The Great Cataclysm is an apocalyptic event in the series in which God wipes out most of humanity, typically via nuclear missiles and/or flooding.
- Megami Tensei II: Event
- Shin Megami Tensei: Event
- Shin Megami Tensei II: Referenced
- Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE: Referenced
- Shin Megami Tensei IV: Event
- Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse: Referenced
- Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army: Referenced
Megami Tensei II
Over 36 years before the game began, a nuclear war destroyed Tokyo and the rest of the world, forcing humanity to hide in bomb shelters and allowed demons to invade and conquer Tokyo. During the confrontation with Satan, he reveals that he was the one who started the war by YHVH's orders.
Shin Megami Tensei
The series of events started with the rising tensions between a Japanese resistance force and the Provisional Martial Law Government set up by the American Army after the sudden appearance of demons in Tokyo. The head of the American forces was actually a disguised demon Thor, acting under orders from Law-aligned forces. He reveals himself to the Protagonist and his party before launching nuclear ICBMs at Tokyo to suppress the demon outbreak, destroying Tokyo in a nuclear holocaust.
Decades later, in a rebuilt Tokyo where demons roam freely, the Messian and Gaean cults have formed. The Messian forces of Law succeed in building a great Basilica to bring forth God's Millennium Kingdom. This act causes a second Great Flood which again destroys Tokyo, leaving little standing apart from the Basilica and its inhabitants.
Shin Megami Tensei II
Years later, after The Hero succeeded in toppling high-ranking members of both the Messian and Gaian cults, the inhabitants of the newly-built Tokyo Millennium civilization (built upon the remains of the Basilica), refer to these two disasters as the Great Cataclysm. Although both disasters seem to have been brought about by the Law-aligned forces, they were in direct response to the demonic invasions caused by the Chaos-aligned forces.
Shin Megami Tensei IV
The Great Cataclysm occurs prior to the start of the game. Stephen explains in a DLC Challenge Quest that the cataclysm was the result of the Yamato Perpetual Reactor connecting to the Expanse and allowing demons into the world, which lead to wars for control between angels and demons, and a human world war which ultimately culminated in nuclear holocaust. Tokyo survived due to Masakado becoming a dome over the city to shield it from the missiles, and the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado was established on top of the Firmament. Due to Flynn's former self wishing to preserve Tokyo exactly as it was when he sacrificed himself, only 25 years have passed in Tokyo since the cataclysm, but over 1500 years have passed outside.
A Demonoid NPC in Infernal Tokyo reveals it was God's scheme that had opened the Reactor, while the nuclear missiles are viewed as God's Wrath by the people of both Infernal and Blasted Tokyo. In a DLC Challenge Quest in Blasted Tokyo, God Himself comes down to finish exterminating humanity so that a new humanity can take their place.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
Apocalypse elaborates more on the Great Cataclysm, referring to it as "God's Plan".
"[It was] a cascade of wars and economic collapse that spread across the world in 2013, following the Yamato Perpetual Reactor incident that resulted in the opening of a gateway to the Expanse. This incident coincides with the digital distribution of the Demon Summoning Program. As a result of both events, thousands of demons appeared throughout the world, instigating global chaos.
The ensuing wars would see over a hundred nuclear missiles launched all across the world, spread so that no surface on Earth would be left unscorched. The wars taxed the global economy 1.7 trillion dollars and caused an estimated 7.2 billion casualties. The exact number remains unknown."
|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|
|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|
|Playable Characters||Aleph/Hawk - Hiroko - Beth - Cerberus - Lucifer - Satan|
|Non-Playable Characters||Okamoto - Gimmel - Zayin - Stephen - Haneda - Daleth - Red Bear - Madam - Hanada - The Center's Bishop - The Four Elders - Mekata - Puck - Hanoun - Mutant Elder - Hiruko - Taira no Masakado - Siren - Petersen - Michael - Raphael - Uriel - Gabriel - Fake YHVH - Seth - Virocana - Ozawa - Gotou - Gemori - Astaroth (Ishtar / Ashtar) - Kuzuryu - YHVH|
|Locations||Tokyo Millennium - Underworld - Expanse - Eden - Diamond Realm - River Styx|
|Terminology||Millennium Kingdom - Great Cataclysm - Order of Messiah - Ring of Gaea - Terminal - Sword fusion - Identification Program - Summon Doll - Seven Pillars of Solomon - Sabbath - Abaddon's Innards - Megiddo Arc|
|Content||Demons - Bosses - Skills - Items|
|Characters||Protagonist - Azura - DB Mikanagi - DB Kano - DB Kuroe - DB Yamaguchi - Kuzaka The Wise - Lord Judah - Madam Justice - Lord Doukan - Ogami - Setsu - Snakeman - Yamamoto the Steel-Willed - Louis Cyphre|
|Locations||Arcadia - Cathedral of Shadows - Ichigaya - Ikebukuro - Nakano - Protopia - Second Home - Shibuya - Shinagawa - Shinjuku - Shinjuku Babel - Souhonzan - Suginami - Third Home - Ueno|
|Dungeons||Suginami Tunnels - Basilica|
|Music||"Amatsuchi" - "Haru Megido"|
|Terminology||Cult of Gaia - Demon Buster - Great Cataclysm - Innocent - Millennium Kingdom - Obelisk - Order of Messiah - Seven Philosophers - Yagi - Chain of Curse|
|Archives||Demons - Skills (Features)|