Digital Devil Saga

General information

Title in Japanese: デジタル・デビル・サーガ アバタール・チューナー (dejitaru debiru saaga abataaru chuunaa)

Japanese Releases:

  • PlayStation 2 on 15 July 2004.
  • PlayStation 2 on 23 March 2006 as a ‘PlayStation 2 the Best’ edition.

Western releases:

  • PlayStation 2 on 5 April 2005 in North America, published by Atlus.
  • PlayStation 2 on 21 July 2006 in Europe, published by Ghostlight.

Manual (NA edition)

Story

In the Junkyard, rival Tribes fight an endless war- vying for supremacy and the right to ascend to Nirvana. Everything begins to change when a blinding light interrupts a skirmish between two Tribes. Serph, leader of the Embryon, awakens after the flash to find that his opponents have been violently slain. In a crater left behind lies a young girl with black hair.

The people of the Junkyard soon discover the effects of the mysterious light; Tribe members transform into demons, and feed an insatiable hunger by devouring their enemies. Along with this new “Atma” comes another strange power: emotions.

Soon after, the Karma Temple issues a new law: “Devour the other Trines and bring the black-haired girl to Nirvana.” Hostility only grows, as the Tribes renew their efforts with increased hatred and zeal.

The Embryon struggle to defeat the opposition and protect Sera, the young girl, who may just hold the key to everything… (p. 4)

World

There are many warring Tribes in the Junkyard. As the leader of the Embryon, you must understand the various intricacies of the world.

THE WAR BETWEEN THE 6 TRIBES INTENSIFIES
The junkyard is a world where rusted buildings protrude from the tortured earth like gravestones. The Karma Temple stands in the center region, Sahasrara. The surrounding area is divided into six sectors: Ajna, Vishuddha, Anahata, Manipura, Svadhisthana, and Muladhara. Beyond these is an endless wasteland dotted by ruins- decayed buildings from the past.

Tribes and Sectors
[in-game map of colored locations of Tribes and sectors] (p. 6)

Embryon
Area: Muladhara
Leader: Serph
Color: Orange
The player controls this Tribe, centered in Muladhara. Key members include Serph, Gale, Heat, Argilla, and Cielo. Though small in number, the Embryon have established their turf, and are recognized by the other Tribes.

Vanguards
Area: Svadhisthana
Leader: Harley
Color: Green
This Tribe is in direct competition with the Embryon. In fact, Harley and the Vanguards were locked in battle with Serph’s Tribe when shafts of light erupted from an unidentified object on the battlefield.

Brutes
Area: Ajna
Leader: Varin Omega
Color: Blue
Currently the strongest Tribe. The Brutes violently protect the Ajna sector. Their leader, Varin Omega, seems to know Serph and Sera. Though the source of his knowledge is unknown, the Embryon may find out soon enough.

Solids
Area: Anahata
Leader: Mick the Slug
Color: Yellow
The burly Mick leads this Tribe, which is the third strongest. Anahata, surrounded by a fortress wall, is often referred to as the Solids’ Citadel. The wall is impregnable, and is the reason for the Tribe’s longevity.

Maribel
Area: Manipura
Leader: Jinana
Color: Red
The Maribel are lead [sic] by a strong female warrior named Jinana. Despite constantly being under attack, they have managed to hold Manipura against the Solids. Bat, the Tribe’s second in command, is known for his skill with knives.

Wolves
Area: Vishuddha
Leader: Lupa
Color: White
Lupa of the Wolves is a strong and proud warrior. The Tribe is currently locked in a heated battle with the Brutes for dominance. Serph and the Embryon may be able to use this to their advantage. (p. 7)

Characters

The members of the Embryon and their Atma are listed below.

Sera
The black-haired girl who appeared mysteriously after light swept the Junkyard. She seems to have amnesia, and was not wearing a tag ring when the Embryon found her (Tag Rings are required for identification, and every Tribe member wears one). Her singing can prevent others from changing into demons, and her forgotten memoires become increasingly important to Serph and the Embryon… There seems to be a connection between her, the Karma Temple and Nirvana. (p. 8)

Serph
The player’s character and leader of the Embryon. His decisive leadership has allowed the Embryon to be recognized as one of the six strongest Tribes, despite their smaller numbers.

Varna
A heavenly god who is said to have created the Three Worlds, he unities the laws of the universe with the laws of heaven. Depending on the myth, Varna is assigned different affinities such as water, wind, the seasons, medicine, and death. He often appears as a man, but can take the form of a woman or be androgynous. Serph’s incarnation of Varna is a strong creature that is aligned with the water element. (p. 9)

Heat
Once a loyal and unquestioning member of the Embryon, Heat begins to disagree with Serph once his Atma awakens. As his personality changes, he becomes increasingly prone to violent outbursts. He’s constantly frustrated by his inability to control his actions and deep-seated feelings- except when he’s alone with Sera.

Agni
Although Agni controlled the sun, thunder, and holy fire in the Three Worlds, he was widely known as the god of fire. He was recognized as the brother of Indra, and was also known for his ability to purify. It is said that Agni burns with anger, but also possesses the flam of intelligence. Heat’s incarnation of Agni is a hulking two-headed beast aligned with fire. (p. 10)

Argilla
The Embryon’s best sniper, Argilla is reluctant to devour others once her Atma awakens. Although she’s conflicted by sadness and uncertainty, she decides to fight in order to protect her comrades and survive to see a world free from war.

Prithivi
The goddess of earth in Aryan mythology. She and Dyaus are considered the mother and father of many other gods. Prithivi gave birth to Ushasu, Agni, and Indra. Argilla’s incarnation of Prithivi is a quick and lithe fighter aligned with the earth. (p. 11)

Gale
The Embryone’s tactical advisor. He has a talent for detailed calculations and circumstance analysis. Unlike the others, Gale does not feel emotion or yearn for a forgotten past; he obediently follows the law and masterminds the Embryon’s ultimate victory.

Vayu
The god of wind, who gallops through the heavens in a golden carriage, bringing about blessing and destruction. Vayu is also called Vata, Anila, or Gandharva and is considered the father of Hanuman. Gale’s incarnation of Vayu is aligned with force (wind). (p. 12)

Cielo
A member of the Embryon who changes drastically when his Atma awakens. Cielo becomes a very happy, easy going person with a friendly personality. He tries to keep the mood light to calm down the more srious party members, like Heat and Argilla. He’s misunderstood by the others, but he lets it roll off his back and remains upbeat.

Dyaus
The oldest of the Aryan gods, known as the god of heaven and the father of many gods. Kyaus is also known as Tyr in Norse Mythology, and is associated with the sun. Cielo’s incarnation of Dyaus has the power of flight and is aligned with electricity. (p. 13)

KEY TERMS

RAIN OF THE DEAD
Silver rain endlessly pelts the Junkyard. It’s rumored that those who die rise to the clouds where they become rain, and fall back to the earth.

TRIBES
The groups fighting for supremacy in the Junkyard. The land is currently divided amongst 6 Tribes: Embryon, Vanguards, Maribel, Solids, Wolves, and Brutes. Each Tribe is associated with a particular color. See pg. 7 for more detailed Tribe descriptions.

LAWS
Regulations ordained by the Karma Temple which must be obeyed without question. The core laws are: “When a Tribe’s leader is defeated, the Tribe must pledge allegiance to the leader of the conquering Tribe” and “All must seek Nirvana”.

NIRVANA
The promised land, where the Tribe that conquers the Junkyard shall be rewarded. All strive for Nirvana as required by law, though none know the true nature of the place.

TAG RING
A means of personal identification worn by all citizens of the Junkyard. It records everything about an individual, from his or her personal ID number to the results of battles. The ring is necessary for most activities, including accessing the Vendor, using Karma Terminals, or contacting the Dissemination Machine.

MACCA
Points credited to an individual’s Tag Ring after battle. The more efficiently one fights, the more Macca received. These points may be redeemed for goods and services at the Vendor or Karma Terminals.

KARMA TEMPLE
The Karma Temple issues laws and controls life in the Junkyard. It does no participate in the Tribe wars, but presides over them, judging the actions of each Tribe. After the Junkyard is filled with Atma, the Temple begins to offer Mantras.

ATMA
The ability Serph’s party gained which allows them to transform into demons. The Temple declares this demonic power the true nature of an individual’s Karma. Those who have gained Atma must devour their foes in order to survive. If one resists this urge for too long, he or she will permanently become a demon and suffer an insatiable hunger for blood. Those affected by Atma can be identified by the strange markings on their bodies.

SOLAR NOISE
A phenomenon of the sun that affects demons in various ways. The Temple explains it as an “informational disturbance”, but not much else is known about it. It affects the Junkyard to varying degrees depending on fluctuations that appear to follow a cyclical pattern. (p. 40)


Related materials

Quantum Devil Saga
Series of five novels, written by Godai Yu. An English translation of the first volume has been announced by Bento Books, scheduled for release in Summer 2014.

  • Yu, Godai. Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 1. Hayakawa Bunko, 18 February 2011. ISBN: 978-4-15-031022-6.
  • Yu, Godai. Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2. Hayakawa Bunko, 21 April 2011. ISBN:  978-4-15-031029-5.
  • Yu, Godai. Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 3. Hayakawa Bunko,  23 June 2011. ISBN: 978-4-15-031038-7.
  • Yu, Godai. Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 4. Hayakawa Bunko,  25 August 2011. ISBN: 978-4-15-031044-8.
  • Yu, Godai. Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 5. Hayakawa Bunko,  21 October 2011: 978-4-15-031048-6.

Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner A’s Test Server

Role-playing game for mobile phones, developed by Interactive Brains and published by Atlus and Bee BMF. Released on 7 December 2006 as i app (FOMA 903i series), on 18 April 2007 as S! app (3G) and on 13 September 2007 as EZ app. The full version was released on 26 February 2007 as aforementioned i app.