Arachne was a former human spinstress who wove such beautiful tapestries. Someone asked Arachne how she learned to weave so well and suggested that Athena taught her and she did not know it.
Arachne dismissed this and boasted that she could teach Athena a thing or two in weaving. Athena then appeared in the doorway, wrapped in a long cloak, and asked if she really did not believe that Athena had taught her to weave which angered the wisdom goddess.
In retort, Athena challenged her to a spinning duel in which Zeus was to be the judge. Whoever lost must promise never to touch spindle or loom again. Arachne wove a web thin yet strong with many colors. Arachne's tapestry featured all the wrong and foolish things that the gods had done. While Athena's weaving depicted the gods and their glory and superiority, shining with their beauty with wise mortals honoring the gods in the appropriate manner. Interpretations of the myth on who wins vary though most depictions make Athena the winner.
Arachne acknowledged Athena's triumph, but despaired at the loss of her craft. Destroyed inside, Arachne hung herself in distress. Athena saw that Arachne could not live if she could not weave, so out of pity she touched Arachne with the tip of her spear, turning her into a spider so she could weave without spindle or loom. Because of this myth, all members of the spider family are called arachnids.
Another depiction changes the ending with Athena being forced to admit that the duel was a tie, for Arachne's craftsmanship was genuinely flawless, but she was still enraged by how the girl had disrespected the gods through her tapestry. Taking the shuttle out of her loom, she started to beat Arachne mercilessly. In turn, the crowd, started to laugh and mock at Arachne's humiliation in the hands of the goddess. When Athena's anger subsided and she saw the crowd scorning Arachne, she turned her wrath upon them instead.
Arachne knew that she would never be able to take pleasure in weaving ever again, and the townspeople she had tried so hard to please turning against her as well. Consumed by shame, hatred, and self-pity, Arachne made a rope and hung herself. This time, Athena revived the deceased mortal by turning her into a spider.
Some depictions make her into the goddess of challenge, spiders and weaving.
"Origin: Greece. A skilled tapestry-weaver in Lydia. She challenged Athena, goddess of weaving, to a contest. Arachne's work was skilled, but her tapestry depicted Zeus's lewd actions. This infuriated Athena, who turned Arachne into a spider woman."
—Shin Megami Tensei A-Mode DDS Dictionary
After being teleported from the Diamond Realm back to Tokyo, the protagonist starts to hear the voice of a girl screaming for help in his mind, which causes him intense pain and inflicts damage on his health every Full Moon. After rescuing the Psycho Diver from Ozawa, he explains that the mind of the girl he hears has been possessed by a demon, and because her spirit is interconnected with his own, he feels what she feels. After discovering that she is the leader of the Messian Church established in Shibuya, he goes to save her and, with the help of the Psycho Diver, project his own spirit into the mind of the girl. There, he finds that Arachne is the demon who is possessing the girl's body, and fights her. After Arachne's defeat, the girl reveals herself as the heroine, and thus leaves the Messian Church to start following the protagonist wherever he goes for the rest of the game, regardless of alignment.
Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE
Arachne appears as the boss of the silver level of the Ueno Mirage instance. Before entering the boss room, players will hear a voice crying out for help. Inside the boss room is Arachne and a large amount of Gyuki minions.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
"A spider demon of Greek lore. Once a skilled seamstress, she was changed after challenging Athena. She spun a tapestry mocking the gods in the contest, and Athena cursed her to become a spider."
Arachne appears in Shinjuku in the east entrance main street, Nicho, Kabukicho and the Golden Gai areas. She can teach the Stun Needles, Blast Arrow and Sukunda skills. Arachne benefits from learning Gun and ailment skills.
DemiKids Light & Dark
"A maiden who now has four extra arms because of a mistakenly cast spell."