"I want to reach Nirvana, and I want to bring as many people as I can with me. If people want to fight me, then I'll certainly fight back. But if people are willing to trust me, then we can defy the Church, or anyone else who wants to stop us, and get as many people as we can to ascend to Nirvana, regardless of what tribe they belong to."
Serph is the leader of the Embryon and the primary protagonist of Digital Devil Saga.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Digital Devil Saga: Protagonist
- Digital Devil Saga 2: Protagonist
- Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner: Protagonist
Personality[edit | edit source]
Following the tradition of the Megami Tensei series, he is a silent protagonist, where his personality is based upon the player's actions. Due to this, very little information is given about Serph apart being praised for his level-headed thinking and leadership ability, and he is a well-respected leader in his tribe, the Embryon.
As Sera's perception of the real Serph was a fabrication, the AI Serph bears little resemblance to Serph Sheffield in terms of morality. They are only alike in their logical and precise decision-making, and their leadership qualities. At the beginning of Digital Devil Saga he has no dominant character traits, reflecting Sera's lack of understanding of who Serph really was. This is made even more evident when he is confronted by Real Varna- the true, malicious Serph Sheffield- and Fake Varna, the kind fabrication that the young Sera believed in for so long. The "complete" Serph AI is neither of these things, yet has aspects of both.
In Quantum Devil Saga he's not silent. He's depicted as a caring and compassionate leader who often mediates between people with completely opposite ideologies, such as Argilla, who doesn't care at all about survival and just wants to avoid eating humans, and Heat, who thinks that he has to survive even if it means committing something as inhuman as eating other humans. Serph is a pacifist, only resorting to violence when it's the only answer, and seems to dislike cheating, as, before the battle against the Solids, he tells Gale and Heat that "he's not Mick the Slug." Serph is a very idealistic person, always trying to find a way to resolve conflicts, but he's also pragmatic enough to never ignore his tribe's shortcomings. Serph's idealism hides some sort of fear towards change. Serph is also shown to be very fascinated by how Sera describes the real world, as evidenced by the fact that he prefers referring to the Light Time as "dawn" and the Shade Time as "dusk," terms which Sera taught him. Underneath his idealism, Serph hides a huge uncertainty towards the role he plays in the Junkyard. Seeing how the Avatar looks exactly like him (minus the black hair), Serph is quick to catch on the fact that there's a correlation between them, and he quickly tries to think of possible connections. Gale often refers to his decisions as "illogical", as they're based more on emotions than logic (as shown when he decides to take Lupa and Jinana with him to the top of the Karma temple instead of letting them sacrifice themselves).
Profile[edit | edit source]
Digital Devil Saga[edit | edit source]
Serph, along with many of Embryon's key members, were first seen present at Ground Zero, where they encounter a large seed-like pod in their territory. Assuming it to be a weapon of the Vanguards, Gale transmits a message demanding that the Vanguards move their object away from Embryon territory or else they'd take it as an act of war. However Harley, the leader of the Vanguards, issued the same threat back to the Embryon.
The plot opens with the pod exploding and streaks of light shooting everyone present in the battlefield, leaving tattoo-esque markings on their bodies and transforming Serph and the others into demons. The members of the Embryon go berserk upon their transformations, lashing out and devouring any demon in their sight. Serph, in his demonic form, is seen eating demon flesh before the screen briefly shows a clear blue sky.
Shortly after the realization of their insatiable hunger, Serph becomes accessible to the player. His Atma Avatar, Varuna, excels over Ice-based spells while weak towards Fire-based attacks. He comes with Bufu and the starting node of Hunt skills.
Confused by what happened and still assuming the pod belonged to the Vanguards, Serph departs for Svadhisthana with Heat and Argilla for answers. They find the base unguarded. Inside they find Harley, reduced to a frightened mess from the earlier events. They corner and devour him, absorbing the Vanguards tribe into the Embryon, but are unable to acquire any new information.
Soon after all tribe leaders are summoned by the Karma Temple. Upon the meeting between the Tribes in Sahasrara, the leaders found out that the Karma Temple was overrun by a mystical being: Angel. The Karma Temple issues a new law: "Devour the other Tribes and bring the black-haired girl to Nirvana." deepening the hostility between tribes.
Upon Serph's questioning Angel, the being becomes berserk and outraged, emitting distorted voices and vague hints regarding the black-haired girl, saying the answers to all of his questions would be answered in Nirvana.
Returning to Muladhara, Gale devises a plan to forge an alliance with the Maribel to assault the Solids, and subsequently the Brutes and betraying everyone later. However, the plan backfired when the Maribel are betrayed by their second in command, Bat. As a result, Jinana, the leader of the Maribel, was killed and Sera was abducted. The Solids launched a heavy assault on the Embryon, and left Cielo alive to taunt them, luring them to the coordinate 136.
Upon venturing into the area, Serph encounters a princess' portrait (strangely resembling Sera). A fairytale story about a princess and two princes is told as the party climbs higher, growing progressively more twisted as they near the top. However, the most important part of the story is distorted beyond understanding. It is not until venturing to the highest level of the area where Mick, leader of the Solids holds Sera captive, alongside with Bat. Bat taunts Heat, offering him to join forces with the Solids by killing Serph, eventually allowing him to have Sera alone by himself when they reach Nirvana. Depending on the player's actions, before engaging Heat to a battle, Heat can be recruited later in Digital Devil Saga 2. Heat assaults Serph, but later reveals that he has been putting up an act all along.
Their plan succeeded, and thanks to Cielo Sera was rescued. Knowing the Solid's where defeated, Mick attempts to escape, but ended up being surrounded by the Embryon and subsequently killed. Returning to Muladhara, they realized that since Bat was still alive, Sera's location had been found. Knowing Bat sided with the Brutes, Gale proposed a plan, where they decide to trap a number of the Brutes inside a deserted ship while blowing the ship altogether with explosives. Their plan was a success; however, Serph and co. escape was intercepted by Bat. Transforming into his Atma form, Bat engages the party in battle. However, Bat loses, and dies in the explosion. A devastated Argilla later asks Serph their reasons for fighting and devouring others, as they are no different from their enemies.
Upon returning to their new base, a member of the Embryon tells Serph that the leader of the Wolves tribe, Lupa, requests an alliance with the Embryon. Gale was reluctant to agree, but suggests that they should pay them a visit. Meeting Lupa, Gale questions his motives for working under the Embryon. Lupa exclaims that the Wolves tribe had been nearly completely destroyed by the Brutes. Lupa tells the Embryon that only a small faction of the Brutes were killed in the explosion, with their leader, Varin Omega still alive. Lupa requests the Embryon to go to the homebase of the Brutes via Samsara Waterway, whereas he will open a path for them.
Throughout their venture in the Waterway, Serph and co. discover that Lupa did not devour any of the men he fought. However, as they venture deeper, they witness more and more of the soldiers being brutally killed and devoured. Eventually reaching the exit, they discover Lupa had succumbed to his hunger. Argilla urges Sera to stop his hunger, but Lupa's virus has already overtaken him and he engages the party in battle. They defeat him, and in his last moments Lupa regains his sanity long enough to ask Gale to deliver a message to his son when the Embryon make it to Nirvana.
Serph eventually reaches the base of Brutes, however, not only Serph, but also Heat, Argilla, and Cielo felt something familiar with their surroundings. After defeating the guards, Serph and co. are ambushed by Varin Omega. He insists to be called Colonel Beck, and angrily stammers at Serph. While the others attempt to attack him, he fends them off one by one, while angrily questioning why they did not remember being killed by Serph, confusing the party. As Heat tries to attack, Varin asks how many times must Heat die for Sera, and attacks him with his Hunger Wave ability, triggering Heat's virus to go berserk. With Sera's treatment, however, Heat manages to recover. Enraged, Varin engages the party in battle. After his defeat, Varin reveals that everyone in the Junkyard has been to the aforementioned Nirvana, but due to their death, they have been reincarnated to the Junkyard. He exclaims that Sera is the witch who will destroy the world, and promptly dies.
After the death of Varin, Sera is missing. Noticing this the others began to worry, it is here that Sera's memories are finally restored. Entering a room, Serph sees an illusion of Sera, who promptly disappears. Serph picked up a photo Sera was holding earlier, and finally realized the reason behind their familiarity: The mansion is where Sera once lived. Realizing this, the others began to worry what Varin said was true. Depending on the player's choices, Serph can either assure them that Sera is their comrade, or believe in what Varon said. Picking the first option allows Heat to rejoin the Embryon in DDS2. Heat reassures them that they are comrades, and they should find and rescue Sera. As the Embryon is the last tribe standing, Sahashara finally opens, allowing the Embryon to reach Nirvana. Knowing this is where Sera went, Serph and co. decide to go there to find Sera.
Throughout their search for Sera, however, they are stopped by fiends and guards under the orders of Sera, prohibiting them from advancing. Eventually Serph finds Sera in the highest plane of Sahashara, alongside Jenna Angel. Sera pleads with them to stop, and freezes Serph and co. in place. Unwilling to give up, however, Serph and Heat try to move, Serph even overcoming it enough to turn into his Atma form, and strikes Jenna Angel. Amused by their strength, Jenna Angel cancels their binds, and engages them in battle. Eventually it is revealed that Jenna Angel was the one responsible for releasing the Demon Virus on the citizens of the Junkyard, turning them into fiends.
Eventually Jenna Angel is defeated. Serph, in his atma form, tries to strike a final blow on Jenna. However, Serph's attack backfired; destroying Jenna Angel's relic, causing the Junkyard to begin falling apart. Gale urges the others to head for the gate to Nirvana at the center of the tower, however, Serph doesn't have enough time to escape, and the tower explodes, separating everyone. Before disappearing, Sera tearfully told Serph that she will "find him." Serph is last seen after the credits, where he looked upon a ruined city, and the Black Sun.
The Two Princes[edit | edit source]
The four Embryon members arrive at Coordinate 136, which resembles a tourist attraction. A story is told as they ascend the attraction (which resembles a large mansion) in the style of a fairy tale. It grows more twisted as they reach higher levels, which is a reference of the connection between Serph Sheffield, Heat O'Brien and Sera.
Digital Devil Saga 2[edit | edit source]
Following the events of Digital Devil Saga, Serph returns as the primary protagonist whom the player controls. Serph is first seen in the opening credits, where he wonders around a ruined city, looking for Sera. He encounters a number of human-like statues, with one of them seemingly frozen in the middle of attempting to kill himself via shooting himself in the mouth with a handgun. Upon going near to inspect, Serph is surrounded by guards that were never seen in the Junkyard. Sensing hostility, Serph grabs the handgun, and engages the guards in battle.
After the battle, Serph is eventually reunited with two members of the Embryon Tribe, Gale and Argilla. Argilla introduces Serph to Fred, a young child she met earlier. Gale then asks Fred where could they seek help in fighting the strange guards hunting for them. Fred explains that the guards the trio met earlier are soldiers of the Karma Society, and all of them are capable of transforming into demons, or "Atma Avatars" as they're called in this world. Fred suggests they meet up with Roland, the leader of a resistance group called the Lokapala. Fred also requests that on their way Serph help free the captives the Karma Society has held in the Occupied Sector. Throughout this venture, the Karma Soldiers refer to Serph and the other members of the Embryon as "Tuners."
Eventually meeting up with the Lokapala, Serph reluctantly agrees with the group's leader, Roland to retrieve Sera. Learning she is currently situated in the Karma City, the base of the Karma Society and their soldiers, they infiltrate the city with the help of a double agent. After making it to the city, Roland and Cielo catch up to them and join the party. Sneaking into the Internment Facility, they defeat the Jailer and shut down the processing plant within. This frees the prisoners still alive and also provides a distraction to lure the Karma Soldiers away from their base in the city's central tower.
Serph and the others fight their way up Karma Tower, where they believe Sera to be. Upon reaching to medical room, they discover Sera has been moved. Instead, one of the large monitors turns on and Serph and company are confronted by Margot Cuvier on the screen, the leader of the Karma Society. She reveals her plan of turning everyone into Tuners to survive the Cuvier Syndrome, and plans to use Sera to suppress their hunger. Depending on the player's choices, Serph can either choose to agree reluctantly with Margot or flat-out disagree with her plans. Choosing the latter allows Serph to inherit Angel's special skill later on.
Regardless, Margot isn't pleased with Serph and the others' answers, and calls the guards. Serph and the others are shocked to see Heat among the Guards, and working under Margot. Argilla pleads with Heat to stop, asking whether this is another act to save Sera or not. Heat promptly declines, and tells Serph that this time, it isn't a game. He says he will kill Serph, but is defeated and forced to retreat. Chasing after him, the party instead find Karma Soldiers fighting among themselves. The ones wearing red armbands (opposed to the usual blue ones) state they are working with Jenna Angel, who is attempting a coup. The guards lead the Embryon to her, and she states her plan is to turn everyone into demons instead of a privilaged few, and she will do nothing to aid the demons in dealing with their hunger. To this end, she wants to help the Embryon rescue Sera because that would ruin Margot's plan. She gives them Sera's actual location at the EGG Installation, And Serph and co. leave to rescue her.
Fighting their way through the laboratories, eventually Sera is found inside an egg-esque pod. Calling her name, Sera awakens and is relieved to see Serph. Their happiness, however, does not last long. Heat enters the room behind them, effectively blocking their only exit. Enraged at seeing Sera with Serph, Heat transforms his right arm into his demonic claw, and lunges forward to strike Serph. Serph does not avoid the attack, and Heat's claw pierces completely through Serph's torso. Surprised by Serph's action, Heat questions why Serph simply stood there instead of attempting to dodge or fight back. Depending on the player's choices, Serph can either comfort Heat by telling him that they are comrades, or tell Heat that they will not let him have Sera. Choosing the former allows Heat to rejoin the party later if other questions are answered correctly. Regardless, Serph uses this opportunity to grab Heat, throwing himself and Heat together down into the EGG pod, apparently killing them both.
Shocked by the incident, Sera recalls some of the memories she'd block out from five years before. A man that looked extremely similar to Serph was smiling while another resembling Heat was lying on the ground, unconscious. Grief-stricken, Sera shrieks before fainting. Her sudden, violent emotions cause the machines to overload. This causes the Sun to start absorbing everything in the world into data, destroying everything if it isn't quickly stopped.
After Serph's disappearance, Gale is controlled by the player instead. Once Sera regains conciousness, Gale turns temporary leadership of the Embryon over to her and the player controls her instead. During this time, Roland and Argilla die as well.
Serph is not seen again until Sera revisits the EGG facility after destroying the power supply failed to stop the machines, hoping to be able to talk to God and ask him to stop. However EGG had been damaged when it overloaded, allowing data that had been copied from God to leak out, corrupting and twisting anything it came in contact with. Deep inside the facility, it is revealed that a large amount of the corrupted data had merged with Heat, fusing him to the EGG and transforming him into a gigantic monster named Vritra. Having been driven crazy by the corrupted data, Sera and the others are forced to fight him. However, since Serph was inside the EGG as well, he was absorbed by Heat's monstrous new atma form. Inside, it is revealed that Serph survives due to the liquid inside the EGG, which normally sustains Sera's life. As Serph regains conciousness he is visited by the black cat he had seen many times in the Junkyard, who introduces itself as Schröedinger. The cat tells Serph various information regarding the Sun, the nature of Data, and above all, the Data that Serph himself wishes to know the most — the incident 5 years ago. It is finally revealed that Serph was a figment of Sera's creation based on Serph in the real world, Serph Sheffield.
Sera, due to her abilities to converse with God, is placed in various painful experiments. To cope with her stress, Sera created AIs from her imagination, each of them based on Sera's view on the people and hospital staff she met. The first AI Serph belonged to a paradise of Sera's imagination, where he, along with the Embryon members are enjoying a beach and playing volleyball; which Serph and the others half-remembered as Nirvana. Sera eventually fell in love with the real Serph, Serph Sheffield. However, during a painful experiment, she discovers that Serph Sheffield, the kind and gentle doctor whom she loved, was a cruel man who had been manipulating her feelings. Upon seeing the real Serph use his manipulations to cause the death of Heat O'Brien, a doctor who truly did care for her and had been attempting to stop the experiment and save her life, her sadness caused a massive surge of data and negative emotions to God. God punished humanity for causing such pain by turning the sun black and contaminating the Earth with data, turning many (including Serph) into demons.
Awakening the Heat residing in the real world, Heat O'Brien appears in front of Serph as a data. Telling Serph that after the incident, Sera shut her heart away, and her paradise became hell as experiments soon continued and she was forced to transform her virtual beach into the Junkyard, creating many AI including the Serph controlled by the player. O'Brien tells Serph that Sera dreamed to see the kind, gentle Serph for a long time, and tells Serph that he may be based on Sera's perception of them, however, Serph is now different, manifesting as an original, standalone persona of himself.
As Serph begins to understand, two beings manifests within the EGG fluid: Serph Sheffield, and another AI Serph from the beach. Serph Sheffield doesn't realize he is dead and angrily questions where is he, while the other AI kept asking, "Where is Sera?" O'Brien then tells Serph that it is time to defeat these phantoms and break free from the past, and requests Serph to release the AI Heat as well. Enraged, Serph Sheffield and the AI transform into two distinct Varnas, engaging Serph and Heat O'Brien (who transforms into the same version of Agni as the AI Heat) in battle. Eventually, Serph is victorious, triumphing over Serph Sheffield and the other AI.
After defeating the data of the other two Serphs, Serph uses Varna's blades to slice open the abdomen of Vritra, forcefully breaking free from the EGG. Heat is able to transform back into a human, but is gravely wounded. Knowing that Serph has finally learned the truth, he asks Serph if he now understands where Heat stands. Answering yes will allow Heat to rejoin the Embryon for the final batter if the other questions were answered correctly. Heat then teleports himself to the control room, prompting Serph to go there alone to finish their business once and for all. Upon reaching Heat, he chastises Serph for being too slow. Noticing Heat is bleeding heavily from his wound Serph hurries over to help, but is stopped by Heat. He bags Serph to tell Sera they fought each other, so that Sera wouldn't blame herself for his death. Heat then tells Serph that now that he's gone, Serph will have to protect Sera, and dies.
Outside, Sera informs the others that there is another facility, named the HAARP Facility, that she could use to reach to God. If they took one of the plains in the abandoned airport, they could reach it before sunrise when God would otherwise destroy everything. However, their plans are acknowledged by Jenna Angel, who has already sent her Karma Soldiers to stop Serph and co. from leaving. With the sacrifices of their remaining comrades, Serph and Sera are able to reach the HAARP Facility in time.
Inside the facility, Sera attempts to contact with God via the remaining machines, with Serph holding her hand to encourage her. However, the massive surge of data being sent causes the machines to overload, breaking apart and exploding, setting fire to any areas not blasted apart. Serph finally dies in the fires of the HAARP, alongside with Sera. Their data ascends to the Sun, where they merge into a unique being: Seraph. Depending on the player's actions earlier, Seraph may be able to inherit Hari-Hara's "Reincarnation" skill. Although Seraph achieved enlightenment, some aspect of Serph and Sera did not, and they are later reincarnated as individuals back on Earth.
Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner[edit | edit source]
For the most part the story in the book is similar to that of the game, if not for the fact that Serph is now shown talking instead of being silent, and the circumstances of him becoming the tribe's leader are told in a flashback once he meets Lupa.
Serph and Heat were the last of a tribe led by Lupa's previous incarnation. The tribe was defeated by another tribe but he was quick to kill the other leader before the Church noticed his leader's death, and absorbed the other tribe into his own.
He grows more and more attached to Sera as the story goes on, and even uses some of the words Sera uses to describe her world
Due to his connection with Shin Minase, he knows things not everyone in the Junkyard knows, for instance he seems to have already known how to fight with an Atma the moment he first transforms and remembers all the password codes in the Karma Temple despite having never been there.
After reaching Nirvana, Serph wakes up in a strange place and finds out he's the prototype of a Biomech. He hears the word "SERAPHITUS" before breaking out of a containment pod and escaping.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
"Serph" is a made-up word. In That's Catch 22, Serph Sheffield explains his name sounds like "surf" which coincides with the water element of his Atma Avatar, Varuna. Like Sera's name, Serph's name may also be based on the Seraphim angels.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Serph has two different handguns for each game: one is his primary handgun when commanding the Embryon in the Junkyard, used till the end of the first Digital Devil Saga game. In Digital Devil Saga 2, he uses a new handgun he took from a petrified body on the surface (as seen in the opening sequence of the game), and uses it until before the final dungeon of the game. Thus, Serph is the only playable character with a visual difference from the first and second series of Digital Devil Saga.
- He is one of the few Megaten protagonists to have a canon name (Maya Amano, Kyouji Kuzunoha, Raidou Kuzunoha XIV, Akemi Nakajima, Aleph, Flynn, and Nanashi are the others). Among the protagonists with a canon name, he and Maya Amano are the only ones whose names cannot be changed in any way.
- In the novel series, and in Digital Devil Saga 2 once he becomes Seraph, he's one of the few protagonists in the series to talk on their own when they're the main character (the others are Aigis from Persona 3 FES The Answer, the protagonist from Majin Tensei, Shin Kanzato from Persona Trinity Soul , Itsuki Aoi from Tokyo Mirage Session #FE and Yu Narukami from Persona 4 Arena ).
|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|
|Songs||"Pray" - "Danger"|
|Terminology||Atma - Embryon - Field hunt - Nirvana - Turn Press - Magnetite|
|Lists||Demons - Bosses - Mantra - Skills (Combos) - Items|
|Games||A's TEST Server|
|Publications||Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner - That's Catch 22 - DOGDAYS - Shinen no Matou|
|Playable (Avatars)||Serph (Varna) - Argilla (Prithivi) - Gale (Vayu) - Cielo (Dyaus) - Roland (Indra) - Sera (Varnani) - Heat (Agni) - Seraph (Ardha)|
|Non-Playable||Jenna Angel - Margot Cuvier - Fred - Adil - Schrödinger - Serph Sheffield - Heat O'Brien - Argilla - David Gale - Colonel Beck - Meganada - Brahman|
|Nirvana||Occupied Sector - Underground City - Underwater Cable - Internment Facility - Karma Society Tower - EGG Installation - Power plant - Airport - HAARP Facility - Sun|
|Songs||"Alive" - "Time Capsule"|
|Terminology||Atma - Berserk Mode - Black Sun - Cuvier Syndrome - Field hunt - Karma Society - Lokapala - Tribhvana|
|Lists||Demons - Bosses - Mantra - Skills (Combos) - Items|