Shin Megami Tensei NINE is a game set in the world of the main Shin Megami Tensei series. The "NINE" in the title refers to the nine alignments in the game. It was released for the Microsoft Xbox in Japan. Although the game was intended to lead into an Atlus-developed MMORPG, the network pack was canceled after NINE was released, which is in part due to how unpopular the Xbox was in Japan.
Taking place during the brief period that the Protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei is in another world, Shin Megami Tensei NINE focuses on the survivors of the apocalyptic war of 199X as they attempt to rebuild society. The first project is a digital world meant to recreate Tokyo before it was destroyed by ICBMs: Idea Space.
However, Idea Space experiences glitches known as "Noise" that manifest as demonic entities. Because of the way the Idea Space works, damage inflicted inside will also afflict the user in the real world, so the Noise must be eliminated as a matter of public safety. The Central Administration Bureau has assembled a team of warriors, known as "Debuggers" to fight the Noise.
One day, the protagonist is visiting Idea Space's recreation of Shibuya when a Legion attacks. A mysterious woman appears and saves Kei Azuma from the Legion, and introduces herself as a Debugger... Kei then becomes a glitch hunter, tracking down and destroying Noise.
- Kei Azuma: The protagonist whose name and gender the player selects. The protagonist has a younger sister, named Emi, and they live together in slums with their mother Mieko.
- Baraki and Sumire: Depending on the Hero's gender, their roles will be swapped. If the player is male, Baraki will be the friend he grew up with and Sumire will be a young girl and Emi's classmate.
- Mubiora and Miranda: Debuggers working for the Central Administration Bureau in Idea Space.
- Ferris: Secretary General of the Central Administration Bureau, who controls not Idea Space.
- Tsuzumi: Chief of the Central Administration Bureau in charge of coordinating and deploying the Debuggers.
- Shiki: An angel who's lost his power. He seems to be guiding the Hero to something, but his goals are unknown. He's really the fallen angel Sariel.
- Seri: A debugger from the Central Administration Bureau who is the same gender as the protagonist.
- Naitou: A preacher who seeks to revive the Ring of Gaea.
- STEVEN: A peculiar man in a wheelchair.
- Cute Girl: A cute girl who runs the flower shop in Idea Space's Shinjuku. Her true form is the Gnostic deity Sophia
- Maria: An artificial goddess who rules over the Idea Space.
NINE uses a fully automatic real time system. The player designates tactics for allies to use, and they fight automatically and in real time. The player can also manually give a specific order to be performed one turn before the ally resumes its actions based on its preset tactics. The player can also call on his partner and their team of demons to provide support.
At certain points in the story, the player will need to try his or her hand at hacking. This is done through an RTS minigame. The icon used to mark the hero is the traditional world map icon from the series.
The player will not gain experience. Instead, the protagonist's level is determined by the jewel he or she has equipped. Jewels also have a carrying capacity, determining the number of allies and pieces of equipment the player can wear.
As a departure from normal Shin Megami Tensei games, character designs are handled by Yasuomi Umetsu. Demon designs are still handled by Kazuma Kaneko.
A limited edition version of the game called Shin Megami Tensei NINE Deluxe Pack was released. The standard and Xbox Collection versions are the same, but of course the Xbox Collection was released at a lower price point. However it's suspected that at that time the standard and even the Deluxe Pack were selling used for quite a small figure. The Deluxe Pack includes the following additional content:
- Maria figurine
- C.B.A.S. binder with pages
- Key holder watch
- C.B.A.S. ID card
- Shin Megami Tensei NINE has had an English script produced by Alexander Hollins and edited by ggesus on 31st October, 2018.