfinishing a lot of time huffing and also puffing, ignoring the shaky voice that was trying to convince me I was going to die if I retained going. I’ve invested months reminding myself of one thing: I can carry out this. And, as cliche as it is: The pain will certainly just make me stronger.

It hasn’t been simple, however the upswarm is that I’ve been gradually structure more determicountry. A few weeks ago, my SMT IV itch reverted. I picked up an older conserve file that was around 30 hrs in, and I began playing aacquire. This time, then, beating SMT IV wasn’t about avoiding a “casual” label, because honestly, that’s bullshit. I wanted to prove to myself that I can execute it. To prove to myself that I could accomplish somepoint I formerly assumed was impossible.

SMT IV doesn’t make it basic. The last 15 hrs of the game are a grindfest of effective monsters. It’s dungeon after dungeon after dungeon, many of them mazes, with some areas tossing bosses at you left and also appropriate. To obtain through it, I had actually to learn how to actually play the game. Previously, I had gone via SMT by fmaking use of the greatest level demons I could and also leaving it at that. I’d brute pressure my means through battles by only doing strikes. This was why I might never beat the games: Atlus expects you to usage all of the mechanics, because opponents will certainly have actually the very same advantages you perform. They deserve to attack you initially, they can taracquire your elepsychological weaknesses, they get effective moves, they deserve to steal your HP and also MP, just like you can. Turns out, it sucks as soon as the battlearea is even. We hardly ever before alert it, yet a lot of games provide players an unfair benefit over their opponents. SMT doesn’t.

I had actually to learn exactly how to fusage specific monsters with specific abilities to counter bosses. More than that, I had to learn just how to usage buffs, debuffs, and also standing results to survive boss battles—something I hardly ever carry out in JRPGs, because it’s not useful. In SMT, status effects are essential. You can’t beat some bosses without it. I also had to learn how to negotiate via demons much better, rather than picking answers at random. And, I learned how to usage more of the game’s unique “App” abilities.

Picture this: I am in the final boss battle of the game against Lucifer. The fate of Tokyo rests on this fight. If he wins, people will certainly become feeders for demons, and also god’s arrangement is foiled. If I win, Tokyo will disappear, and also so will certainly a lot of innovation and also education. Everypoint has actually been leading up to this moment. And, instead of attacking him...the major character decides to chat him up? If you level up the App feature sufficient, you deserve to spend a revolve talking to a demon to distract them from attacking. Lucifer, being the last boss in this certain path, won’t just shoot the shit with you. You have to pay the price. He’ll ask for some of your best items, for countless Macca (money), even the life of your demons. I can’t think that SMT IV let me talk the last boss to death. I can’t think that, as I was waling on the adversary, he believed, naw, it’s cool. We deserve to talk about whatever you desire, guy.

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After nearly five years of trying, I lastly beat SMT IV last weekend. I was so overwhelmed that I screamed, partially out of joy, partly in frustration. I love the series to fatality, yet I had actually to deal with most bullshit simply to beat this friggin’ point and also acquire an awful finishing about god destroying Tokyo. But, I don’t care. I did it.