1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts


    What is Megami Tensei? It's a long-running series of JRPGs from Atlus inspired by a series of novels, featuring demons, apocalyptic events, messages about society, and even crazy dancing (all night). Here's the rundown on the major branches of the series. All feature relatively similar gameplay with shared attacks and themes, but differ in some fundamental ways.


    Shin Megami Tensei (Mainline)
    Inspired by the original game Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, mainline SMT games feature turn-based RPG gameplay, and (mostly) first-person dungeon crawling and post-apocalyptic stories. Though the first two in the series seem quite antiquated by modern standards, having been released on the SNES originally, they can still be enjoyed along with the more recent entries. Basically, summon demons, kill your friends, shoot God right in the face.


    Devil Summoner
    The first major offshoot from the main branch, Devil Summoner's first two games are very similar to them in terms of gameplay. However, the latter two games (featuring Raidou Kuzunoha) are real-time action rather than turn-based combat. Across all 4 games, the primary difference is a mechanic centered around demon loyalty, affecting how they take your orders and act in battle. It is worth noting that the first game is not available in English, though a fan translation is currently in the works.


    Persona
    Without a doubt the most popular spinoff, Persona tends to revolve around character-driven stories, usually set in high school. Many MegaTen conventions apply, though Persona 3 and 4 have since incorporated social simulation aspects which affect your protagonist's ability to call forth new demons. Rare among other MegaTen games for having parties made up of entirely human members, and story-wise has a greater focus on individual struggles and how people interact with others within society. Jungian psychology also plays a large role.


    Digital Devil Saga
    A neat variation on the SMT formula, and an evolution on what was started by Nocturne. It centers around characters that gain the ability to change between human forms and demon forms. Unlike most other SMT games, this one does not feature demon fusion, and all the characters in your party are story relevant characters, kind of like Persona. Since fusion is not an option, you develop your characters via the Mantra system, which works kind of like a standard skill tree in other RPG's. By using Atma points gained from devouring your enemies, you can unlock Mantras to gain skills. There are two games in the series, with the second taking place directly after the first. Play these ones in order, as they are story heavy.


    Devil Survivor
    The newest spinoff to be introduced, a Strategy-RPG, operates differently than most MegaTen games. Instead of negotiating with demons to recruit them, you buy them at an auction and fight with your party amidst a catastrophe in Tokyo, taking turns where you can attack a limited number of times, similar to Fire Emblem. The first game is typically regarded as more serious, while the second has more comedy, and a mechanic called the 'Fate System', which functions similarly to Persona 3 and 4's social links. Each event/battle you partake in uses up time, and you have a limited amount before the catastrophe has some kind of endpoint (ex. 7 Days in Devil Survivor 1).

    UPCOMING TITLES

    Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey - TBA
    SMT for Nintendo Switch (currently unnamed) - TBA



    Even if you don't care for JRPGs, please be respectful to everyone in the thread.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    LittleBabyman's Avatar
    November 2010
    7,373 Posts
    god fucking damnit garry
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  3. Post #3
    Dennab
    August 2012
    1,236 Posts
    Hm, last thread wasn't even that long.

  4. Post #4
    Ah yes "opinions"
    Jackald's Avatar
    October 2005
    16,289 Posts
    I don't like this strange new world of Facepunch

  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    I don't like this strange new world of Facepunch
    I guess Garry chose the Chaos ending
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  6. Post #6
    Dennab
    August 2012
    1,236 Posts
    It feels more like strict Law to me.
    Also I'm prepared to be dissapointed by the lack of SMTxFE in tomorrow's nintendo Direct.

  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    Yummy Pie's Avatar
    January 2012
    2,079 Posts
    I'm pretty sure Strange Journey isn't a mainline game. I know it was going to be SMT 4 originally, but it's technically not part of the main series.

  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    I'm pretty sure Strange Journey isn't a mainline game. I know it was going to be SMT 4 originally, but it's technically not part of the main series.
    Atlus confirmed it's part of the mainline canon awhile ago.

  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    Yummy Pie's Avatar
    January 2012
    2,079 Posts
    Atlus confirmed it's part of the mainline canon awhile ago.
    Huh, didn't know that. Nevermind then.

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    Huh, didn't know that. Nevermind then.
    Yeah, it's basically just an unnumbered sequel.

  11. Post #11
    Ah yes "opinions"
    Jackald's Avatar
    October 2005
    16,289 Posts
    Atlus confirmed it's part of the mainline canon awhile ago.
    There's a mainline canon?!


  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    There's a mainline canon?!
    Well you know what I mean, they consider it a mainline game.

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    TheWhiteFox1's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,241 Posts
    p. sure only reason SJ wasn't originally a numbered mainline title is cause it doesn't take place in tokyo or at least that's what I've heard?
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Yummy Pie's Avatar
    January 2012
    2,079 Posts
    There's a mainline canon?!
    Yeah if you played something other than Persona you'd know.

    Edited:
    By the way, you should add the Digital Devil Saga games in the OP too. They're pretty good.
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  15. Post #15
    Ah yes "opinions"
    Jackald's Avatar
    October 2005
    16,289 Posts
    Yeah if you played something other than Persona you'd know.
    .
    I'll have you know i'm playing Shin Megami Tensei 4 AKA "The Dark Souls of Persona" right now to boost my gaming credibility. On easy, of course, I don't want the archaic combat system to bog me down when I should be social linking with my besties Walter and Jonothan!!

    (I hope the ending is happy)
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  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    By the way, you should add the Digital Devil Saga games in the OP too. They're pretty good.
    I just copied Megafan's OP from the last thread, but I'll add something about it quick.

  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    TheWhiteFox1's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,241 Posts
    GUYS I'M STARTING TO PUT MY FOOT IN THE DOOR WITH THE SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI SERIS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO BECOMING A HARDCORE GAMER HERE'S THE ONE I PICKED OUT

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  18. Post #18
    Ah yes "opinions"
    Jackald's Avatar
    October 2005
    16,289 Posts
    GUYS I'M STARTING TO PUT MY FOOT IN THE DOOR WITH THE SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI SERIS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO BECOMING A HARDCORE GAMER HERE'S THE ONE I PICKED OUT

    Not "Dark Souls"y enough, here try this on for size kid
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    -snip-

  20. Post #20
    Apollo's Avatar
    March 2012
    1,574 Posts
    One day I hope we can get a truly mature Persona game. I know my Junpei's been my avatar since as long as I've been a member of this forum, but I actually sort of dislike the series overall except for 2, which I wish got more love. It's by no means perfect, but it is a lot more in line with how I would like to see the series be. Get ready for a fucking essay because this has been on my mind for a while and seeing there's a new thread I might as well post.

    Persona 3 started off with this strong, gloomy atmosphere that hinted at an incredibly dark storyline, considering how the first image of the dang game is a girl about to shoot herself in the fucking head and then wimping out, which sets the tone right away, combined with these images of this nightmarish world of floating coffins everywhere. I was all ready for a wild ride. However, it wound up not even being true to the atmosphere it cultivates for itself. I was expecting something dark as shit and mature, not cheesy R&B music playing nonstop over a shallow dating sim Japanese high school simulator. The Apathy Syndrome stuff never really felt like a threat due to it never really affecting you or anyone you care about, and they completely glossed over the psychological effects of shooting yourself in the fucking head with an Evoker. I think Junpei mentioned it like once, and that was it. That's without mentioning Mary Sue Aigis coming in halfway through and dominating the entire plot with her cliche "What Does It Mean To Be Human" gimmick, making the entire game about her to the point that you're forced to be with her in the end even if you already have a different love interest. I also dislike the introduction of Social Links to the series because most of them are not very well written or interesting and I think if you're going to make them such a huge mechanic you could at least make them better than uninteresting anime stereotypes or outright bad ones like the Moon social link where you hang out with the fat guy at the mall. There were a couple okay ones, like the old monk, Tanaka, and the dying guy, but not as many as I would have liked for something that is such a huge focus.

    Despite that, though, I still think Persona 3 isn't an awful game, I'm just incredibly disappointed with what I expected vs what I got, and I blame the game's own inconsistency with its tone. Ineffective villains    Ken has a higher kill count than Strega   , cliche-ridden characters and story elements even though it showed lots of originality initially, poor pacing (all of those days and weeks where there is nothing to do besides go to bed because all of the social links are done and your party members don't feel like going to Tartarus), and Aigis outright hijacking the plot leave a sour taste in my mouth, but I still liked the core cast members well enough besides Aigis and Ken and the gameplay wasn't bad to just zone out and grind on while I was watching TV.

    I really don't get why Persona 4 is the one that is so popular though, to the extent that it's been whored out like it has with a stage show, an anime of the game, an anime of the anime of the game, a fighting game, another fighting game, and a dancing game, although I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting. I played the Golden, which pretty much doubled my biggest problem with the third game, which was Aigis, considering you have Marie, who is an out-and-out Aigis down to being the Aeon arcana and mandatory if you want the "true" ending, and then you have Ms. Mary Sue Naoto who is more of an Aigis in spirit, in that she shows up halfway through the game, is the coolest, prettiest, most popular badass in canon, with the biggest tits, making all the policemen jealous because of how smart she is (and at such a young age!). She has nearly all of the dialogue during the important scenes regardless of how much sense it makes. For example, there was that time I was negotiating with the killer, and I chose the dialogue options that I knew I should pick, and then the game stonewalled me into choosing the one I knew I SHOULDN'T pick. Having no choice, I picked it, only for Naoto to say literally everything I just said, yet somehow it works when she says it, because of course it does.

    The other core party members are less interesting than 3's, and especially 2's, and the story itself is too formulaic. The concept is novel, but I mean how it's told is incredibly formulaic: "YOU'RE NOT ME!" ----> boss fight ----> "You're me...and I'm you!", ad infinitum. I'd argue that the social links are actually worse than 3's, too, with the ONLY standout for me being Adachi's because he's a genuinely well-written and interesting character who I feel is outright wasted on a game that is otherwise an exceedingly mediocre and cliche-ridden animeland adventure where the power of friendship and magical high schoolers conquers all. I can understand liking all of that if you're into wish-fulfillment and want to pretend you're an anime high schooler dating every girl, but I don't understand how it has become this critically-acclaimed merchandising tour de force when it's the second-weakest game in its own series IMO.

    4 does has some redeeming qualities, like the streamlined gameplay and better pacing, so I don't outright hate it, but it was even more of a disappointment for me than 3 was.

    My ideal Persona game would be going back to the Persona 2-style, with no more social links or sim elements with more of a concentration on the core cast and story but with the smoother gameplay introduced in 4, though preferably not as braindead. Also, please make it about adults instead of high schoolers, because the average adult has waaay more skeletons in the closet and emotional baggage than the average high schooler if you really want to tell a mature, cerebral story, instead of just a 70+ hour fairly generic anime that uses psychological terms to seem deep and complex in between scenes of 8 to 16 year old girls posing in bikinis and rubbing on each other in hot springs. There's not a chance of that, though, because they've stumbled upon a cash cow. It really does bum me out because I don't think there's any other series that has the potential to give me what I'm looking for.
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  21. Post #21
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    - long thing -
    After getting more into mainline SMT I started to kind of think of this kinda thing more and while I don't quite share the same sentiments, I understand where you're coming from.

    The reason Persona 4 is so popular is because not only did it have more streamlined gameplay from 3, but it had probably the most accessible story in the SMT series. It's not overly complicated, it's mostly cheery, and the main characters are pretty memorable. It makes it easy to get into for pretty much anyone that's really not used to JRPG's, especially ones that can be as dark and as complicated as SMT.

    I think with 3 and 4 they decided that they wanna keep it more down to earth and, i suppose more anime like. This appeals to more people in general, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since it'll lead the right people into a series of games they wouldn't consider trying otherwise. I don't think 5 will be quite as cheery as 4 was just going by how it's being presented, but yeah I don't think it's ever gonna return to what it was before Persona 3. I think mainline SMT is the closest you'll find to what you're looking for.
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  22. Post #22
    Apollo's Avatar
    March 2012
    1,574 Posts
    After getting more into mainline SMT I started to kind of think of this kinda thing more and while I don't quite share the same sentiments, I understand where you're coming from.

    The reason Persona 4 is so popular is because not only did it have more streamlined gameplay from 3, but it had probably the most accessible story in the SMT series. It's not overly complicated, it's mostly cheery, and the main characters are pretty memorable. It makes it easy to get into for pretty much anyone that's really not used to JRPG's, especially ones that can be as dark and as complicated as SMT.

    I think with 3 and 4 they decided that they wanna keep it more down to earth and, i suppose more anime like. This appeals to more people in general, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since it'll lead the right people into a series of games they wouldn't consider trying otherwise. I don't think 5 will be quite as cheery as 4 was just going by how it's being presented, but yeah I don't think it's ever gonna return to what it was before Persona 3. I think mainline SMT is the closest you'll find to what you're looking for.
    Yeah, but I thought SMTIV was really bad. Flat, boring characters with a story that dropped every interesting thread it had and wound up being a mess that I don't think I can even recount to you if I tried. The gameplay was at least fine and I beat it because I felt obligated to but I really did not enjoy it. Nocturne was cool though. If there's a fifth one I hope it can be more in line with Nocturne. I guess we'll find out a decade from now when it comes out.

    Also, I am hoping that there is literally any information at all on SMTxFE on tomorrow's Nintendo Direct because this radio silence has been killing me. It is half of why I bought a Wii U.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    Yeah, but I thought SMTIV was really bad. Flat, boring characters with a story that dropped every interesting thread it had and wound up being a mess that I don't think I can even recount to you if I tried. The gameplay was at least fine and I beat it because I felt obligated to but I really did not enjoy it. Nocturne was cool though. If there's a fifth one I hope it can be more in line with Nocturne. I guess we'll find out a decade from now when it comes out.

    Also, I am hoping that there is literally any information at all on SMTxFE on tomorrow's Nintendo Direct because this radio silence has been killing me. It is half of why I bought a Wii U.
    I liked IV a lot but I know a lot of people couldn't get into it that much. Nocturne and Strange Journey are usually the ones people rave about. I'm actually playing through Nocturne now cuz I'm tryin to play every SMT game I can

    IV is honestly kind of atypical of the previous ones.

  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    Yummy Pie's Avatar
    January 2012
    2,079 Posts
    I'm actually really close to the end of SMT 4 and I gotta say it's not that bad. Sure it has major flaws, but the gameplay is top notch and that has been enough for me to play it. I still hold Nocturne in high regards, but SMT 4 is still really good.

    A lot better than Persona 4 which I feel is the worst in the entire series. I know I'll get rated dumb for saying that, but it's what I think.
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  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    I'm actually really close to the end of SMT 4 and I gotta say it's not that bad. Sure it has major flaws, but the gameplay is top notch and that has been enough for me to play it. I still hold Nocturne in high regards, but SMT 4 is still really good.
    Yeah, the gameplay alone made IV fuckin amazing for me. I also really liked the story for the most part. It's not a flawless game of course, like the map sucks ass, but besides that I really enjoyed it and I'm enjoying Nocturne in just about the same capacity

  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    TheWhiteFox1's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,241 Posts
    all these posts about SMT IVs gameplay being really good.

    does it do anything different from Nocturne or is it just more of the same (not a bad thing in this case since Nocturne plays splendidly)?

    Edited:

    also HOY
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  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    Yummy Pie's Avatar
    January 2012
    2,079 Posts
    all these posts about SMT IVs gameplay being really good.

    does it do anything different from Nocturne or is it just more of the same (not a bad thing in this case since Nocturne plays splendidly)?
    Still uses the press turn combat, but does some things differently. The biggest difference (at least for me) is how you fuse demons. Instead of taking two demons and simply fusing them, you actually pick the skills you want the new demon to have.

    I literally went the entire game with one demon having nothing but buffs and debuffs while everyone else had healing and gun/phy attacks.

  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    TheWhiteFox1's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,241 Posts
    Still uses the press turn combat, but does some things differently. The biggest difference (at least for me) is how you fuse demons. Instead of taking two demons and simply fusing them, you actually pick the skills you want the new demon to have.

    I literally went the entire game with one demon having nothing but buffs and debuffs while everyone else had healing and gun/phy attacks.
    ohhh alright that's actually pretty cool.

    i've also heard something about a "smirk" system too but i'll find out about that once I finally have enough disposable income to afford a 3ds + games.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    all these posts about SMT IVs gameplay being really good.

    does it do anything different from Nocturne or is it just more of the same (not a bad thing in this case since Nocturne plays splendidly)?

    Edited:

    also HOY
    There's a few changes, the biggest being the Smirk system. Basically when you exploit weaknesses or get a crit, along with getting an extra turn, you also have a chance of "Smirking" which greatly increases your hit /evade rate, crit rate, and attack, so the next attack you do will do way more damage. Enemies, of course, can do the same. It adds a lot of spice to the combat.

    There's also no longer a cap on your stats or how much damage you can do, so you can end up doing like 1000s of points of damage later in the game.

    The fusion system also is probably the most powerful it's ever been, being able to search for demons that meet very strict specifications for what you need.

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    TheWhiteFox1's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,241 Posts
    There's a few changes, the biggest being the Smirk system. Basically when you exploit weaknesses or get a crit, along with getting an extra turn, you also have a chance of "Smirking" which greatly increases your hit /evade rate, crit rate, and attack, so the next attack you do will do way more damage. Enemies, of course, can do the same. It adds a lot of spice to the combat.

    There's also no longer a cap on your stats or how much damage you can do, so you can end up doing like 1000s of points of damage later in the game.

    The fusion system also is probably the most powerful it's ever been, being able to search for demons that meet very strict specifications for what you need.
    please guys stop you're making me hyped to play this game and I simply don't have the money for it right now.

    but this makes a lot more sense now



    Edited:

    also are you telling me that it's possible to punch harder than the demi-fiend because something about that just doesn't sit quite right with me

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    please guys stop you're making me hyped to play this game and I simply don't have the money for it right now.

    but this makes a lot more sense now


    also are you telling me that it's possible to punch harder than the demi-fiend because something about that just doesn't sit quite right with me
    Yeah thats one of the few problems the game has, although I think it's intentional.

    Your samurai buddies can fight in battle with you but sometimes they go full retard and will hit enemies you're fighting with shit they have affinities for so then they end up smirking and fucking up your shit. I think this is supposed to balance how your samurai buddies can basically be damage sponges for you cuz they can die with no consequence

    I gotta say though, besides that and the map, the game is pretty darn good. I thought the story was pretty good on its own, and even with its shortcomings the combat and demon fusion is phenomenal. A lot of the sidequests are surprisingly fun too

    Also assuming you put all yuour stats in strength, yes you probably can

  32. Post #32
    Dennab
    August 2012
    1,236 Posts
    Hm, I really enjoyed SMTIV, I'm now thinking about getting a cheap ps2 with nocturne, then I can also finish some of my old ps2 games like DQVIII.

    Also, today while playing Persona Q I came across my spirit demon:

    He's such a nice dude because he's the only one who gives a shit.
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  33. Post #33
    <3
    For No Reason's Avatar
    October 2010
    11,921 Posts
    *Takes

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    PSI Guy's Avatar
    March 2009
    6,643 Posts
    Not "Dark Souls"y enough, here try this on for size kid
    I would unironically love these designs to make a cameo in a proper SMT RPG in some form. They're so cheesy.

  35. Post #35
    Super Hoborator
    SuperHoboMan's Avatar
    May 2007
    7,294 Posts
    Oh man, P4 Golden is on sale for Vita. $15 or $12 for PS+ memebers.

    I already beat it and sold it, but it's tempting to have a digital copy of such a good game. Is there a lot to do in NG+ or is it just the same thing but with higher level stuff?

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    Oh man, P4 Golden is on sale for Vita. $15 or $12 for PS+ memebers.

    I already beat it and sold it, but it's tempting to have a digital copy of such a good game. Is there a lot to do in NG+ or is it just the same thing but with higher level stuff?
    Theres some bonuses like being able to use dialogue options you couldn't use before, and I think you can only fight     Margaret     in NG+

    You can also only fuse Izanagi-No-Okami and Magatsu Izanagi in NG+ as well I think. You can also customize every detail about the difficulty level, like damage dealt vs. damage taken and that kinda thing.

    Besides that though, not a whole lot.

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    gbtygfvyg's Avatar
    November 2006
    14,586 Posts
    Theres some bonuses like being able to use dialogue options you couldn't use before, and I think you can only fight     Margaret     in NG+

    You can also only fuse Izanagi-No-Okami and Magatsu Izanagi in NG+ as well I think. You can also customize every detail about the difficulty level, like damage dealt vs. damage taken and that kinda thing.

    Besides that though, not a whole lot.
    You can fight Margaret on your first playthrough in P4G (although good luck with that considering the S. Links without having your stats all maxed out). You had to be on NG+ for Margaret in vanilla though.

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    TheCombine's Avatar
    February 2007
    3,024 Posts
    Still uses the press turn combat, but does some things differently. The biggest difference (at least for me) is how you fuse demons. Instead of taking two demons and simply fusing them, you actually pick the skills you want the new demon to have.

    I literally went the entire game with one demon having nothing but buffs and debuffs while everyone else had healing and gun/phy attacks.
    My main character had a -dyne of every elemental skill + repel magic and phys

    It was really damn broken.

  39. Post #39
    Super Hoborator
    SuperHoboMan's Avatar
    May 2007
    7,294 Posts
    Theres some bonuses like being able to use dialogue options you couldn't use before, and I think you can only fight     Margaret     in NG+

    You can also only fuse Izanagi-No-Okami and Magatsu Izanagi in NG+ as well I think. You can also customize every detail about the difficulty level, like damage dealt vs. damage taken and that kinda thing.

    Besides that though, not a whole lot.
    I guess it's a good thing I lost my P4G save then. I beat it once, that's probably enough, and I'm not going to go through the whole thing again because no matter how much I loved the game it went on for a LONG time

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    HWECQI's Avatar
    May 2009
    5,674 Posts
    You can fight Margaret on your first playthrough in P4G (although good luck with that considering the S. Links without having your stats all maxed out). You had to be on NG+ for Margaret in vanilla though.
    Oh, I didn't realize they changed that for Golden, I thought it was the same with her. You're right about it being super difficult though that way.