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A young man lives together with his mother in Kichijoji, a district in modern Tokyo. One day, he has a strange dream: he is being sucked into another dimension, a strange maze-like structure. A spirit appears in front of him and asks him his name. As he proceeds further, he meets a man who is hanging on a cross, another one who is being tormented by a demon, and a mysterious young woman who is bathing in a pool.

"Wake up!" - the voice of his mother cuts through the dream. The young man wakes up and checks his computer. Suddenly, a message arrives: the world is headed towards destruction. Only he who can summon demons through a virtual space will be able to prevent a disaster. Unable to understand what that means, the young man goes outside and finds out a murder has occurred in the nearby park. The district must be cut off from the rest of the city until the murderer is found. As the young man acquires a device that allows him to communicate with demons, he begins to realize that his role in the upcoming events may be greater than he thought.

A follow-up to the first two Megami Tensei games, Shin Megami Tensei is a first-person RPG set in modern-day and post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The hero of the game can summon demons, who consume a mysterious energy called Magnetite, which can be obtained from battles. The summoned demon joins the party and is then fully controllable by the player. The active party can include up to six characters: the hero, the heroine, and four slots usually reserved for the demons, though other human characters might also join. There is a wide variety of demons in the game, most of which are taken from real-world mythologies. The demons have levels, individual statistics, spells, special abilities, etc.

Enemy encounters are random, and the first-person combat is turn-based. During combat, human characters can use swords or guns; the heroine is also able to learn and cast magic spells. Unlike most other Japanese RPGs, the game allows the player to raise the parameters of the two main characters manually when leveling up. A major gameplay element are demon conversations, which is usually the only way to recruit demons. Typically, the player has to convince the demon to join the party by choosing appropriate dialogue lines.

All the creatures in the world of Shin Megami Tensei belong to one of the three ideologies: Law, Chaos, or Neutral. The narrative is largely dedicated to conflicts between these ideologies; during several key moments in the story, the player has to decide which one to follow. Joining one of the ideologies influences the subsequent narrative as well as some gameplay elements: certain weapons can be only equipped by a follower of a specific ideology, demons are more likely to join the hero if he shares their ideology, etc.


Shin Megami Tensei TurboGrafx CD Armor shop
Shin Megami Tensei SEGA CD You wake up after the nightmare. You notice your room looks more detailed than it did in SNES version, but less so than in Playstation version
Shin Megami Tensei SNES Better stock up some armor at the Survival Shop. Never know when demons might pop-up and claw you in the back.
Shin Megami Tensei SNES Wow!

Promo Images

Shin Megami Tensei Screenshot
Shin Megami Tensei Screenshot
Shin Megami Tensei Screenshot
Shin Megami Tensei Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "真女神转生" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "真女神転生" -- Japanese spelling
  • "SMT" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Teaching Japanese RPGs some tricks SNES Unicorn Lynx (181725)
Imaginative, Thought-provoking and Great Fun SNES Heathen Gray (21)

Critic Reviews

Legendra SEGA CD Jun 29, 2007 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Legendra SNES Oct 07, 2004 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100 SNES Nov 05, 2010 9 out of 10 90
RPGFan SNES Jun 10, 2007 81 out of 100 81 SNES Jan, 2004 7.8 out of 10 78
HonestGamers SNES Oct 29, 2010 7 out of 10 70


Topic # Posts Last Post
Demon's alignment 2 Unicorn Lynx (181725)
May 22, 2008
God or Devil? 25 The Fabulous King (1333)
Jul 07, 2007


On June 30th, 2002, Aeon Genesis released a complete Japanese-to-English patch for the SNES release.

Related Web Sites

  • AGTP (Contains an English translation patch to Shin Megami Tensei SNES ROM)
  • COMP (A fan site dedicated to Shin Megami Tensei and other Megaten games)
  • Shin Megami Tensei FAQs (Here is the FAQ mentioned in the trivia section. Seems to be the best one out there ... )
Contributed to by Michael Cassidy (20959), gamewarrior (5084) and Unicorn Lynx (181725)