"Caught in a War between gods. Humans must make a Stand. Which Side will be chosen? Peace or Anarchy?"
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, also known as Shin Megami Tensei IV Final in Japan, is a follow-up to the fourth numbered game of the Shin Megami Tensei series developed by Atlus for the Nintendo 3DS. This game takes place in an alternate timeline from the previous game.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse was first revealed by Atlus on October 5th, 2015 in the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu as Shin Megami Tensei IV Final along with the main keyword of the game "Deicide". It is produced by Kazuyuki Yamai, with Masayuki Doi as character designer, Ryota Kozuka as composer, and Kazuma Kaneko as the setting planner and demon designer. The reveal image shows Navarre as a ghost alongside the other main characters. In an interview with Famitsu, Yamai stated that "We’ve looked over a lot of player feedback from Shin Megami Tensei IV and we’re making improvements everywhere we can, even to things like controls and demon conversations—there is a lot of reconsideration and reforming going on. We’re aiming to make the number one RPG for 3DS, so we’re paying attention to every detail. We’re making it so that even those who didn’t play Shin Megami Tensei IV can enjoy this game." Further details on the game were revealed in a Niconico stream on October 11, 2015.
Title change of North American version
Atlus U.S.A. explained the reason behind the change of subtitle from "Final" to "Apocalypse" immediately after the official announcement of the North American localization. While the USA staffers are aware that "Final" was already known to the series fans, the new subtitle was chosen to attract audience beyond the established fan base while still keeping the letter "A" prominent to be placed over the anarchy symbol as in the original Japanese logo. Other rejected suggestions include "End War" and "Holy War". The opinion to drop "IV" has been discussed more than once due to the precedent of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne dropping "III" from the North American localization.
- Nanashi is capable of choosing which seven different partners to join him in battle, with them each specializing in a different role. There is an assist gauge at the bottom of the screen which fills up one point at a time as the chosen partner acts. Certain responses to a boss's question will grant extra assist points, easily filling the gauge to maximum. When the gauge is full at eight bars, the enemy side's turn is interrupted, partners with healing or stat buff skills will act once and then a powerful joint attack on all enemies follows. Afterward, random party combatants are granted the Smirk status, and the gauge is depleted to be charged anew. Partners also use their own demons to help with combat.
- Certain skills have additional effects when the user is under the Smirk status. For example, Light and Dark spells now primarily inflict damage which are effective against boss as well, but their instant death effect only activates during Smirk; "King Bufula", an all-enemy moderate ice attack which is exclusive to King Frost, will debuff defense in addition during Smirk.
- The negotiation system has been updated, notably the same demon who has abandoned the previous negotiation will take up where the talk has left off, instead of merely starting the negotiation all over again.
- Demons using magic they specialize in will deal more damage or cost fewer MP. Resulting enhancements on skills are similar to ranking up skills of the previous protagonist via Whisper event.
- Estoma now creates a barrier around Nanashi and has a shortcut to it on the menus.
- User interface has been enhanced completely:
- Ability to rearrange skill order of the protagonist or each demon.
- Added an icon to denote if the enemy demon has been registered in the Demonic Compendium.
- Fusion search can be specified to a range of levels. (1~9, 10~19, etc.)
- Next destination of the quest is denoted in the map with a red flag icon.
- Partner will recommend the player to persuade a demon who has not been registered yet.
- Obtaining a relic will prompt its expected selling price.
- Ability to zoom in or out in the overhead world.
- Demons vocalize while attacking or hurt (similar to Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne).
- Nanashi: The protagonist of the game. An apprentice for the Hunter Association, who died during a mission after being attacked by Adramelech and his minions, but returns to life after forming a contract with Dagda.
- Dagda: A demon wandering the underworld. Forms a contract with the recently-deceased protagonist to give him a new life along and the ability to summon demons. He is a cruel and loud mouthed individual with almost no respect to humanity.
- Asahi: A fellow apprentice hunter of the Hunter Association, she is 15 years old and Nanashi's childhood friend. Her Awakening boosts her healing spells.
- Navarre: Returning character. Due to dying from something so minor, his soul is unable to rest. He quickly possesses Nanashi once their paths cross.
- Isabeau: Returning character. A female Samurai who seeks assistance to liberate Flynn from the Divine Powers.
- Nozomi: The newly appointed fairy queen protected by Goddess Danu. Her Awakening grants her High Gun Pleroma and Gun Pierce.
- Gaston: A proud Samurai who fights with a spear. He is also Navarre's younger brother. His Awakening grants him High Phys Pleroma and Phys Pierce.
- Hallelujah: A representative of the Ashura-kai whose favorite demon is Chironnupu. His Awakening grants him High Element Pleroma to all magic attacks.
- Toki: A masked young female assassin with a mysterious goal. Her Awakening grants her Phys Pierce and Sneak Attack Up.
- Flynn: A powerful Samurai hailing from the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado.
- Walter: Fused himself with Hikaru to become Lucifer.
- Jonathan: Sacrificed himself unto Merkabah to fight Lucifer.
- Krishna: The leader of the Divine Powers. He's a soft-spoken and polite, but he's quite cruel like Dagda. Unlike the latter however, he treats humans in a patronizing form.
- Maitreya: Spokesman of Krishna.
- Odin: Enforcer of Krishna.
- Inanna: The other executive working for Krishna.
- Shesha: Krishna's right hand and pet. While initially a mindless animal, he impersonates Flynn later on in the game.
- Lucifer: The leader of the Chaos representatives. He is an eugenicist with an ideology of predatory anarchy.
- Merkabah: The leader of the Law representatives. He is a fervent devotee of YHVH who looks down on his opposition as lowly filth.
- Adramelech: One of Lucifer's generals. He is a flamboyant and smug demon who led the attack that caused Nanashi, Nikkari and Manabu's death at the start of the game.
- Skins: A high-rank Hunter who carries Masakado's katana.
- Fujiwara: The owner of a Hunter's Tavern.
- Boss: Asahi's father.
- Nikkari: Nanashi's instructor, he died in an attack led by Adramalech.
- Manabu: Another one of Nanashi's instructors. He died in the same incident as Nikkari.