Megami Tensei Wiki
This article is about the details of the first game of the sub-series. For the summary of the sub-series, see Digital Devil Saga (Series).

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, known in Japan as Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, is a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series for the PlayStation 2. It is followed by a direct sequel, Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2.

The game is an evolution from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Despite sharing the same engine, graphics, and assets, many of the gameplay elements have been changed to conform to the style of having story relevant only party members. Additionally, Digital Devil Saga brings back demons that were absent from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Outside Japan, the game was released with the Shin Megami Tensei brand, despite it not actually being a mainline Shin Megami Tensei game.


In a land known as "The Junkyard" several tribes are locked in constant war with each other. As Serph, the leader of the Embryon, the player and the tribe are engaged in battle with the rival Vanguards, when the player comes across a mysterious egg-like artifact. During the conflict the artifact begins to undulate and glow as both sides try to convince the other to remove it. After a sudden explosion of light, the tribes begin horrific transformations into that of demons who immediately begin attacking friend and foe alik. Soon after, Serph awakens to find many of his enemies eviscerated and an enigmatic girl sleeping in the crater left by the blast. Upon her discovery the ruling body of Junkyard, the Karma Temple, institutes a new law: whichever tribe brings the girl to them shall be allowed into Nirvana. Only by devouring the other tribes can the player learn of the mystery surrounding the demonic transformations, the girl, and of the land known as Nirvana that will lead everyone to paradise.


See also List of Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner Characters
  • Serph: Silent protagonist and leader of the Embryon.
  • Argilla: The most human and caring of the Embryon.
  • Heat: Serph's unofficial second-in-command of the Embryon.
  • Cielo: Light-hearted and care-free.
  • Gale: Embryon's strategist, capable of quick computations and analysis.
  • Sera: Mysterious black haired girl.


See also: List of Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner Skills, List of Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner Items, List of Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner Demons

Unlike other Shin Megami Tensei games, all of the party members are story relevant characters that shift between human and demon forms. As such, demons are not fused or recruited in any form and are simply enemies to be fought.

Borrowing heavily on Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Press Turn system returns. Most battles are spent in demon form, but the player may choose to morph back into the character's human forms or may be forcibly morphed due to certain attacks. Characters begin battle in demon form by default, but ambushes cause them to begin battle in human form, as they have no time to transform. While demons can use magic, humans have a few advantages of their own - they are equipped with a gun, which certain enemies are weak against, and are immune to Expel attacks. Additionally, if the characters have certain skills active they are able to initiate combo attacks that combine them.

Changes to Core Mechanics[]

  • The party size has been reduced from 4 to 3.
  • The maximum value for core stats has been increased from 40 to 99, and characters gain 3 stat points per level up instead of 1. This scale will become the standard for later games.
  • The Estoma and Riberama skills are absent, with their functionality replaced by items instead.
  • The moon phase system is now referred to as "Solar Noise", but functionally remains the same.


A new type of skill has been introduced called "Hunt". Hunt skills either deal low damage or have a random chance of killing the target outright, but if they result in a fatal blow, the target is eaten, granting the user a larger quantity of Atma points (see Mantras, below). However, these bonus Atma points will not be shared with the party. Hitting enemies' elemental weaknesses or blocking their attacks has a chance to induce a new status effect, "fear", which makes them much more susceptible to Hunt attacks.

Characters are also stated to devour the corpses of their enemies after battle, which recovers a small portion of HP. However, this takes place offscreen and is never shown.


See also: List of Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner Mantra

Because the player can no longer fuse demons, the Mantra system is used to develop characters. At terminals, player characters can purchase and equip Mantras with Macca, then Atma points gained from devouring enemies are used to master the equipped Mantra. When mastered, Mantras teach the character up to four skills, and also unlock stronger related Mantras for purchase. Characters retain all of the learned skills from Mantras but they may only equip 4 to use actively, with this number increasing to 6 at 10th level and 8 at 20th level.



External Links[]

Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner
Characters (Atma Avatars)
Playable Serph (Varna) - Heat (Agni) - Argilla (Prithivi) - Gale (Vayu) - Cielo (Dyaus)
Non-Playable Sera - Angel (Harihara) - Harley (Hayagriva) - Jinana (Usas) - Bat (Camazotz) - Mick the Slug (Rahu) - Lupa (Cerberus) - Varin Omega (Ravana) - Twinklebell - Schrödinger - Demi-fiend
Junkyard Ground Zero - Muladhara - Svadhisthana - Manipura - Anahata - Coordinate 136 - Deserted Ship - Embryon Base 2 - Vishuddha - Ajna - Karma Temple - Samsara Tunnels
Albums Original Soundtracks
Songs "Pray" - "Danger"
Terminology Atma - Embryon - Field hunt - Nirvana - Press Turn - Magnetite
Lists Demons - Bosses - Mantra - Skills (Combos) - Items
Other Media
Games A's TEST Server
Publications Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner - That's Catch 22 - DOGDAYS - Shinen no Matou
Megami Tensei Megami Tensei (Telenet) - Megami Tensei (Atlus) - II - Kyūyaku
Shin Megami Tensei Shin Megami Tensei - II / Gaiden: Ma To Houkai - if... / Hazama's Chapter - J - NINE -
III: Nocturne / Maniax / Chronicle Edition / HD Remaster / Pachislot - 20XX / Devil's Colosseum - IMAGINE - Tokyo Requiem - Strange Journey (Redux) - Devil Hunter Zero - IV / Apocalypse - Devil Collection - Synchronicity Prologue - Liberation Dx2 - V / Vengeance
Last Bible Last Bible - II - Another Bible - III - Special -
New Testament / II: Hajimari no Fukuin / III: Mugen no Eiyuu
Majin Tensei Majin Tensei - II: Spiral Nemesis - Ronde - Blind Thinker / II
Devil Summoner Devil Summoner / Pinball: Judgment - Soul Hackers / Intruder / Soul Hackers New Generation - Soul Hackers 2
Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon
Persona Megami Ibunroku Persona (PSP Remake) / Ikū no Tō Hen -
2: Innocent Sin / Eternal Punishment / Lost Memories / Infinity Mask -
3 (FES* / Portable* / Reload) / Dancing in Moonlight
4 (Golden*) / Arena / Ultimax / Dancing All Night
5 (Royal*) / Dancing in Starlight / Strikers / Tactica
Q: Shadow of the Labryinth - Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
Devil Children Black Book / Red Book - White Book - DemiKids Light / Dark - Fire Book / Ice Book -
Messiah Riser - Puzzle de Call! - Appli de Call! - Devil Children Mobile
Digital Devil Saga Avatar Tuner - 2 - A's TEST Server
Devil Survivor Devil Survivor (Overclocked) - 2 (Record Breaker) / The Extra World
Jack Series Jack Bros. - Demonic Help Party
Other games Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku - Card Summoner - Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE - Maken X - Catherine / Full Body - Metaphor: ReFantazio
Digital Devil Story (Novels) Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei - 2: Warrior of the Demon City - 3: Demise of the Reincarnation
New Digital Devil Story New Digital Devil Story: Goddess of Enchainment - 2: Queen of the Ice Fields - 3: Planet of the Devil - 4: Wrath of the Young Emperor - 5: Eternal Goddess - 6: Bonds of Reincarnation
Other Novels Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou tai Shibito Ekishi - Giten Megami Tensei: Distant Flow ~EXILE~ - Megami Ibunroku Persona: Shadow Maze - Persona 3: Shadow Cry / Owari no Kakera / Alternative Heart / Velvet Blue - Persona x Detective Naoto - Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner - Devil Survivor 2 The Animation: Cetus's Prequel
Anime Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei - Tokyo Revelation - Persona -trinity soul- - Persona 3 The Movie - Persona 4 The Animation / -The Factor of Hope- / The Golden Animation - Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers - Persona 5 The Animation - DeviChil - D-Children: Light & Dark - Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
Manga Shin Megami Tensei: Tokyo Revelation - if... / Kahn - IV: DEMONIC GENE / -Prayers- - Gaiten: Hato no Senki - EDEN - CG Senki: Dante no Mon - Majin Tensei - Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Lone Marebito - Megami Ibunroku Persona - Persona: Tsumi to Batsu - Persona 3 / Portable Dengeki Comic Anthology / Portable Dear Girls Comic Anthology - Persona 4 / The Magician - Arena / Arena Ultimax / Dancing All Night - PQ: -Roundabout- / Side:P3 / Side:P4 - Tartarus Theater - Persona 5 / Dengeki Comic Anthology / Comic à La Carte / Comic Anthology (DNA Media Comics) / the Animation Dengeki Comic Anthology / Mementos Mission - Q2: Persona Q2: Roundabout Special - Devil Children / Light & Dark - Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner: Shinen no Matou - Devil Survivor - 2: -Show Your Free Will- / The Animation Manga
Mobile Apps The Night Before - QIX - Chaining Soul - Aegis: The First Mission - Em - Illust Puzzle - Escape - Social - Ain Soph - Mobile Online - The Card Battle - Colors - Persona O.A. - Persona 5: The Phantom X - Mobile Phone Demon Collection - Atlus Casino - Devil Summoning Program - Digital Novel
Other The Amala Multiverse - Earth - Expanse - Great Will
Protagonists - Mascots - Navigators - Birthdays
Patches and Updates - In popular culture - Jungian psychology - Arcana