Shin Megami Tensei 4: How To Beat The Harpy Horde

The Other Choice

As noted to the left, fighting the Harpy Horde is only one of the options you have upon reaching the Government District building. If you're of a more Lawful bent, you might want to attack Kuebiko and assist the Ashura-Kai agent. As you may imagine, you will have to fight Kuebiko to the death in that case.

To go read that hub, click on any part of this sentence!

Introduction

This hub is going to talk about how to beat the Harpy Horde in Shin Megami Tensei 4. The Harpy Horde is one of two possible boss fights in the Government District of Shinjuku and represents the Chaotic choice. In defeating the Harpy Horde, you are antagonizing the Ashura-Kai, the so-called law-keepers of Tokyo. I consider the Harpy Horde the harder of the two Government District boss fights in spite of the fact that they only have two skills.

Source

Stat Overview

Here's a helpful table listing the Harpy Horde's relevant stats, such as total hit points (HP), weaknesses and strengths, and attack list.

Level
Race
Elemental Affinities
Ailment Affinities
HP
MP
Other Stats (Except Magic)
Magic
Attack List (not including basic attack)
26
Horde
Weak to Gun/Electricity, Resists Physical/Fire/Ice/Force, Nulls Light/Dark
Resists Poison/Panic/Sleep/Bind/Sick, Nulls Lost
1878
841
39
49
Sukukaja, Mazanma
Source: This information is taken from the strategy guide that was in the limited box edition of Shin Megami Tensei IV. Any possible inaccuracies are due to printing errors.

Let's Talk Strategy - Tips and Tricks

Okay, here's the most important tip I can give you for this fight: Get Force Resistance (or better yet, Null/Drain) on all possible party members. Period. Just go and do it. See, that Harpy Horde has Mazanma. While you can trivialize the fight by having at least one demon that Nulls/Drains Force, it's also just as easy to get wiped out if they use Mazanma twice (they have 2 Press Turns) in a row. Even worse, you don't want them using Mazanma four times in one turn if they manage to hit a demon weak against Force. To be quite honest, I didn't get Force resistant body armor on my protagonist because I couldn't be bothered to go all the way back to town. With that said, I had a Senri in my party (and Senri has Drain Force) so I was costing them their second Press Turn every time they started their turn by casting Mazanma instead of Sukukaja.

Speaking of which:

  • The Harpy Horde has no way of removing stat debuffs from themselves (with the exception of Sukunda debuffs, which they can counter with Sukukaja). I personally had my Strix use and abuse Tarunda on each of her turns to lower their damage output. It's also a good idea to have a demon cast Sukunda on them to try to force a Sukukaja casting, which means they only get one chance to cast Mazanma.
  • Spirit Drain/Energy Drain is your best friend. This is the point where boss battles start to drag a bit more and you're forced to travel for a longer period of time to reach the boss, which means that your resources will be diminished or even depleted by the time the battle begins. You could always use items, but those are consumable and rather limited unless you don't mind being out of Macca all the time.
  • Sukukaja! It's always a good idea, and even more-so in this particular fight where the Harpy Horde can stack Sukukaja and become more accurate/evasive. You have to at least match them (Sukunda makes this a LOT easier).
  • Having Recarm on at least one party member can serve as insurance if the Harpy Horde decides to get rowdy and focus down one of your party members with physical attacks.
  • Ah, did I mention that the Harpy Horde's physical usually hits three times on the same target? Yep, you'll definitely want to keep their accuracy down.
  • Don't be afraid to use attack stones if you need the extra Press Turns. I used a few Mazio Stones myself in some trickier turns since my protagonist doesn't have an Electricity-based skill.

Behold! My Demons!

Name
Level
Skill List
Protagonist
28
Media, Sukukaja, Energy Drain, Agilao, Dia, Rakukaja, Zanma, Recarm
Strix
24
Spirit Drain, Bufula, Resist Gun, Agilao, Media, Tarunda
Senri
27
Recarm, Zanma, Spirit Drain, Mazanma, Sukukaja, Rakukaja, Media
Bai Suzhen
25
Zionga, Resist Elec, Sukunda, Zanma, Media, Me Patra, Tarukaja
The skill list for my protagonist and the three demons that make up my main party.

My Protagonist's Equipment Layout

Sword
Gun
Ammo
Upper Body
Body Armor
Lower Body
Accessory
Hawthorn Spear
Bruce Gun
Aquans Rounds
Silver Mars
Ahazuya Red
White Samurai
Silver Necklace
The equipment my protagonist had equipped when I fought against the Harpy Horde.

General Battle Flow

There's not really much to say about the Harpy Horde, truth be told. They have a grand total of 2 skills (and their regular attack which hits three times as already noted). They only really use Sukukaja at the start of the fight and every few turns unless you spam Sukunda, in which case they'll match you with Sukukaja. Otherwise, they'll probably be happily casting Mazanma or trying to snipe one of your damaged party members with their physical attack. Basically, you'll want to keep your party members healed up (you might consider dedicating one (or even two) party member(s) to healing duties. I feel this fight is harder because it is more of a slog. I managed to drain out the Harpy Horde's MP pool and they were still at about 1/3 of their max HP.

In case you're wondering: Draining a demon's MP does squat to their actual ability to use skills, at least if they're bosses. This stinks, although I can understand why Atlus did that.

You're going to want to use Gun or Electric attacks (I only had Bai Suzhen for Zionga and my protagonist providing the occasional Mazio Stone as support damage) as those are the Harpy Horde's weaknesses. Really, I feel that this fight is harder than the Kuebiko battle, but that could just be observer bias and/or my team's skill-set (my team at this point was probably better suited to the Kuebiko fight).

Source

A Samurai's Companion

For this boss fight, Isabeau (with her Zionga) will probably be the best choice. However, given that they only null Light and Dark-based attacks, you won't be in any real trouble if you get Walter or Jonathan instead.

Recommended Demons

  • Narcissus, although you'll have to get to Level 28 by hook or crook to fuse him. He drains Force, which can make the Harpy Horde lose Press Turns when they cast Mazanma..
  • Itsumade. Nulls Force and even has a Gun-type skill handy (unless you remove it from him for any reason) to make this fight easier. If you don't want to fuse an Itsumade, you can probably find one around the vicinity of the Government District.
  • If it isn't weak to Force and/or Physical attacks, you can use it!

(Perceptive readers will note that these are the same recommendations as for the Kuebiko fight. After all, both boss fights involve the heavy use of Physical and Force attacks by the bosses).

Conversation Options

Understandably, the Harpy Horde doesn't speak during the fight (they're a boss fight by virtue of their numbers rather than being a special demon with loftier motivations than the norm, as you've probably had Harpies in your retinue by this time, as they're normally below Level 10).

Were you (your protagonist character) Under or Over Leveled for this Battle?

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Conclusion

Defeating the Harpy Horde is the Chaotic choice that you can take in the Government District Building. The Harpy Horde can be a nightmare if you have any demons that are weak to Force attacks. However, if you prepare properly, the Horde's lack of skill variety will bite them in the proverbial posterior.

Feel free to post your own strategies for beating the Harpy Horde in the comments section, as well as demons you prefer for the task and why. Or, just feel free to talk about the game as well (try to limit spoilers).

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)

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