ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Games, Toys, and Hobbies»
  • Computer & Video Games»
  • Roleplaying Video Games

Shin Megami Tensei: a Game of Consequences

Updated on February 13, 2015
Spoilers: one of those two humans kills the other two. To get one ending, at least
Spoilers: one of those two humans kills the other two. To get one ending, at least

Gods and Alignments

In 1992 Japan released an interesting game named Shin Megami Tensei. In the game you play an ordinary human who receives the ability to summon gods and deities through your wrist. These gods, referred to as demons in Shin Megami Tensei, give you magical abilities that you utilize when you try to survive in a world that was slowly succumbing to a monstrous and chaotic alteration due to divine influences. What made Shin Megami Tensei uniques for a video game was that rather than pick a side of good or evil, the character was forced to pick law, chaos, or neutral, all with their benefits and consequences. Becoming an ally of Law made you an ally to the forces of Heaven and order, but you are forced to smite and enforce that order on all beings, even if they gave reasonable arguments against your actions. Becoming an ally of Chaos made you an ally to the forces of Hell and anarchy, but you fight for absolute freedom from all forms of order. And when you decide to be Neutral you have to fight both of the forces of Law and Chaos, but for the sake of preventing the world from changing even more than it did when diving forces intervened.

You could ally with this guy
You could ally with this guy

Forcing Law and Order

One of the alignments that the player can choose in Shin Megami Tensei is referred to as Law. Consisting of of a cult called the Order of Messiah, members referred to as Messians, and deities of good or pious origins. During the events of Shin Megami Tensei a nuclear holocaust occurs due to a divine intervention and as a result the Order of Messiah becomes one of the major factions to appear. Their belief in the game was that humanity as a whole had to give-up their freedom and submit to their god, the Old Testament interpretation of God, and follow their way of thinking to be saved. Basically if you believe in what they believed wholeheartedly, then you would find sanctuary and salvation, but if you disagreed on any the smallest of levels, you deserved to be forsaken or struck-down. One of your allies before your world was decimated, identified as the Law Hero, agrees with the Order of Messiah and eventually the angels of this game literally give the Law Hero the title of Messiah and the powers that that title implies. Siding with this organization brings consequences to your character as well. You essentially help the forces of Heaven reduce humanity's independence into a groveling shell of its former self, murder anyone who opposed your side, and only make the world better for anyone who agreed with you. And as bad as the forces of Chaos are presented, the Order of Messiah was presented as bad in its own way.

You could ally with this guy
You could ally with this guy

Survival of the Fittest

During the decimation of your character's home due to a nuclear holocaust another organization arrives and tries to recruit your character and his friends. Called the Ring of Gaea, its members referred to as Gaeans, their belief was that now that the old order of the world was gone, humans had the right to make the world bend to their will, take what can be taken by their own power, and put down anyone who would dare defy them. Basically survival-of-the-fittest. Like the Order of Messiah, the Ring of Gaea had deities on their side, but their deities consisted of actual demons, deities who served as the enemies of more pious deities, and entities associated with destruction and anarchy. At face value siding with the forces of Chaos and the Gaeans in Shin Megami Tensei is more overt in its negativity. you had to side with beings various religions dictated very very bad allies, you had to deal with the fact that committing murder was your first choice, and at the end of the game all forms of order that your character experienced before the destruction of society that existed would never exist in the world you were responsible of helping shape.

It's the end of the world as you know it. Come prepared
It's the end of the world as you know it. Come prepared

Take a Third Option

One of the more appealing aspects in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise was the option to pick a side that was not completely good, nor completely bad. Deemed the Neutral side, it essentially consists of your character attempting to rebuild the world until it is as close to normal as it could be before the nuclear holocaust destroyed it. In the first game this included killing your former allies from the Law and Chaos forces. The Neutral side was the player's way of saying that humanity can get out of this problem on their own and humanity as a whole does not need the intervention from some god or demon. While this side does not fight for any divine forces in the the original Shin Megami Tensei game, sequels usually involve divine entities who share in the player's wish to let humanity keep its collective autonomy. And even if the world does not miraculously fix itself, humanity will simply rebuild everything with its own hands and will manage to govern itself.

Pick Your Poison

Shin Megami Tensei was a game where your choices always included consequences. Pick the side of Law and judge everybody who even slightly disagrees with you. Pick the side of Chaos and murder those who dare stop you from gaining anything. Pick the side of Neutrality and fight both sides, but at least the world will not turn into something uninhabitable for normal humans. Shin Megami Tensei was an interesting game to play when you factor the choices and consequences the game provided.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jake Peralta profile image
      Author

      Jake Michael Peralta 3 years ago from Indio, California

      You fight God, by the way.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Looks really enchanting. I should try it. The illustrations are great, by the way! :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)