Shin Megami Tensei IV Will Kick Your Ass


Pokémon. By now, it’s a name we all know well. We’re all familiar with the addictive, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” gameplay that the series is famous for. And the Pokémon are just so darn cute!

Now imagine that those cute Pokémon are all demons. Murderous demons. We’re talking upside-down-baby-head-on-a-spider-body murderous.

And they’re mostly nude (where applicable).

The game that you’ve imagined is real. It’s a JRPG for the 3DS called Shin Megami Tensei IV, and though it’s from a series less well known than Pokémon, it’s just as awesome. But SMTIV can and will kick your ass without these five tips.

This is your new best friend.

This is your new best friend.


This should go without saying, but save all the time, especially early! Shin Megami Tensei IV is not shy about reminding you of your mortality. Battles that you think you’ve got in the bag can turn sour with even the tiniest of mistakes. Save after every few battles. You should probably save right now, just to be safe.

It's a good thing.

It’s a good thing.


Even the weakest of enemies in SMTIV can kill you if you’re not careful. When it’s your turn to attack, plan wisely! Don’t use auto-battle. Ever. It’ll make you rusty, and it’ll cost you valuable resources early on. Don’t ever use attacks that will get blocked or reflected. If you’ve battled an enemy before, and you know their weakness, exploit it!

Gaining extra turns through critical hits and weakness exploiting is one of the only ways to get ahead in SMTIV. Always kick them while they’re down. If you don’t, they’ll do it to you.


Sometimes, being an expert at battling in Shin Megami Tensei IV won’t be enough. You’re going to come upon a new demon, and you’re going to have to guess at what it might be weak to. Focus on using physical attacks in such situations, but when a demon is resistant to physical attacks…you’re going to have to guess.

In these situations, refer to practical knowledge. Does the demon look like a tree? Use a fire spell. Is it flying? Hit it with a lightning spell. Keep this guessing to a minimum, though. It’s easy for it to backfire, and suddenly, you’re dead.

The guessing doesn’t stop at battling, though.

Good luck figuring out this one.

Good luck figuring out this one.


Demons are recruited through negotiation. The demon will want something, and you either give it to them, refuse, or try to cheat them. Even when giving them exactly what they want, you’re not guaranteed anything. They may still turn on you, or run away, so just know it’s never a sure thing.

But before negotiation, you’ve got to talk your way into the demon’s good graces. If you say the wrong thing at any point, you’re going to get attacked. Based only on the demon’s appearance and speech, you have to figure out what the proper thing to say is. It’s never easy.

One trick that I’ve found is speech with a repeat offender demon. If you’ve already recruited a particular demon, and you encounter another one, talking to that repeat demon will end the battle. Using this trick will get you through tough spots where you’re low on HP/MP/resources, and sometimes, the demon will even heal you!


In almost every situation, the choices that you make in Shin Megami Tensei IV can have huge impact. Should you let two demons fuse? Should you let a skill replace another? What about using a weapon that hits all targets versus a stronger weapon that only strikes once? Money, items, and demons are all hard to come by, and if you dry up any one of those resources at any time, the game may be nearly impossible to continue. Before you rush into any decision, consider each side carefully before proceeding. Maybe refer to tip one before trying it.

I hope you didn't plan on sleeping tonight.

I hope you didn’t plan on sleeping tonight.

Before Shin Megami Tensei IV, I was starting to think that buying my 3DS was a mistake. Now that I’m well into the game, I can happily say that, though I’m frequently getting my ass handed to me, I’m loving every minute of it. If you are looking for a more grown-up version of Pokémon, you absolutely can’t pass up Shin Megami Tensei IV.

2 Responses to Shin Megami Tensei IV Will Kick Your Ass

  1. Mason says:

    You guys are back!!!!

  2. cats says:

    Yes we are! The podcast is still on hiatus at the moment, but not gone for good.

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