front cover

Platform: Sony Playstation 2

Region: PAL

Developer(s): Atlus Co., Ltd.

Publishers(s): Ghostlight Ltd.

ReleaseDate: 2006-07-21

Players: 1

Co-op: No

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is a duology of role-playing video games developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 2. They are a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series. The first Digital Devil Saga was released in Japan in 2004, North America in 2005, and Europe in 2006. Its direct sequel, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2, released in 2005 in Japan and North America, and 2007 in Europe. The games were published in Europe by Ghostlight and in other regions by Atlus and its North American subsidiary Atlus USA. Digital Devil Saga follows the Embryon, a tribe who fights against five other tribes in a digital world called the Junkyard. After being infected with a demon virus that grants them demonic powers, the Embryon must fight with and devour the other tribes to ascend to "Nirvana". During the conflict, they shelter a woman named Sera, who has the power to calm their demonic powers. In Digital Devil Saga 2, having escaped into the devastated real world, the Embryon are caught up in the fight against the Karma Society, who are intimately linked to the source of the disaster. The gameplay of both titles feature third-person navigation of playable characters around to-scale environments, and turn-based gameplay against demonic monsters and human enemies. Digital Devil Saga began development pre-2002 under the working title New Goddess. The game's concept and original draft were written by Japanese author Yu Godai, who collaborated with Atlus scriptwriter Tadashi Satomi until withdrawing from the project for health issues. The gameplay concept of characters transforming into demons was based on an unused idea for Shin Megami Tensei. The second game began development immediately after the first, with the main development effort going into refining and improving the gameplay. While their commercial performances varied, both games were heavily praised by critics for their story, graphics and gameplay. Since release, the game has inspired a mobile prequel, and Godai wrote a series of novels based on her original premise for the story. Plot In an open field in the Junkyard, a giant egg-like object with tentacles with no apparent origin appears on the border between the Embryon and the Vanguards, causing a stand-off where both assume the other group placed it. During this confrontation the egg explodes and a virus is introduced that infects everyone in the Junkyard, turning them into demons. Branded with a mark representing their "Atma" and gradually awakening to basic emotions, the people of the Junkyard must devour their foes to satiate their demonic hunger or risk going berserk. Sera, a so-called cyber shaman, is found in the crater where the egg exploded, suffering from amnesia. She is taken in by the Embryon, revealing herself capable of calming their hunger with her singing. The Embryon first become conscious of their new powers when they meet the surviving Vanguards. During their time there, they are forced to kill the Vanguards' leader, Harley. Serph is then summoned to the Karma Temple along with the surviving tribe leaders. Once they are assembled there, a female being calling itself Angel orders the tribes to conquer their neighbors and ascend the Temple's tower to "Nirvana", bringing Sera as proof of their achievements. The Embryon decide to ally with the Maribel as a means of defeating the stronger tribes. After gaining the trust of the Maribel's leader Jinana, they are betrayed by her second-in-command Bat, who allies with the Brutes along with the Solids' leader Mick. Jinana, having refused to eat as she needed to, goes berserk and must be killed. The Solids then capture Sera, leading the Embryon into a fight to the death against Mick. They also successfully trick the Brutes' forces and Bat into a booby-trapped ship, killing them. During this time, the Wolves are subdued by the Brutes, whose leader Varin has awakened memories of a former life where he was known as "Colonel Beck", and unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Angel to release him from the Junkyard. With help from the Wolves' deposed leader Lupa, the Embryon infiltrate the Brutes' castle, but Lupa is killed after going berserk. Later, the Embryon end up fighting Varin, who accuses Sera of being a monster before he dies. Sera regains her memories and runs to the Karma Temple with the Embryon in pursuit. There, Sera faces the human form of Angel, who threatens to delete the Junkyard with a computer virus if Sera does not return to the real world with her. The Embryon arrive and successfully fight Angel, but in the process release the computer virus. The Embryon, Sera and Angel only just escape as the Junkyard is destroyed. In Digital Devil Saga 2, the Embryon appear in the real world, which is slowly being destroyed by the Black Sun: the only ones able to survive the sun's rays are those infected with the demon virus. Serph, Cielo, Argilla and Gale learn that Sera is the captive of Angel and Madame Cuvier at the Karma Society headquarters. With the help of Roland and a young boy named Fred, the group infiltrate the Karma Society's building. While they attempt to rescue Serah, Angel plans to subvert Cuvier and use the demon virus to create a society ruled by the strong. The Embryon are also faced by Heat, who is working with Cuvier on the promise of Sera's safety. Reaching the EGG, a man-made replica of God, the party rescue Sera, but Heat appears and seems to kill Serph. Both fall into the EGG, and God begins absorbing the Earth's data: in the chaos, Angel kills Cuvier, while the remaining Embryon and Sera, now able to assume a demon form herself, shut down the Power Plant in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the EGG. In the process, both Roland and Argilla are killed by a powerful demon. Returning to the EGG so Sera can speak with God, they are confronted by Heat, who has fused with the EGG and gone berserk. Inside the EGG, Serph is met by a higher being calling itself Schrödinger, who reveals the truth about what happened. The Karma Society was founded to study God, who was losing faith in humanity due to their behavior. Sera was the only survivor of a group of children with the ability to communicate with God. To hide from the pain of the experiments, Sera created an artificial environment populated by benign versions of Karma Society staff: this environment was redesigned to become the Junkyard and the artificial beings would become its five tribes. The original Serph manipulated Sera and his team for his own ends while the original Heat attempted to protect her. When Sera saw Serph killing Heat while linked to the EGG, God felt her pain and attacked Earth. The original Serph was overwhelmed by a flood of data and became a demon before being killed. Now knowing the truth, Serph escapes from the EGG, killing Heat in the process. Sera then decides to head for a secondary Karma facility to communicate with God: on the way, Gale dies while killing Angel, and Cielo sacrifices himself so Sera and Serph can reach the transmission site. As Sera begins transmission, the base is destroyed, killing her and Serph. Their data travels to the sun—the physical manifestation of God—and merges into a new being called Seraph. Aided by the data avatars of the Embryon, Seraph fights God's avatar to prove humanity's worth. Upon victory, Seraph achieves enlightenment and travels with Schrödinger to new worlds, while God restores the sun and Earth. At the game's end, it is shown that the Embryon, Angel, and aspects of Sera and Serph have reincarnated, with a grown Fred acting as their caretaker.

Trailer: YouTube

ESRB Rating: Not Rated

Genre(s): Role-Playing

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