Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a game for the Nintendo DS console.
An enhanced port to the Nintendo 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, was released on May 15, 2018. The game includes new artwork for the characters, voice acting, animation, new demons, and 3 new endings. 350 demons are fusable in-game.
A mysterious black hole has appeared on the region of the South Pole and is expanding day by day. Concerned about this event, the United Nations sent a collection of elites from around the world to investigate the area called Schwarzwelt (シュバルツバース, Shubarutsubāsu, Schwarz-verse). Inside, the U.N. Schwarzwelt Investigational Team finds that the area has been infested with supernatural beings known as demons that threaten to cross into the human world. As the team delves further into the Schwarzwelt, they find strange and repulsive callbacks to human society.
The player assumes control of an unnamed soldier from America (or Japan in the Japanese version), who will be working with three other crew members assigned by the Joint Project. The crew dons Demonica suits, which enables access to special abilities as well as regulating the player to the conditions within the Schwarzwelt.
The major characters of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are:
- The Protagonist - A USMC officer who underwent intense combat and command training between tours of duty. He was transferred to the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team by U.N. request. As a member of the Strike Team, his duties include off-ship missions and providing security for the expedition. He is on the crew roster for ship 1, the Red Sprite.
- Commander Gore - The overall commander of the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team. He was originally a military officer serving a large country; the leadership abilities he displayed during his service earned him the top position on the team that now holds the fate of mankind. He commands the Red Sprite directly in addition to overseeing operations on the other three ships.
- Jimenez - Another member of the expedition with an American military background, Jimenez began his career as an enlisted man and is now a private contractor, attracted to the expedition by the promise of a financial gain. He serves on ship 2, the Blue Jet, as a member of the Strike Team.
- Zelenin - A Russian scientist recognized for her research on the Schwarzwelt. Her position as the First Lieutenant of the Monitor Team was one of the first appointments made. Her chief duty is to research the Schwarzwelt's true nature along with her crewmates on ship 3, the Elve.
- Arthur - The command unit for the Red Sprite, installed with an administrative pseudopersonality. From his vantage point tied into all the ship's systems, he extrapolates and proposes missions for the team. He is named after real life writer Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote the science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Bugaboo - Deep inside the Schwarzwelt, the investigative team finds Bugaboo, a demon that has undergone torture at the hands of other demons. Scanning Bugaboo shows that it is only 75% demon. Why are demons imprisoning their own kind? What research were they performing?
- Mastema - A mysterious entity that appears before the investigation team, resembling an angel with black wings. He is skilled in mystical arts and has the power to break the demons' barriers, but his countenance is more sinister than divine. He claims to have come to the Schwarzwelt on God's orders, but can he be taken at his word? In the Japanese release he was called Mansemat.
- Strange Girl - An enigmatic girl who speaks of demons and humans, but seems content to witness the proceedings rather than take an active hand. Her name is Louisa Ferre in the US version.
- Alex: A new character introduced in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux. She is hunting down the protagonist for unspecified reasons.
Strange Journey returns to the original Shin Megami Tensei formula of dungeon crawling from first person and negotiating with demons to become your minion, but changes the narrative to a science fiction setting. After collecting any of the over 300 demons in the game, you can try and fuse them together to create more powerful demons. Another notable feature is the lack of needing to acquire Magnetite to maintain your demons outside the field. However, the Moon Phase System found in all of the previous main series titles is still intact.
The inclusion of the Demonica (DEMOuntable Next Integrated Capability Armor) allows the protagonist to upgrade his abilities to progress further into the Schwarzwelt.
Another new addition to the series is a password system. By using an up to 32 digit code in the Demon Compendium players can trade passwords to unlock demons from each other. Certain demons can only be obtained in this way, and Atlus will reveal passwords to give players access to them. It was decided that this system was easier to use than connecting through Wi-Fi as passwords can be posted anywhere and used at anytime.
Strange Journey is well received by critics. IGN gave it 4 stars (8.5 in scale of 10), saying that "though the game's turn-based combat system is standard stuff, fusing demons, launching co-op attacks, and exploring the environments keeps things interesting". It received a score of 36/40 from Famitsu, which was the highest score given by the Japanese magazine to an Atlus game at the time.
- The American release was accompanied by a soundtrack CD as well as a collectible outer box with all launch copies of the game. Music is done by long-time composer Shoji Meguro.
- A poster was available with the pre-order of this game from GameStop. It is located behind the box art.
- In 2009, a forum thread claimed that the game was developed as Shin Megami Tensei IV, according to an interview with Kazuma Kaneko, but since the game's setting does not take place in Tokyo, it is apparently not named as such.. However, a new interview with director Eiji Ishida contradicts this. Ishida says that Strange Journey was conceived as a spinoff from the very beginning, but the promotional staff and Kazuma Kaneko thought that its quality was high enough to be called Shin Megami Tensei IV. Ishida ultimately refused to market it as such. Ishida also makes no mention of its setting not being in Tokyo becoming a factor.
- To date, Strange Journey has the fewest playable characters out of any Shin Megami Tensei game excluding fusible demons.
- The vehicles used to explore the Schwarzwelt in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are based on the Landmasters from a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie called Damnation Alley.
- Official Japanese Site
- Official North America Site
- (Atlus U.S.A. Forums) Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Forum
- (Atlus U.S.A. Forums) Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Demon Password Forum
- (Atlus U.S.A. Forums) PRODUCTION DIARY: "Use Your Allusion" by Lead Editor Nich Maragos
- (Atlus U.S.A. YouTube Account) English Trailer/Gameplay Trailer
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
|Characters||Protagonist - Gore - Jimenez - Zelenin - Arthur - Alex - George - Captain Jack (& Jack's Squad) - Ryan - Bugaboo - Mastema - Anthony - Dent - Norris - Kato - Williams - Muccino - Irving - Chen - Terry - MacCleary - Mia - Gekko - Blair - Zoe - Maebe - Wolf - Tyler - Mackie - Mike - Dawson - Keema - McClane - Louisa Ferre - The Three Wise Men - Mem Aleph|
|Locations||Red Sprite - Sector Antlia - Sector Bootes - Sector Carina - Sector Delphinus - Sector Eridanus - Sector Fornax - Jack's Squad HQ - Sector Grus - Sector Horologium - Womb of Grief - Empyrean Ascent|
|Terminology||Schwarzwelt - Demonica - Demon Summoning Program - Delphinus Parasite - Magnetite - Macca - Moon Phase System - Cosmic Egg|
|Lists||Demons - Bosses - Skills - Forma - Equipment - Items - Apps - Extra Missions|
|Music||Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Original Soundtrack|