"My Godslayer will kill every last God and Demon out there!"
Dagda is a demon in the series.
The Dagda, also known as Aed, Cera, Easal or simply Dagda, is the supreme god in Celtic mythology and the current High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His name means "the good god," good as in good at everything, as opposed to morally good.
Dagda is said to be a god of the earth, knowledge, fertility, harvest, time and fate, as well as much more. Tales depict the Dagda as a figure of immense power. He is portrayed as being armed with a magical club. A wanderer mainly, he spends his time amongst the mortal of Ireland and Scotland, spreading joy and merriment as he passes from village to village.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse: Deity Race, Major Character, Boss (Bonds Route)
- Persona 2: Innocent Sin: Suit of Cups
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment: Suit of Cups
- DemiKids Light / Dark Version: Good Type
- Devil Children Fire/Ice Book: Good Type
- : Playable Unit
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
Dagda largely reflects his characteristics depicted in Celtic mythology, namely drawing on his association with Druidry, knowledge, strength, paternity and power over life and death.
In Apocalypse, Dagda's main philosophy centers on individuality, independence and freedom, as does his associated route in-game. He is openly scornful of all other paths represented in Apocalypse (Law, Chaos, the Divine Powers and Bonds) as he views them as maintaining the status quo, corrupted and weak due to their reliance on others. He also openly despises gods and other religious figures, and ultimately seeks to put an end to all of them, including himself. His goal (and route) centers on creating a new universe where humans are remade to be "true individuals," and gods such as himself are returned to their "true form" as aspects of the universe, freed from the physical forms imposed upon them by human observation. He expresses to his mother Danu his particular hatred towards YHVH for forcing pure nature such as themselves into physical bodies.
Dagda's ideals and goals are often misunderstood by his peers and other demons, namely Krishna and Odin. Krishna will continuously assume that Dagda is on the side of the Divine Powers, even up until his death, and also mistakes Dagda's desire for independence with a desire to be alone.
Dagda first meets Nanashi in Yomotsu Hirasaka after Nanashi is killed by Adramelech. He offers to form a contract with Nanashi, whereby he will return Nanashi to life and revive him any subsequent time that he dies. He hints that together they could accomplish things, but leaves the rest of his plot vague for the time being. If Nanashi rejects Dagda's offer, it will result in an automatic Game Over.
If Nanashi agrees, Dagda returns Nanashi to life as his Godslayer and "puppet." Dagda then enters Nanashi’s broken smartphone, which he repairs and resides in for most of the game, only coming out to speak to others when necessary. In this way, he plays a similar role to that of Burroughs in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
Apocalypse typically depicts him as outwardly cold, distant and introverted, and other demons will remark that he is a "lonely old man" during negotiations. However, his actions and some of his dialogue give away his ultimately caring nature towards humans, especially Nanashi. In the Challenge Quest Coastal Inverted Pyramid, Dagda reminds Nanashi not to lose sight of what he's meant to protect, despite Dagda's route being in opposition to Nanashi protecting humanity.
Despite his usually serious demeanor, Dagda is also depicted as quite playful and silly at times. In one of the VR challenge quests he assigns Nanashi, the Demonee-ho that Nanashi faces off against refers to Dagda as "Lord Dagda, the master of V-hee-R," and Dagda takes on the manner of speaking known to the Jack Frost-type demons of adding "hee" and "ho" onto their words. In the final challenge quest he creates for Nanashi, Dagda no longer makes the purpose of the quest about training Nanashi, and instead admits that he is giving Nanashi a distraction and just wants Nanashi to entertain him. There are also demon negotiation options where Nanashi can dance and sing with Dagda.
His paternal nature is especially emphasized in-game, specifically in relation to Nanashi. After Dagda forms his contract with Nanashi, who is an orphan child, Odin refers to Nanashi as Dagda's "scion." In addition, at the end of the Massacre Route, before Dagda leaves, he makes a point of telling Nanashi that even though Dagda will be physically gone, he will always be watching over Nanashi. Dagda also writes in the notes of one of the challenge quests he assigns Nanashi that Nanashi has grown so much that he has surpassed Dagda's expectations of him, expressing a fatherly pride for him.
Apocalypse represents Dagda’s power over life and death mainly through his ability to revive Nanashi (as well as take back the life he granted Nanashi if Nanashi chooses the Bonds route) and through his particular affinity for dead things. Once Nanashi becomes his Godslayer, he explains that Nanashi has become something neither dead nor alive, and expresses a certain kind of adoration and possessiveness for Nanashi because of this. In the DLC quest Coastal Inverted Pyramid, Dagda expresses an affinity for the corpses and the roses that grow from them, and states that "whoever runs this place has good taste." Although this mostly relates to his affinity for dead things, it may also relate to his connection in Celtic mythology with Druidry, as it heavily included practices of nature and necromancy.
After becoming Dagda's Godslayer, Dagda brands Nanashi with a four-leaf clover symbol on his left hand. The clover was an important plant to the Druids, and the branding of it on Nanashi may have had symbolic as well as physical effects.
Symbolically, the clover is associated in Druidic practices with rebirth, Spring, and the Vernal Equinox, as Spring is when the white clovers (from which four-leaf clovers come) flower. In Apocalypse, the branding of a four-leaf clover on Nanashi signifies his return to life. The three-leaf variety is also associated by some Druids with the three Morrígna, of whom The Morrígan was Dagda's wife. Four-leaf clovers are also a rare creation of nature, and some of the belief of their luck comes from how lucky one feels upon finding it; a similar sentiment is expressed by Dagda in regards to Nanashi himself.
The four-leaf clover is known for bringing good luck and warding against evil spirits, granting the bearer the ability to see the workings and tricks of fairies, demons, and evil spirits. In Apocalypse, during the Challenge Quest Minami Sunamachi Demon, Nanashi looks around but cannot see Ongyo-Ki, who is hiding and invisible. However, after a remark from Dagda, Nanashi is then able to see Ongyo-Ki right in front of him. Nanashi also becomes able to sense the presence of a great evil emanating from enemies, namely Krishna and Stephen. One belief is that a four-leaf clover can bring back a real child stolen by pixies or fairies when laid on the being that took the child's place. The thought is often that the stolen child was replaced by an old man who is a fairy. In Apocalypse, following his resurrection and branding with the four-leaved clover, demons will remark that they can see an old man at Nanashi's shoulder.
Although Apocalypse does not explicitly reference any of the items typically associated with Dagda in Celtic mythology, it does include a couple of recurring scenes that can trigger when Nanashi eats at any Hunter Association base, in which Dagda comments on the food and human eating, which may reference them. In one, he is particularly off-put (and potentially concerned) by the food that Nanashi eats, which may be a reference to Dagda's love of food in Celtic mythology. In another, he makes a snide comment about human requirement for consistent sustenance and the inefficiency of it, which may be a reference to the Coire Ansic (his bottomless cauldron, providing someone exactly the amount of food they needed).
In-game, the DLC quests in which Nanashi can gather app points, stat items, and high-value items are created by Dagda and take place in Tir na Nog (the Celtic Otherworld). Although the other challenge quests assigned to Nanashi by Dagda take place in a VR realm of Dagda's creation that does not affect or exist in reality (as explained by Dagda), Nanashi's smartphone recognizes the location for these DLC quests as Tir na Nog, which may mean that Dagda has actually given Nanashi passage to the Celtic otherworld, as opposed to a VR recreation of it. This is further evidenced by the manner in which Nanashi is able to access and travel to these DLC quests matching the way characters were able to access and travel to Tír na nÓg in Celtic mythology.
Despite reiterating to Nanashi that he is Dagda's puppet and that his obedience is not optional, Dagda will only interfere to control Nanashi and force a certain action if Nanashi is about to directly go against an important part of Dagda's plan, and otherwise lets him do as he pleases. This can be seen when Hallelujah first joins Nanashi's party; Dagda warns Nanashi that Hallelujah is a spy for the Ashura-Kai and dislikes the idea of bringing him along, but doesn't force Nanashi to reject Hallelujah, and instead explicitly asks if bringing Hallelujah along is what Nanashi truly wants.
Once Nanashi reaches far enough in the Cosmic Egg, Dadga asks Nanashi what he will do with it. Nanashi can either choose to create Dagda's new universe (Massacre route) or destroy it (Bonds route).
If Nanashi states that he will destroy the Cosmic Egg, Dagda chooses to take back the life he granted to Nanashi, telling him he can regret his decision after being on the brink of death once again. If Nanashi had been acting cruel to his friends during prior events of the story, Dagda will also forcibly dismiss all of Nanashi's demons (even the ones in stock) and force him to fight alone.
For the first few turns, Nanashi's life will drain away, and his demons sometimes won't listen to his commands. Dagda declares that he wants Nanashi to die as quick and painlessly as possible. Danu, however, saves Nanashi by creating a new Dagda using the new powers she gained from assimilating with Inanna's remnants, in order to sustain Nanashi's life; much to Dagda's horror and revulsion. The double announces his intentions to save mankind and Nanashi's life, intending to help him restore balance; even leaving Nanashi's free will as it makes him more powerful while requesting him to eliminate the original who he views as "single-minded" per his duty as a Godslayer. Dagda spites the new version, seeing him as a weakling dependent on others for everything and that is not how he wants to live as an individual; he then curses Nanashi for choosing to turn on him, believing that Nanashi has condemned himself to a lowly existence. Having grown tired of the defiance, he demands Nanashi to show him his resolve. Dagda fights Nanashi to the full extent of his abilities but is still defeated, admitting he knew that Nanashi would more likely choose this path and that he still ultimately got what he wanted through his defeat; all the while acknowledging Nanashi's progress and stating he is proud of him. He laments in his belief that gods, unlike humans, cannot change their fate and that they are destined to remain connected to humanity. He proclaims he is not truly dying, and disappears in the same light that gave birth to the new Dagda who then lends Nanashi his power for the final fight.
During the fight with YHVH, the new Dagda expresses awe at humanity's power of understanding. He realizes the key to defeating their final enemy and encourages Nanashi and his friends to take advantage. Giving Nanashi his power, he teams up with him to "drag him from that throne." When YHVH curses the party for defeating him, the new Dagda just rebukes him; saying the enemy's views disgusted him before joining Nanashi's friends in encouraging him to end it.
In the end, the new Dagda expresses admiration to Nanashi for finding his own path. Dagda restores Nanashi's humanity, deeming his life his own once again. He thanks Nanashi for carving out a path for both Gods and humanity alike. While admitting he does not disagree with his original self's cynical and misanthropic view, he is alive and reborn in addition to achieving new understanding because of Nanashi and confesses he feels blessed to have met him; he is now willing to accept compromise or his mother's advice and now strives to work with his mother to form a new future for both fairykind and mankind.
If Nanashi chooses to create Dagda’s new universe using the Cosmic Egg, all of Nanashi’s partners will fight to the death against Nanashi. Once Nanashi has killed Nozomi, thereby destroying Danu as well, Dagda is somewhat forlorn at the death of his mother, remarking that it was a shame that things had to end as they did. After defeating all of them, Dagda tells Nanashi that the souls of his friends will be used as the foundation for the new universe.
Prior to Nanashi's battle with Vishnu-Flynn, Krishna mistakes Dagda not reviving the souls of the Cosmic Egg to mean that Dagda may be siding with Krishna. However, Dagda turns him down for the second time. Prior to this point in-game, Dagda has always referred to the new universe as his universe, and has always referred to himself and Nanashi as acting separately. During this conversation with Krishna, however, Dagda refers to the decision of creating a new universe as both his and Nanashi's, and claims the new universe will belong to both of them, for the first time indicating that they are working together. Following this, in one of the recurring lines that Dagda can say to Nanashi while Nanashi is traversing the world, he specifically calls the new universe Nanashi's, as opposed to his own.
After defeating Vishnu-Flynn and killing Krishna using Masakado's Blade, Dagda will instruct Nanashi to take the throne of the Cosmic Egg, stating that he has earned it. He will then lay a hand on Nanashi to allow him to sleep in wait for the final battle. Upon waking up, Dagda grants Nanashi the life of one of his friends, stating that he will revive one of Nanashi's choosing to become Nanashi's goddess in the new universe, stating that gender is inconsequential for the role. Whoever Nanashi chooses also becomes his only partner in battle for the remainder of the game. It is unclear the extent to which the chosen partner, and later Flynn, are corrupted by Dagda and Nanashi, although it is likely similar to the results of Flynn becoming corrupted by Krishna.
After choosing the Massacre Route, Dagda will no longer state that Nanashi's obedience is not optional in his dialogue in Yomotsu Hirasaka, should Nanashi die again. Instead, he is given a new line of dialogue, free of any reference of controlling Nanashi. This is likely due to him coming to view Nanashi as a true individual.
In addition, Dagda comes out of Nanashi's phone during the final events of the Cosmic Egg, but never returns back into Nanashi's phone, and instead seems to remain by his side much in the same way Nanashi's previous allies did, despite telling Danu early on that he does not like to reveal himself.
Once Nanashi has slain YHVH at long last, Dagda and Nanashi return to the throne to construct a new universe from the souls of those closest to Nanashi. There, Dagda tells Nanashi that Nanashi will be the new Creator God, and hopes that his memories of being human will aid him in remaining uncorrupted. Although Nanashi will be the Creator God, Dagda states that they will be making the new universe together.
After the creation process has begun, Dagda is seen standing at Nanashi's right-hand side while Nanashi sits on his throne, no longer inside the Cosmic Egg. Together, they create the new universe, seemingly debating what it will look like, as the scenery is initially created bright and sunny, only to immediately be replaced by a nighttime version reminiscent of the darkened Tokyo it is replacing. As the city of Tokyo fades away, replaced by nature, Dagda and Nanashi, as well as Flynn, are seen in an open green field filled with white flowers, with the full moon behind them. Although unclear, it is possible that the white flowers are a clover field, due to Dagda's (and now Nanashi's) connection with them and their Druidic association with Spring and rebirth, and the heavy implication throughout the game that the end of Apocalypse takes place in the Spring.
As the remnants of the old universe are disappearing, Dagda thanks Nanashi, happy to free of his physical body just as he always wanted. While his physical form fades away, he promises to watch over Nanashi and the new humans as part of the universe itself.
DemiKids Light/Dark Version
"A giant of a demon with a hardy appetite. Carries his own pot of rice into battle."
Known as Bounty in the game. He is obtained in Light Version by completing Wartak's 4th quiz.
Dagda is a dark element unit obtained through a twitter event leading up to the Shin Megami Tensei IV Final x Brave Frontier event. He was released to all players after surpassing the goal of 4,000 tweets.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
- Only fought when Nanashi rejects Dagda's offer.
- If Nanashi makes decisions against his human partners but rejects Dagda's offer, he will delete all of his Demons in stock and force him to fight alone.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
DemiKids Light/Dark Version
Devil Children Fire/Ice Book
- "The inescapable truth under all life's lies is that this universe... Is worthless. Gods, demons, humans, buddhas, pretas... I will wipe everything from existence."
- "The humans are being played like chess pieces at the mercy of greater beings. Wake up and smell the chaos, kid. This is the true nature of gods and demons. Human oppression is the only thing that interests them."
- "You've got a lot of work ahead of you, kid... And you're going to learn firsthand just how pathetic gods, demons, and humans are. Remember one thing, my Godslayer: You have no choice but to obey me."
- Although he does not appear in Shin Megami Tensei IV, he is mentioned during a Challenge Quest titled "The Cauldron" when Fortuna tasks Flynn with bringing Dagda's Cauldron to Brigid.
- In the 3DS game case for SMT IV Apocalypse, the reverse side of the box art is a full-length image of Dagda and Nanashi together.