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Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

by FrankZP

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Original Thread: A rounder world: Let's play Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne



What is this?
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a Playstation 2 game, the third installment of the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series, though it's the first one that was officially released in English. It's sitting pretty between Shin Megami Tensei II on the Super Famicom and Shin Megami Tensei IV on the 3DS, and it's of course also part of the greater Megami Tensei/Persona franchise. Fundamentally it's a JRPG, but it's got an original post-apocalyptic setting and monster-recruiting mechanics reminiscent of Pokémon, if Pokémon was themed around various gods, spirits, monsters, and other creatures of myth and religion from around the world, and featured people getting eaten by demons and global near-extinction events.

But what are you doing with it?
Several years ago I did LPs for SMT1 and SMT2 on the Brontoforums, and they were well received at the time, so when I finally managed to obtain the hardware to do Nocturne justice, getting back in the saddle for a third time seemed like a no-brainer.

Anyway, I got started on the Brontoforums again, which have been my home for a long-ass time. However, there's a lot fewer people around there these days than during my original efforts, and a couple of the guys following my thread started suggesting I try my luck here. Hence, here I am.

I've already started; we're ten updates in. However, we're barely out of the introductory areas, we've yet to reach any meaningful decision point and I haven't put anything to vote so far. There's still every opportunity for you lovely bunch of people to get involved in the direction the story will take. The plan is, I put the LP on hold for now, I catch you up with an update every day or so, and when you're up to speed it's simultaneous updates all the way to the end. You are definitely not second class citizens, and your votes will count just as much as anyone else's. In fact, keeping the respective populations in mind, you guys'll probably run the show. And that's perfectly fine.

Do I need to know about the previous games to enjoy this?
Absolutely not! Nocturne is a self-contained story. It's a little complicated to explain, but it's kind of a reboot that allows the previous games to remain canon. It'll make sense later, I promise.

That said, I do make plentiful reference to my previous LPs of the series. You can 100% enjoy what I'm doing if you don't check them out, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and recommend them anyway. I won't claim I'm the second coming of LP Jesus, but people seemed to like 'em!

You can find them in the following threads:
Let's Play Shin Megami Tensei!
Welcome to the post-post-apocalypse: let's play Shin Megami Tensei II

Fair warning though, the SMT2 one is incomplete. Health problems forced me to make difficult choices in my life at the time, and I stopped enjoying the game on its own merits, so it had to go. On the other hand, SMT1 is quite complete, and I don't foresee anything that would stop me from finishing Nocturne.

(You may also want to check out other Bronto LPs if you like. There's an archived forum with a bunch of 'em, and an active forum with a bunch more. And I assure you that's all the plugging I'm gonna do!)

I've played the game before! I probably know more about it than you do! What am I allowed to talk about?
Basically, please don't spoil anything. I'm absolutely not going into this blind but I'd still like any discussion to follow the natural game progression. That said, if I happen to say something outright wrong, I ain't some hothouse lily, and I look forward to any corrections.

Are you going to minmax this sucker?
Nah. In fact I'll probably make some pretty sub-optimal decisions and mess up a bunch. If you're familiar with the Timmy/Johnny/Spike player archetypes, I'm a cross between a Timmy and a Johnny. I'm not gonna cripple myself on purpose but I'm putting the cool and the flavorful before the practical if the choice presents itself, and I avoid grinding if I can. Feel free to discuss what you'd do in my place if you think you know better, though!

So you're playing on Normal difficulty?
Yup. I know I can beat it on Hard, but this is gonna take up enough of my time without me having to put up with tripled store prices and instant death effects being even more of a pain than they have to be.

I hear there are multiple endings. How are you dealing with that?
I'll put major decisions to vote, we get the one ending we get, and that's it. Stuff matters.

Anything else I need to know?
Coupla things.

--I'm writing from the silent protagonist's point of view. Nothing I'll make him say is from the actual game. If what he says isn't preceded by his portrait, he's not speaking out loud.
--Lines in italics preceded by an asterisk are out-of-character narration or explanation or other such description. *: Like this. I'm used to putting this guy in blue text, but you folks don't do colored text for reasons I respect, so that's my way to deal.
--Lines preceded by closing brackets (">") are the game's own narration.
--This guy is the protagonist from SMT1.
--This guy is the protagonist from SMT2.
--I'll be putting up videos for some cutscenes and boss battles. I want to focus on showcasing the music and the visuals so I've been keeping quiet so far. However, that's entirely negotiable, should popular opinion demand it. I aim to please!
--Apart from this special SA-only OP, I'm doing this in cold open, skipping intro movies and start-up menus. They're kinda spoileriffic! You're not missing anything in the long-term, I'm gonna put in information-rich intermissions somewhere down the line. Don't worry, I got this.

Alright, that's it, let's get started. Thanks for joining me, and please enjoy the ride.

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