Tag Archives: Minotaur

Getting lost in a digital Tokyo brimming with demons

Shin Megami Tensei IV Tokyo lost

If the Minotaur boss didn’t put you off on Shin Megami Tensei: IV, then getting to Tokyo for the first time surely will. I have to imagine it’s a stopping point for many. To be honest, I put the game down a couple weeks ago after first arriving in the largest metropolitan area in the world, unsure of where to go and with little desire to look up specific step-by-step directions. That’s not how I play. Unfortunately, the game does a very poor job of indicating where you are to go next while at the same time giving you dozens of doors to open and places to enter and explore and demons to fight to keep you busy for long enough that you don’t even realize you’re technically going nowhere.

Some soft story spoilers in this paragraph, folks. When you first arrive in Tokyo, you are hot pursuit of the Black Samurai, who everyone believes did some bad things back in the Kiccigiorgi Forest countryside. I am with everyone, though I bet there’s going to be a twist as to who the Black Samurai actually is. Previously, all overworld exploration was done via menu selection, such as Castle Entrance or Lake. You then explore the dungeons in a traditional third-person perspective. However, all of this changes with Tokyo, where you now explore using a zoomed-out overhead map; other sub-areas on the map, just like dungeons, are explored traditionally. On the overworld map, demons are represented as pixelated squares that still make a beeline for you when spotted, and you can interact with exclamation marks to enter buildings or other areas. Right away, you are given a lot more freedom to explore–and places to explore–than ever before, and that can be a bit daunting. Your first goal is the underground section below Ueno Station, which is your new hub for Tokyo, providing a shop, a bar, and lots of unclean people to chat up. From there, your next main quest is to find the military base, which I can’t seem to do by naturally stumbling across it.

So far, I’ve done a sidequest about killing a demon at Shinobazu Pond, as well as unlocked another fast travel terminal after another tough demon boss that can quickly wipe your entire team out in a single turn if you don’t pay attention to the Press Turn system. I’m mainly running around the Ueno District though, picking up respawning relics, selling them off for sweet, precious Macca, and leveling up my odd assortment demons. It’s progress, but a different kind. On occasion, I fuse, but that’s still a pretty scary process.

One neat thing I got to recently try out was the StreetPassing functionality for Shin Megami Tensei IV. Thanks to that new relay system that just went live and a few trips to Walmart, I’ve gotten a couple of StreetPasses from others playing this difficult JRPG. Anyways, you get a collectible card from other players and, if they choose, a free demon attack during a battle. I was able to call on three StreetPassers during the boss fight to free the fast travel terminal, and it helped a lot. Hope to pass more players this upcoming weekend at Tampa Bay Comic Con!

But I don’t know where to go next, Shin Megami Tensei IV. Wandering aimlessly is okay for a bit, but not forever. Please help.

SMT IV’s Minotaur boss is one loud wake up call

SMT IV minotaur boss fight

After dying four times during the tutorial section of Shin Megami Tensei IV, I’ve succumb to the blurry darkness a bunch more since then. Probably too many times to keep counting, actually. For a few of those deaths, I revived myself by paying Charon a hefty sum of Macca; other instances saw me just reload to an old save, losing a bit of progress, but keeping me out of downward spiral of debt. I now have the option to use Play Coins to return to the land of the living, but asking for nine is a bit too steep for my shoes, especially when I need to conserve them for Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Find Mii II. So yeah, life as a Samurai is hard, which I should have expected from my earlier time with Devil Summoner Overclocked, but I didn’t realize just how fast and cruel the Press Turn system can be, despite how enjoyable it is when it operates in my favor.

It all becomes clear when you reach the Minotaur boss fight, a few levels deep in Naraku. He’s weak to ice spells like Bufu, and you can get quite a few hits in before it is his turn to attack, but once he does…well, he wipes out my team in a single sweep thanks to the Press Turn system and smirking. I’m not sure exactly if I’m doing anything wrong specifically or chuck it up to bad luck, but it’s been a roadblock for sure. I’d say I’ve taken him on maybe five or six times now, just reloading an old save instead of going into debt with Charon. Boo and grrr and I’ll get you yet, you disturbing piece of Dali-esque artwork.

Until I’m strong enough or lucky enough to beat the Minotaur, I’m grinding and doing side stuff. Like collecting gryphon tails. And downloading free items from the store. No, wait. I’m actually downloading the quests that will allow me to gain these items, but they still require work/items, like 10 or so Life Stones. Every now and then I pop into the Cathedral of Shadows to see what I can do with fusion, but that place is scary and I’m always worried that I’m going to waste a good demon unit to create a subpar one. Right now, I’m rocking…you know, I can’t remember their names specifically and don’t have my 3DS open to check. Hmm, one is the weird connected horses beast. The other looks like a boar. I’m sorry, I just don’t have space in my brain to remember what these crazy critters are called, not when that information is fighting against Game of Thrones theory details and all 108 Stars of Destiny. Also trying to save up all my App points so I can buy the “recover MP while walking” one, quickly followed by “recover HP while walking” right after it–those seem like must-haves.

I’ll be back soon, Minotaur, to try again. If you have any handy tips on how to knock him out fast, please share. I don’t want this to be a permanent roadblock.