""Hate the crime, not the criminal," as they say. But the platitude rings quite hollow when the criminal has no desire, no capacity for redemption. If violence and evil are all they know, all they will ever be, then what can a man of justice do but strike them down? Pretty words have never been enough to save the world."
—Nuwa, Shin Megami Tensei V
Nuwa is a demon in the series, and a major character in Shin Megami Tensei V.
Nüwa (女媧), also pronounced as Nügua in Middle Chinese, is a creation goddess in Chinese mythology, responsible for the creation of humanity. She is also associated with marriages. She is commonly depicted as being half serpent or dragon. Some sources identify her as a daughter of the Jade Emperor.
It is said that the humans that she created out of yellow clay became nobles, while these made from other materials - commoners. In some sources Nuwa decides to create humans out of loneliness. In Classic of Mountains and Seas she isn't the creator of humans but simply the first human being alongside her husband and brother Fuxi (伏羲), who in some versions of the creation myth also partakes in the creation of humans. In art from the reign of the Han dynasty they were often depicted with their tails intertwined. Beliefs related to Nuwa and Fuxi are particularly popular in southern China.
In Huainanzi she is aided in the creation of humans by Huang Di, who forms their organs. Another mythical emperor, Yu the Great, was associated with her in the area near Mount Zhonghuang.
In another myth Nuwa repairs the heaven after it had been damaged, in some sources during a battle between Zhuanxu (a mythical emperor regarded as the grandson of Huang Di) and Gonggong (a monstrous dragon). It's believed that she used five-colored stones representing the five elements from traditional Chinese beliefs as materials. She also cut off the legs of a giant turtle to make pillars meant to hold heaven in place, and devised a number of ways to save humans from natural disasters which plagued them while the heavens were broken. The "Nuwa forges stones and mends the heavens" motif (女媧煉石補天) derived from this myth is common in Chinese art, and many famous statues of Nuwa depict her during this act.
According to Records of the Grand Historian Nuwa was one of the Three Sovereigns, mythical figures credited with introducing civilization to mankind before the reign of the Five Emperors. However, the list of these figures varies between various classical sources and she isn't always included. One of Nuwa's inventions is said to be a type of Chinese wind organs.
Nuwa is also a character in the Ming dynasty novel Investitute of the Gods (封神演義), in which she sends her servants Daji, Jiutou Zhiji Jing and Pipa Jing to punish king Zhou of Shang, who left lustful messages in her temple.
"A goddess that appears in Chinese mythology. Recognized as one of the sovereigns, she is said to have the head of a human and a body of a serpent. She is also known to be responsible for the creation of humanity, having created them from mud. legend tells that when one of the four pillars said to hold up the world broke, she repaired it. Furthermore, her colleague Fuxi is typically labeled as either her brother or her husband, depending on what version of her story is told."
—Shin Megami Tensei V lore
"Both God and his cronies continue to meddle in this realm and all to protect His will."
Nuwa is a frivolous mother goddess appearing by Shohei Yakumo's side. She worked alongside him since he was young to fulfill his worldview of a world devoid of demonic influences. The two share their Knowledge, making them qualify to fuse as Nahobino. She even says Yakumo is his "other half" and that they're inseparable.
Nuwa and the protagonist first cross paths during his search for Ichiro Dazai in Minato, Da'at, where she slayed the angel followers of Bethel stationed in the National Diet Building, with their decomposing corpses scattered upon his arrival. Assuming the protagonist is Bethel reinforcements that arrived far too late, she absorbed the Magatsuhi from the dead forces of Bethel, and transforms into a more demonic form, then attacks the protagonist. As the protagonist is starting to build an upper hand on her, Shohei's appearance axes their fight, but out on a whim, Nuwa asks Yakumo to spare the Nahobino.
She and Yakumo oppose Bethel, believing that demons have no place in human affairs: she refers to their supporters as "zealots," but condemns the side of chaos as well, finding them to be "opportunistic cretins" for the most part. As such, they oppose godhood as a whole, and as such, are determined to destroy the throne, in opposition to the rest of the ideals that present a variant of how godhood will govern.
If the protagonist chooses to destroy the throne, Yakumo will be killed by Abdiel and Nuwa mourns for him before leaving. However, if the protagonist decides to uphold Abdiel or Tsukuyomi's ideals, she will act as the penultimate boss next to the throne, having been fused with Yakumo into a Nahobino resembling a massive, human-faced dragon. This is always followed by Lucifer, since he cannot fight the protagonist if he destroys the throne.
If the protagonist sides with her and Yakumo after several requirements are achieved, Nuwa reappears after the protagonist kills Abdiel and tell him that her actual goal was not to merely destroy the throne and instead break the cycle by removing all demonic and Godly influences in the world. After defeating Tsukuyomi, he might then also opt to restore Tokyo back to its normal state devoid of demonic influences. If so, then he has to fight Lucifer and take the throne, barring Tokyo permanently from all Demonic influences and undoing the deaths of all his human classmates. However, he himself manifests as a second entity, watching his human self from afar.
In an interview with Masayuki Doi on Shin Megami Tensei V, he stated that Nuwa was the "most popular demon in the office," as well as that people there love her demeanor and behavior, with some saying she's "almost like a protagonist herself."
Doi states that the clothes she wears are based on a different period of Chinese history. Her dress and headdress resemble those depicted in Court Ladies Wearing Flowered Headdresses (簪花仕女圖), a work of art attributed to Zhou Fang, an artist who worked during the reign of the Tang dynasty (618-907).
While Nuwa was usually described and depicted as partially serpentine in classical sources, she is often depicted with human legs in modern art, for example in the Ping Sien Si temple in Malaysia and in many works of contemporary Chinese popular culture.