Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux Guide -- Bonding With Demons
Probably one of the biggest features of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, outside of the choices your protagonist makes, are the demons. Actually, the demons might be a tad more important. They are, after all, the sidekicks you would die without. In the realm of Schwarzwelt, demons are the majority, and they hold most of the power, so it only makes sense to use some of that power for yourself.
In the beginning of the game, you are given a series of questions to help figure out your alignment. At the time, the questions might not seem to be important, but your alignment affects your interactions with demons. Keep that in mind.
Let’s talk about how to get demons to be our friends and, ultimately, our weapons of mass destruction.
My Best Friend Pixie
In the first sector, Antlia, after you are given brief knowledge on basic game functions from a fellow Strike member, head north through the door. You will immediately enter a battle. Don’t panic! This battle is where you get the opportunity to meet your first demon companion, the Fairy Pixie.
Image courtesy of Megami Tensei Wiki
The Fairy Pixie finds you interesting and takes it upon herself to explain how you can get other demons to join your party. She tells you a little about alignments, what things demons may ask for when you’re negotiating, and the uncertainty that lies in negotiating with unknown demons. Pay attention!
Once she gives you the rundown, she’ll ask to be your demon. Honestly, you’re not going to lose anything by accepting her offer, and you need the extra help. This will be one of the easiest demon exchanges within the game.
Demon Talk: Time of Conversation and Negotiation
As Fairy Pixie explained, when you enter a battle, you will notice the option to Talk pops up. Instead of choosing Combat, click on Talk. This opens the lines of communication between you and a potential party member. Once you’ve begun talking, you cannot back out, so be sure you’re chatting with a demon you really want.
If you’ve never spoken to that species of demon before, there will be a small note to let you know that you’ve never heard that demon talk. It’s nothing to worry about, so you don’t have to pay too much attention to it -- other than to realize you’ve never tried to negotiate with that demon species and will likely not know what questions will be asked.
Immediately, alignment will be mentioned as the conversation starts. If your alignments match with the demon, they will let you know. They’ll be interested in you and willing to chat. However, if your alignments don’t match, the demon will show hesitation and reluctance.
Why does it matter if your alignments match or don't match?
Well, if you’re talking to a demon with the same alignments, the conversation is more likely to go well, and you can successfully keep from offending a demon. However, if the alignments don’t match, you have a higher chance of offending the demon, which will result in the demon simply getting angry or suddenly attacking you.
There are a few demons that don’t care about alignments, but you still have to be careful of the choices you make. If you come across a demon that doesn’t speak and only grunts or growls, you have the option to make random noises or keep quiet -- and both options can lead to an attack, depending on the creature. Also, where some demons don’t mind you saying you’re not afraid of them, others might find you reckless and stupid.
Depending on the demon, some being more generous and forgiving than others, even if you offend the demon, they may decide to forgive you and keep the conversation going.
If you successfully manage to get past the questioning, you will find yourself faced with two choices. You can either try negotiating, or you can stay quiet. If you choose the latter, the demon will either randomly do a nice thing, such as heal you, give you an item, or give you Macca (the currency), or the demon may insist on negotiating.
If the demon is agreeable to negotiating, you get the options to ask the demon to join your party, ask the demon for an item, ask the demon for Macca, or say you want nothing. Now, if you choose an item or Macca, you have no control over what the demon gives or how much the demon gives.
Having a demon join your party is costly. It’s worth it, but it’s still costly. Sometimes, the demon may ask for your life (bye bye, HP), your energy (there goes the MP), an item (hope it’s not your last heal item), Macca (your poor funds), or an outrageous item they know you won’t have. Some demons are more considerate than others, so it doesn’t take them long to decide they’ve gotten enough from you, and they will join your party. Other demons might suck you dry if they can.
You are able to refuse the demons’ requests, but if you refuse them too many times, they’re going to get angry.
If you manage to successfully complete negotiations with the demon of choice, you have yourself a new party member!
But beware, if your level isn’t higher than the demon you’ve been negotiating with, the demon will switch up on you, tell you thanks but no thanks, and leave without returning all of the wonderful things you’ve given.
Now, occasionally, you might come across a demon that forces its way into your party. There’s no way to stop this demon from barging into your party. Just be glad you didn’t have to spend resources, and consider it a freebie.
Leveling Up and Fusing Demons
With 350 fusable demons, it’s important to level up. As the game progresses, the number of demons you can get will also increase, but you only fight with three at a time. Of course, you can switch them out during the battle. Even the demons who aren’t active in the fight still get experience, so the game wants you to level up those demons.
As you level up, sometimes the demons will give you an item. These items can include expendable items -- like medicine or chakra drops -- or forma, pieces of this and that which help you make expendable items, sub apps, or weapons. One of the most important things the demon may give you, however, is a demon source.
Demon sources are valuable when it comes to fusion. When you use fusion, you pick several demons to fuse together to make a stronger demon. You cannot make a demon that will surpass your own level. If successful, you'll have a stronger demon to help you win battles!
Now, the demon source takes skills from the parent demon and gives you the option to add those elements to your new demon.
For instance, if you use the Slime Source, you have the option to allow your new demon to use Poison Claw. So, sometimes, if you’re worried about losing specific attacks, check out the sources and see what skills come with them. Not all the skills you like will be able to transfer over, and there is no getting back a demon you’ve used for fusing. So, make sure you are using demons you’re willing to part with, skills and all!
The demons are such an essential part of the game. As you progress, more demons become available to choose from, you receive the choice of using special fusion, and you ideally become a step closer to having an unstoppable team!
Did this Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux guide help you better deal with demons? Drop a comment below to talk about some of the challenges you've faced, and check out our other Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux guides for even more helpful information.