The Four Heavenly Kings (四天王, Shiten'nou)?, also called the Four Devas, in the Megami Tensei universe primarily refer to the 4 tutelary icons from the Buddhist mythology.
|Bishamonten, Jikokuten, Zouchouten and Koumokuten in their latest depictions in the series.|
In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings, also known as the Four Devas are four guardian gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world. They reside in the Cāturmahārājika heaven on the lower slopes of Mount Sumeru, which is the lowest of the six worlds of the devas of the Kāmadhātu. They are the protectors of the world and fighters of evil, each able to command a legion of supernatural creatures to protect the Dharma.
Each of Four Heavenly Kings guards a cardinal direction; they are:
- Shin Megami Tensei
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
- Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey
- Shin Megami Tensei IV
- Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
- Devil Survivor / Overclocked
Shin Megami Tensei
The Four Heavenly Kings are either fought or recruited, depending on alignment, after reaching the Basilica. Each one is in a mansion in the outskirts of Tokyo, directed there by Masakado to create and hold a barrier around the city. Their removal from their respective mansions allows God to flood Tokyo, leaving only the Basilica above water. After the flood, if the protagonist is Neutral and has received Masakado's Katana, one piece of Masakado's armor can be retrieved from each of the Four Heavenly Kings' mansions.
Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey
The Four Heavenly Kings are members of the Chaos faction stationed in Eridanus opposite of Kazfiel and Aniel. They will fight the protagonist to prove his worth in EX Missions. The last mission requires the protagonist to be Chaos aligned.
Shin Megami Tensei IV
The Heavenly Kings must be defeated in the Neutral only Challenge Quest Tokyo Cosmos. They must each be defeated separately in the four directions of Tokyo and then defeated as a group.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
The Four Heavenly Kings act as a barrier that keeps the Demon World and the earth from merging. The death of Jikokuten at the hands of Jezebel while possessing Amane Kuzuryu lead to the barrier weakening and for demon summoning to become possible. As demons are summoned the barrier they uphold weakens more and more. On the Messiah, Overlord, and Atsuro routes the remaining three must be beaten before Babel can appear.
In Yuzu's 8th Day the three seek to restore the barrier using Take-Mikazuchi. If the events are not done for this optional quest then the bad ending will be obtained. If he succeeds in replacing Jikokuten then Take-Mikazuchi will join the Four Heavenly Kings as a keeper of the worlds barrier and stop the merging of worlds.
Besides the more cartoonish depiction in the Demikids series, designs of the Four Heavenly Kings originated from Shin Megami Tensei, while were faithful to their Buddhist origin, did not directly borrow any external source. Only Bishamonten received a revamp in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner and Soul Hackers as he is the only Heavenly King appears in these games.
Starting from Devil Survivor, Kazuma Kaneko changed the designs of the Four Heavenly Kings to be almost identical to the clay sculptures in Tōdai-ji, these new designs eventually were made into 3D models and first appeared in Persona 5. Also worth noting that Kaneko's renditions of Bishamonten and Koumokuten share similar fierce expressions with the other two deities, the actual statues in Tōdai-ji have the former two wearing more relaxing expressions.
|Playable Characters||Protagonist - Heroine - Law Hero - Chaos Hero - Pascal|
|Non-Playable Characters||Stephen - Ozawa - Yuriko - Old Man - Gotou - Ambassador Thorman - En no Ozuno - Louis Cyphre - Soul Diver|
|Locations||Tokyo - Kichijoji - Shinjuku - Ichigaya - Diamond Realm - Shibuya - Roppongi - Ginza Underpass - Ginza - Tokyo Tower - Shinagawa - Ikebukuro - Ueno - Tokyo Destinyland - Basilica - River Styx|
|Terminology||Terminal - Alignment - Ring of Gaea - Order of Messiah - Great Cataclysm - Sword fusion - Four Heavenly Kings|
|Soundtracks||Shin Megami Tensei Sound Collection|
|Archives||Demons - Bosses - Skills - Items|