Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

General information

Title in Japanese: 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY (shin megami tensei SUTORENJI JAANI)

Japanese releases:

  • Nintendo DS on 8 February 2013.

Western releases:

  • Nintendo DS on 23 March 2010 in North America, published by Atlus.

Back cover (NA edition)

A mysterious, growing void has appeared at the South Pole. Fearing it will eventually engulf Earth, you and your team of elite explorers are sent inside, where you discover a previously unknown world of demons…

  • Over 300 demons to battle with or recruit to your team
  • Upgrade and customize your Demonica battle suit
  • Soundtrack CD included [Only on carton sleeve]

Manual (NA edition)

Story

It is the beginning of the 21st century, and Earth’s population stands  7 billion strong, yet mankind faces extinction due to the sudden appearance of a spatial anomaly in Antarctica.

Dubbing this anomaly the Schwarzwelt, the United Nations discreetly establishes a counter-organization to deal with the problem without causing a global panic. But in the face of a phenomenon beyond human understanding, the porject is powerless to act.

With the Schwarzwelt slowly expanding and manking’s clock running, the U.N. approves drasstic measures to dispatch a manned investigative unit into the void. Nations put aside their differences to form the Schwarzwelt Investigational Team, consisting of top scientists and soliders gathered from countries around the globe and trained in the world’s most advanced technology.

The utmost precautions are developed, including next-generation landing vessels hardened with plasma shields to grand them access to the Schwarzwelt and the cutting-edge Demonica combat suits designed to withstand the harshest of conditions inside. So armed, the Schwarzwelt Investigational Team departs into a world where danger beyond their imagination awaits, to save mankind’s future from utter annihilation. (p. 6)

Schwarzwelt
An unknown void that appeared without warning near the South Pole. Originally, it was a mere meter in diameter, but its radius has since grown to several hundred kilometers with no indications of slowing. The plasma cloud on the Schwarzwelt’s outer edge destroys anything it comes in contact with.

Demonica Suit
High-tech combat gear equipped with a state-of -the-art computerized guidance system developed for next-generation warfare. The airtight suit is designed to withstand harsh environments and the onboard AI can automatically enhance the wearer’s abilities. (p. 7)

Characters

Protagonist
A USMC officer who underwent intense combat and command training between tours of duty. He was transferred to the Schwarzwelt Investigational 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.

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. (p. 8)

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 financial gain. He serves on Ship 2, the Blue Jet, as a member of the Strike Team.

Gore
The overall commander of the Schwarzwelt Investigative 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 operation on the other three ships. (p. 9)

Strange Journey Mini-Soundtrack

Came in a cardboard sleeve with first copies of the NA edition of the game.

There were manufacturing problems with the discs produced; they wouldn’t play in a CD player, though could be read/ripped through a CD drive in a computer. Atlus gave out replacements for a short time, and didn’t require any sort of proof of purchase of the game.

  1. THE ETERNAL THRONE
  2. BEGINNING OF THE END
  3. KINGDOM OF DECADENCE
  4. AWE
  5. FURIOUS WRATH
  6. LAND OF THE WAY
  7. CHAOS
  8. LAW
  9. LAND OF BIRTH
  10. SCEPTER OF JUSTICE

Credits (NA manual)

Japanese staff

Original concept
Kazuma Kaneko

Music
Shoji Meguro

Scenario
Shogo Isogai
Kazuyuki Yamai
Tatsuya Watanabe

Main Programming
Atsushi Motouchi
Lancarse Ltd.

Event Scene Planning
Kazuyuki Yamai
Hironori Satou
Yuusuke Ikenaga

2D Character Graphics
Teisaku Seki
Takashi Kato

Event Movie
Miho Obara
Shuji Fukasawa

Event BG
Hanako Uchibe
Taku Aoyagi
Yuki Terada

Programming
Shunsuke Ozeki
Lancardse Ltd.

Battle Unit Planning
Sawao Kato
Ken Koga

2D Character Supervision
Megumi Shiraishi

Battle 2D Character Animation
Teisaku Seiki
Takashi Kato

Battle Effects
Keiichi Ueda
Mayumi Iwata

Programming
Atsushi Motouchi
Lancarse Ltd.

Field Unit Planning
Mitsuru Hirata
Tatsuya Watanabe
Tsukasa Okayasu
Takumi Mitsui

EX Misson Planning
Tatsuya Watanabe

Field Modeling
Taku Aoyagi
Keigo Oshima

Artwork assistance
Masayuki Doi

Programming
Shinzi Kanesaka
Lancarse Ltd.

Subsystem Unit

Demon Talk Planning
Yuki Sakamoto

Demon Fusion Planning
Kenichi Takamori

Demon Fusion Programming
Kazuya Honda, Lancarse Ltd.

Demonica Menu Planning
Yuki Sakamoto (p. 44)

Interface Design
Takashi Kato
Miho Obara

Interface Programming
Kazuya Honda
Lancarse Ltd.
Shop Planning
Ken Koga

Shop NPC Planning
Yuki Sakamoto

Shop Programming
Yasuhiro Watanabe
Lancarse Ltd.

Sound Effects
Kenichi Tsuchiya

Graphic Supervision
Kazuma Kaneko
Megumi Shiraishi

Debug Management
Sawao Kato
Ken Koga
Yuki Sakamoto

Development Cooperation
Lancarse Ltd.
Mitsuhiro Hoshino

media vision entertainment
Ai Yoshida
Mariko Shiobara
Daiju Honma
Shingo Nozawa

Boom Co.,ltd

FONTWORKS JAPAN Inc.

Project Manager
Akiyasu Yamamoto
Htoshi Sadakata
Mika Matsuoka

Project Support
Atsushi Yagi
Nozomi Yamamoto
Yuki Shindo
Takeshi Hiruta

Package Artwork
Megumi Shiraishi
FIX INC.
Masao Nagashima

Special Thanks
Katsura Hashino
Shinjiro Takata
Atsushi Morita
Kazuhisa Wada
Hirokazu Tohyama
Shigeo Komori
Yoshihiro Komori
Azusa Kido
Akiko Kotoh
Satoshi Ooyama
Miyuki Harigai

Direction Support
Kazuyuki Yamai
Mitsuru Hirata

Development Division
Manager
Naoto Itagaki

General Manager
Kouzouo Itagaki

Executive Producer
Shigeru Igari

Director
Eiji Ishida

Producer
Kazuma Kaneko (p. 45)

US Localization
Atlus U.S.A., Inc.

Executive Producer
Shinichi Suzuki

General Manager
Mitsuhiro Tanaka

Director of Production
Bill Alexander

Project Lead
Yu Namba

Project Coordinator
Hiroyuki Tanaka

Translators
James Kuroki
Mai Namba
Madoka Ueno

Editor
Nich Maragos

QA Manager
Carl Chen

QA Lead
Richard Rodrigues

QA Testers
Joel Ellis
C.K. Hickey
Meriel J. Regodon
Gerald Rempis
Rob Stone
Sing Tang

VP Sales & Marketing
Tim Pivnicny

Sales & PR Manager
Aram Jabbari

Marketing Manager
Robyn Mukai

Creative Designers
Jeremy Cail
Michiko Shiikuma
Web Designer
Amanda Dalgleish

Assistant Media Producer
John Tubera

Sales Admin. Manager
Sally Ortiz

Sales Administration
Monica Lee

(C) 2009 ATLUS
SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI and SMT are registered trademarks of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. (p. 46)


In-game discourse (random)

Sector Delphinus, Voice of Asura #4 to Zelenin
“Zelenin… Do you know how those around you saw you? Lustful thoughts… Prejudicial thoughts… All had black desires smoldering deep within them. The crew of the Elve say you with lustful eyes… …Hmhmhm. Do not turn your eyes from reality…! Stare deep into the truth…”.

Sector Delphinus, Voice of Asura #5 to Zelenin
“Zelenin… Zelenin… Why do you give worthless humans the right to live? Why do you allow the beautiful spirits to be trampled on? Is it truly the demons who cause you suffering? Is it not really the humans…?” “You humans have potential…”.

Sector Delphinus, Asura prior to battle
“Why do you do nothing but try to escape this world? This pace you know as the Schwarzwelt is what you have brought upon yourselves…! Your spirits have lost their once-beautiful shape! You covet material goods and do injury to your planet. You are vile, vulgar spirits! Therefore, this Schwarzwelt as appeared to test you. That is why I entered you and gave you the opportunity to polish your spirits to a fine sheen. And still, you humans can think of nothing but escape. Why will you not polish your spirits!? Why do you not seek to become beautiful? “Order”? Nonsense! I have observed this world for thousands of years, since what you would call ancient times… The human spirit was once beautiful. The strong ruled the people, while the people respected the strong, cursing their own weakness. It was because of the chaos in that ancient world that the spirits of humans were made beautiful! But the foolish notion of “order” has caused the human spirit to wither and decay. “Order” is nothing but comfort for the weak! The weak deserve only the comfort of death! We must bring chaos back into the world and halt the decay of the human spirit! It was the advent of civilization when the Earth began to rot! That is why we were sent here! It was the Earth’s will that we bring back chaos! Bring back power! It is not wrong… it is beautiful! Do you still not understand? Will you stand by and watch the Earth decay? And with it, your spirit…?”

> That’s all a lie. (Law)
“…It seems a rotten spirit cannot be told that it is rotten. I am not one to make my argument with words.”

>It’s the demons’ fault. (Neutral)
“You have been told the lie many times that we are the source of all evil… Thus further estranging humanity from its true nature! […] Unfortunately, your spirits are not yet in a beautiful shape. I will use my power to reshape them thus!”

>We’re recovering already. (Chaos)
“Hm… it seems you ave lent an ear to some of my words. But I will brook no lie that you are already recovering! Or… Perhaps you think you have to spirit to defeat me…!? Then come! I shall show you a truly beautiful spirit! […] Humans… Do not think… this is… the end… It is too late… to stop the Earth… from being filled… with chaos! [laughter]”

Sector Delphinus, Zelenin
“Whereas I’m only still standing by the grace of the angels.”

Post-Sector Delphinus, Jimenez and Zelenin
“It’s a real kick, getting possessed. You should try it sometime. When all that shit was going down, it was my demon that kept me alive, not any human. After that… You might wanna think twice about putting too much trust in humans, Zelenin. Hell, maybe that was the real me back there. Maybe that’s what we’re all really like. Could be all us humans oughtta be snapping and snarling at each other…” , “Human beings don’t live to fight each other!”

Sector Eridanus, Ouroboros Maia, battle #1
“The ill omen I felt has come true. Humans have appeared this land… There is a price for disturbing my heart… You must pay it. There is no need for humans to make the pilgrimage to the holy shrine of I, Ouroboros Maia… Prisoners of matter cannot reach it. After all, the empty infinity cannot be undone. Humans, of limited life and limited power… Do you believe you can rule over demons? Can you overcome our endless power?” “Humans… A lamentable mistake birthed by the waters of life. I shall return you to the particles that flow through empty space. Break apart, you sinful clumps of matter!”

Sector Eridanus, Ouroboros Maia, post-battle #1
“I… am an unending… power… I cannot… disappear… The beginning… and end… are one… As long as you fail to understand that, human…”

Sector Eridanus, Gore
“You believe you have defeated Mother. That… is the limit of humans. How sad… Humans cannot grasp the concept of infinity. In the end… they are trapped souls… of finite matter. They have no means of resisting Ouroboros Maia. They may as well try to slice the air or pummel the seas. She will resurrect… Mother will… Ouroboros will… To punish you… To punish humanity.”

Sector Eridanus, Basilisk
“Thank you… My children… I have returned… to my form. Now, human… you have brought upon yourself the torment of infinity… I will resurrect as many times as it takes… and fight you… There is only one escape… To die and return to the empty particles from whence you came.”

Sector Eridanus, Basilisk
“I am the dragon. That power that gives birth to life. The great Ouroboros is she who gives me this energy! So long as we send Ouroboros our energy, she is invincible!”

Sector Eridanus, Mandrake
“I am the infant. The child. The shape of the beginning… Perhaps you’ve forgotten. To send energy to Ouroboros is my never-ending purpose in life. Are you trying to take my purpose from me? I won’t let you!”

Sector Eridanus, Kwancha
“I am the skull. The one who knows the end. The end itself. But I have become one with Ouroboros and now live eternally. Are you trying to sever the flow of energy? I will not allow it.”

Sector Eridanus, Dzelarhons
“I am the frog. The animal burned for eternity, creating infinite power. My purifying flame becomes Ouroboros’s energy! Those who interfere with Ouroboros… shall burn!”

Sector Eridanus, Ouroboros Maia, battle #2
“No… My children… The torus of eternity has been severed…! I cannot fall at the hands of humans!”

Sector Eridanus, Ouroboros Maia, post-battle #2
“Ahh…! The holy realm… of the gods… cannot be defiled… by humans… No… Humans cannot… pass here…”

Sector Eridanus, Gore, Ouroboros Maia post-battle #2
“Am I supposed to defeat the humans? Or… is the fate of the world beginning to change…? I don’t know… Even with the knowledge you gave me… I don’t know… What… What am I supposed to be looking for…?”

Three Wise Men after first attempt to exit Schwarzwelt 
Left: “To think they thought to get back to Earth. Absurd.”
Right:“In the end, humans have proved themselves to be little more than apes.”
Middle: “And apes riding in an iron vessel cannot control the provedence of the universe.”
Left : “Jimenez…!”
Right: “Zelenin…!”
Middle: “[Name protagonist]…!”
Right: “Why did your “Mother” not grant you wings at your birth?”
Left: “It was to prevent you from becoming arrogant, and believing that you rule the world from on high.”
Middle: “The wisdom of humans? The power of science? What did you hope to accomplish with these…?”
All: “You will learn your boundaries.”
Right: “…Well, well. It seems another fruitless struggle has begun.”
Left: “The “thunder” of humans… quite a number of them, at that!”
Middle: “They fail to grasp the depths of the universe’s provedence. Hmm.. and lo, they detonate their “thunder”… But behold: they will be swallowed.”
Middle: “None can stop the Earth’s anger. It is no longer given to humans to choose their own way. You and all your kind will live in the cursed lands…!”
All: “But no… hold…”
Middle: “Foolish descendants who no longer know the voices of the spirits, or the truth of the world… Ask the ghost cast in circuits you know as Arthur. The alma automata, who holds the key to destruction.”

Jack’s Base, interruption of experiments
Demons: “…Humans… Cursed humans…! …You want my power that much? You want it so much you don’t mind cutting me up…? This pain… This humiliation! I should have killed you on the spot when I met you! Give them back… Give them back… My hands… My feet… Give them back to me… ….I’m angry, but I see now… Why God cursed the humans… They’re unsalvageable! Their wretched souls are stuck deep inside their bodies!”
Jack’s Squad member: “That’s right! Curse me all you want. The strong demons will become new weapons, the others spare parts. Now THIS is science! The fusion of technology and demons!”
Demons: “…Humans… Cursed humans…! Kill each other! Kill each other! Kill each other without end… Until you die, we shall be at your heels…

Jack’s Base, Jack’s Squad member to Bugaboo
“It seems that demons is at the end of its life already. C’mon, you’re a demon! You were only hit with the magnetic field five or six times. Get angry! Get worked up! Geez…”

Sector Fornax, Louisa Ferre
“I find human conflict to be most interesting. It makes no concessions to time or place. You place your fragile life and your desperate mission on the scales… It impresses me to watch you fight as your heart wavers between the two ends of that scale. It’s a show very much worth directing. And now… it seems your strange friend is close to meeting his fate. You should be there to see it transpire. As his friend.” “It is at moments of adversity that new, true power is born. It is most likely for that purpose that humans exist.”

Sector Fornax, Tiamat battle
“Destruction… to the arrogant humans who disturb their mother’s house… Destruction… to the cursed humans who defeated my demons…”
“Mother! Goddess Tiamat! Judge these humans…! And then… give us shape once more…!”
“Ahh… Patience… Your wish will soon be granted.”
“Tiamat! Goddess! Death to the humans…!”
“we demons have slept as seeds in this land unkown to humans… Over time, we lay dormant. But demons are intimately tied to human emotion… The dark thoughts of humanity flowed to this land, giving us shape… giving us power… We are the seeds who slept below the soil of this land. But we were not meant to sleep eternally… Humanity’s sins, its errors, swelled, and as the dark motions grew… so did our power… Now, our buds begin to open…!”
“Death to the humans! May demons reign!”
“Faster than the humans can fill the land… Faster than the humans can destroy the planet… I shall give birth to demons to keep them in check… So long as this land is abundant with seeds, I will birth an endless orchard of demons!”

Sector Fornax, Tiamat post-battle
“Tiamat has fallen… A Mother has disappeared… Now… The flow of air shal shift… as will my destination… Ah, who am I…? And what awaits me….?” (Gore, post-Tiamat battle)

Sector Grus, Mastema to Zelenin
Mastema: “You see, daughter of man, humans are creatures I cannot understand. Why do you rely so on “trust”? You believe there is a virtue in trust, that it has the power to produce good results… Why are you not more hesitant to rely on such an uncertain thing? Trust comes from the freedom of the heart… And the human heart is susceptible to errors. In time of hardship, human trust is easily broken, leading to betrayal. (…) Humans have proven able to cope with distrust throughout their history. Do not allow my words to cause you despair. They are but signposts for the path you must take. Of course… It would be best if you had a way of guiding the people’s hearts that did not involve illusions or lies. […] I see… The desire to make all others [demons] your own… It is one result for humans who know not their place. Drunk on freedom, the good in their hearts withers away, leaving only an evil husk… Zelenin. You wish to show mercy to these foolish creatures, yes? …Very well. It is possible to have them see the error of their ways and turn to the Lord (…) with the voice of an angel. A hymn must be sung. The songs of the angels have guided the sons of man since ancient times. The guidance of the messengers surpasses any worldly temptations. Sadly, my voice has no more power to affect the hearts of man. The times have changed, and the hearts of man have changed with it… My hymn no longer carries any weight to them. The same is true for the angels here. Man’s heart is hardened against their guidance, too. But be not afraid. Though the power of my song is lost, I have other powers. Including the power to turn men into angels. To bestow power upon humans by transfiguring them and welcoming them into the heavenly host… That is given unto me, Mastema, the leader of His armies. Under this power’s protection… You may become angels yourself, sons of man. It is not unkown in your history for humans with modest hearts to ascend to angelhood. In many cases, humans have given greater power than the other angels. The song of humans pleases Him and has the power to repel evil. If you become an angel, you will certainly have the power of song… No, power beyond that. To ascend to angelhood is the ultimate bliss man can achieve. Inextinguishable sadness, never-ending doubts… All of man’s suffering can thus cease. Not everyone can withstand the transfiguration, mind. If the heretical, the blasphemous, the impious attempt to undergo the process… My power will be as a cleansing fire of judgement and burn the evil one where he stands. Then, too, he who becomes an angel will walk a different road than that of mankind. If, for instance, your crew should be able to return to Earth, you yourself…  Please consider it seriously before you make your decision.”
Zelenin: “I shall become a corrective light for these corrupted lands, as well as for mankind.”

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