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The Persona series would not be where it is today without the Shin Megami Tensei franchise before it. Within that beloved JRPG series is one game that many consider the best: Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. The Demi Fiend guide is here to let you know all about the main hero of that particular entry.
The protagonist that players play as is the Demi Fiend in SMTIII. Perhaps the most memorable of all heroes, the Demi Fiend is an unforgettable character, despite not having much to him. To learn more about his abilities, history within Nocturne, role as a demon summoner, and more, check out our complete Demi Fiend guide below.
Bottom Line Up Front
The Demi Fiend is the protagonist of the third entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, known as SMT III: Nocturne. Within this PS2 game, which also received a remaster most recently on modern systems, players take the role of this former high school student.
A previously normal high school boy is turned into a half-demon, half-human creation when the world ends. With this Demi Fiend form, they can summon and collect demons in the world.
They also have the power to shape the planet’s future by choosing what they will do in the blank slate of the world that they are in. With a unique character design and appearances in other games, the Demi Fiend is a favorite hero among Shin Megami Tensei fans.
Who Is the Demi Friend?
The Demi Fiend is the lead character that players play in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. The PS2 game (also available on more modern consoles and PC) was a groundbreaking attempt for the long-running series. Making the complete switch to 3D, it had dark but straightforward and effective graphics.
Like in past games, the player takes the role of a silent hero in this game. But unlike other games, Atlus made a fascinating character with the Demi Fiend. With plenty of lore and intrigue surrounding him, he has become a fan-favorite character among the SMT community.
He is a blank slate, capable of summoning the series’ signature demons. He can battle against the residents of the new world that forms after the Conception with his companions. Like others in the series, this protagonist is a high school student, but he has a unique aspect to him.
Unlike some of the other heroes, he is not fully human. Though he starts that way, he later becomes something else entirely, an evolved human being with the power to command demons. Since then, his popularity in the series has allowed him to plunge into other games.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Explained
The Demi Fiend appears as the protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. While you might have shown up on our site as a fan of the Persona series, you might be less knowledgeable about this other franchise from the same developer, Atlus.
The Shin Megami Tensei series is one of the original franchises that Atlus created as their flagship JRPG games. Based on the Megami Tensei books, the games have arguably surpassed their source material, becoming multi-million-selling titles that have found success worldwide.
Getting its start back on the NES, the Shin Megami Tensei series eventually switched sides from being a Nintendo-exclusive series to having its mainline games appear on PlayStation platforms. Or, well, that is at least what happened initially with the third main entry in the series.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was first meant to come out years before its eventual release in 2003, possibly for older systems like the PlayStation 1. However, it was quickly shifted to the PS2 early in development to all for it to take advantage of that new console and its 3D capabilities.
Though it first came out in 2003, the version that most everyone worldwide would receive was the Maniax edition in 2004 in North America and 2005 in Europe. Finally arriving right in the middle of the PS2’s life, SMT III became a significant success compared to its predecessors, garnering a dedicated fan base.
The full 3D graphics of the game and the ability to explore a large world were exciting. With many different demons to collect, evolve, and fuse, players could spend dozens of hours with this game. It was also known for its extreme difficulty, with the Matador boss fight early on in the story representing an actual test for players. This was surprising given its turn-based combat.
Shin Megami Tensei III was prevalent enough to finally receive an updated remaster version in 2020 in Japan and then worldwide in 2021 for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. This was also the first time that Nintendo fans had the chance to check out this missing entry from the series.
How SMT Connects to the Persona Series
For those here on our Persona fan site, you might wonder how this game, in particular, even connects to the Persona series as a whole. Well, this is because SMT is the birthplace of the Persona series that first spun off of it.
When the SMT series came out, it was a somewhat niche series, but it had plenty of spin-offs that it received. One such spin-off was the first Persona game, billed as the spiritual successor to Shin Megami Tensei If. It took the high school characters and more focused storyline from that game and turned into a complete spin-off.
The original Persona retained many of the same demons, now known as Personas, and changed up the turn-based gameplay some. Instead of the player just having their demon companions, they also had party members who were able to summon their partners.
The SMT series is effectively the parent of the Persona franchise, and we would not have the latter without the former. We would not even have this website if it were not for the SMT series. They share a lot of the same core gameplay ideas and even monsters across both of them.
These days, the SMT and Persona series especially have similar combat. While Persona retains the idea of having human party members, the press turn system that was fully realized in Nocturne is present in both series. They complement each other quite nicely, too, focusing on different aspects of their respective series.
While the Persona games focus on characters and story, the SMT games focus heavily on dungeons, exploration, new features, and choice. Though the Persona games are arguably much more popular and successful than its parent series, we have the SMT games to thank for laying the foundation.
We have his appearance when we move back to the Demi Fiend hero of SMT III: Nocturne. The main character is known for his distinct look that is super edgy and memorable. While he does have the signature main look for the vast majority of the game, there are technically two styles to him that you can find.
High School Student
At the beginning of Shin Megami Tensei III, the Demi Fiend is not quite the fiend he will become later on. Instead, he is a simple high school student going about his life. In this particular look, he does not have much going for him visually.
His face has that classic SMT design with short hair and a boyish face. He has very casual wear, starting with the jacket he is wearing. This gives him a more sporty look, coupled with the shorts he is wearing on the bottom. We do not get to see him in his school uniform since the events of the game at the beginning quickly take us away from the everyday world as we know it.
Demi Fiend Form
The bulk of Nocturne will see the player walking around as the Demi Fiend in his newfound demonic form. In this character version, we can see his signature design which is the best in the series. Though other characters like the Nahobino, most recently in SMTV, have tried to recapture this style, every attempt pales compared to the original.
The Demi Fiend retains his shorts but removes his jacket in his demonic form. He gains yellow eyes, and his hair spikes up every so slightly. But above all else in his look is the markings that appear all over his body. These otherworldly markings show that he is not who he once was.
They are primarily black lines across his body in a unique pattern but are accented by an almost glowing blue color on the border of the lines. These markings go across all of his body, including his face.
They are like tattoos mixed with the Nazca Lines from Peru. The Demi Fiend form is a perfect blend of the high school student human he was before with the new demonic body he has after the Conception.
When it comes to the personality of the Demi Fiend, there is very little to say here. The player is the one who defines his personality throughout the entirety of SMTIII. As such, there is not a truly specific character that he has.
That said, we start to see his personality form depending on the route you take in the game. He can become more sinister, focus more on the strong, or even desire freedom above all else, depending on what you choose. In his appearances in other games, he is shown to be a powerful foe that seemingly lusts for fights against worthy opponents.
The primary ability that the Demi Fiend can use has to do with his summoning powers. These come from his transformation from the average high school student he was before into the half-demon that he is now. Along with his new status as a demon boy, he can take direct command of his fellow demonkind.
The summoning abilities that the Demi Fiend has are mainly similar to that of the other main characters in the SMT series. This even includes a very similar style to the protagonists in the Persona series that have the wildcard ability.
Being a demon summoner, the Demi Fiend is naturally able to connect with the others of his kind. This is done in a couple of different ways. The first is by engaging in combat and then negotiating with the enemy in question that he wishes to persuade.
Demons have different personalities, and choosing the correct responses, and adhering to various demands, will likely result in the fellow demon joining your party. But his abilities with summoning demons go beyond just convincing them to participate in the battles.
You can also visit the Cathedral of Shadows, which is a familiar location from past games. Here, demons gather, and the player can take their existing teammates and fuse them to make new ones. This can be done by using two or more demons. Even some former bosses can be fused, but they usually have stricter and more challenging requirements.
The general playstyle for the Demi Fiend can be broken down into several key areas. The first of these is the turn-based combat system. With the random encounters system, you will often run into battles against other demons when not in a safe zone or town.
At this point, you will convert to a battle screen where you can command the Demi Fiend and his pals. This involves selecting the various skills and commands that the player has. There are regular attacks, special skills, elemental abilities, and even items that the player can use in battle.
Outside of battle, the player controls the main character from a behind the shoulders. They can freely explore the dungeons and towns that exist in this apocalyptic version of the world. You can open up chests to get items and solve puzzles as you move along.
Then there is the fusion system found in the Cathedral of Shadows. You can go here to sort through your demon collection in the Compendium and fuse for new demons. There are usually other stores nearby that you can enter to buy items, sell your items for cash, and interact with the limited amount of NPCs.
Finally, there are the occasional chat choices that you will get. Nocturne is a game defined by your actions, and you make the decisions as to the Demi Fiend of what to do. This determines what endings you get and whose ideals you will align with.
The story of the Demi Fiend is intertwined with both the main story of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and the fate of the world. The relatively long game features an equally long storyline that is mainly spent exploring dungeons and battling against enemies.
While it might not be as story-driven as a Persona game, the storyline is still interesting enough. If you do not want to know any spoilers for the older game, turn away now. Though, I will try to keep from giving away too many details about the various endings you can get.
Becoming the Demi Fiend
The game begins with the Demi Fiend, well, not being a demon just yet. He is just an average high school student who is going to the local hospital in Tokyo to see his classmates and teacher. You arrive at the hospital and are greeted by some of your classmates who will become very important later.
You eventually can meet your teacher, who gives you an ominous message about the end of the world and a cult that is sweeping the local gossip. Soon after this, the Conception happens, ending the world as we know it and taking out most of the population. The few survivors that remain include you, your friends, and your teacher.
But the Conception has a drastic change on the main character as they awaken as the Demi Fiend. They are part human, part demon, and all messed up. They have lost who they were before the Conception, and this paves the way for the player to model them as they like.
The beginning of the game is quite long, with little story beats as the player explores this new version of Tokyo. Eventually, you are introduced to the various characters in the storyline, including some familiar faces. Over time, the people begin to take sides in the fight for the future of the new world.
Picking a Side for the Fate of the World
With few neutral allies on your side, it becomes exceedingly clear that everyone has their agenda in the new world of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. This is seen in their “Reasons,” which are the paths you can take as the Demi Fiend.
Some friends choose one path while opposing their classmates, while others have drastic transformations. Furthermore, there are several significant character deaths that happen in the game, further twisting up the situation that Demi Fiend finds himself in.
But he has the unique powers that no one else has of bridging the gap between the humans and the demons. He also befriends the Manikins, artificial human dolls with personalities and living beings with their desires.
It becomes a trying time for the Demi Fiend as they balance the relationships that they have built throughout the storyline. But all things must come to an end, and he is eventually granted the ability to shape the entire world.
Like other SMT games, your choices affect the future of everyone in the end. With knowledge of what each person is hoping to accomplish, the player can then make an ultimate decision of what path to take. Several endings are available in the game.
Some of them include themes of freedom while others are all about order, while still others are about the decisive ruling over the weak. Different endings will result in different final bosses that the Demi Fiend can fight as well, allowing you to finish his story in your way.
Demi Fiend in Other Games and Media
Given how popular the Demi Fiend is, it should not surprise that the main character appears outside of just his own game. Atlus sure does love a good cameo or crossover, which is something that happens with the True Demon.
A few different games have seen his inclusion, starting with later entries in the SMT series. While he skipped an appearance in the directly next game, SMTIV, this was rectified with the release of SMTIV: Apocalypse. In that pseudo-sequel/alternative story for IV, one of the DLC missions includes an appearance from the Demi Fiend.
If that was not enough, the most recent game in the series, SMTV, saw another appearance from the Demi Fiend in the launch DLC. The Return of the True Demon DLC has a massive side quest that includes several boss fights that pay homage to one of the main parts of SMTIII. It culminates in an enormous battle against him that is one of the hardest in the entire game but worth it for the immensely valuable rewards.
In games like Digital Devil Saga and the MMO Shin Megami Tensei Imagine, there are other appearances, too.
Fun Facts About the Demi Fiend
As the main character of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, there are several interesting facts about him. Some of these are ones that you might not even know about. Here’s what you should know:
- While yellow is the primary eye color for the Demi Fiend to represent his new demon status, a couple of other colors are seen in the game. While still a human, he has blue eyes, while he will get red eyes if he becomes the True Demon.
- Until the debut of the Demi Fiend, previous protagonists needed a program or device to summon demons. He is the first to be able to do this naturally but he is not the last, as similar main characters follow in SMTIV: Apocalypse and SMTV.
- Demi Fiend has a set personality shown in Apocalypse with the DLC mission. However, oddly enough, this is not the case for his appearance on SMTV. Here, he is silent once more, and his trusty Pixie companion is the one who interacts with Nahobino.
- The Demi Fiend has only one actual line of dialogue that he says in Nocturne, and it is not even in the game itself. In a trailer for the original game and its remaster, he can be seen saying the line, “Tokyo died, and I was given life.” Outside of grunts and minor quips in battle, this is the only piece of dialogue that he officially has regarding his own game.
Question: Does the Demi Fiend Appear in the Persona Games?
Answer: The answer to this question is, no, the Demi Fiend does not appear in the Persona games to date. This part might be confusing since the Persona series originally came out because of the SMT games. However, there is seemingly little crossover between the two besides the demons and very similar combat systems.
Question: How much health does Demi Fiend Have?
Answer: This is an open-ended question with a lot of different answers to it. For one, it really comes down to what game you are asking about. If you are asking about SMT III where his debut happened, it comes down to your player level and how much you have upgraded his health.
For players looking to get higher health points, you need to level up and then apply attribute points towards the endurance stat. This will upgrade your health. You can get it quite high, especially if you max out the stat to 99 and then start to add HP-increasing accessories into your build.
As for the other games where Demi Fiend appears as a boss, this varies, too. In the Imagine MMO, his guest appearance had a whopping 10 million health to battle through. At the same time, though, it was only a measly 1200 in SMTIV: Apocalypse. For those of you who are playing the Digital Devil Saga, though, you are looking at about 18,000 health.
Question: Can You Recruit the Demi Fiend in SMT V?
Answer: The most recent entry in the series, Shin Megami Tensei V, unsurprisingly features the Demi Fiend as an optional DLC boss. It requires the purchase of the Return of the True Demon DLC, though. If you are able to go through the gauntlet of bosses in this DLC, you will face him at the end. Defeating him, though, will not allow you to recruit him as a demon companion.
The Demi Fiend is one of the most iconic JRPG characters of all time. While the Persona series is arguably much bigger in terms of success and popularity, the Demi Fiend is a hero that is unforgettable. His blank slate nature mixed with his memorable character design allows for him to be a fan favorite among Atlus fans.
Whether you are an existing Persona fan looking to dip your toes into the SMT series or someone familiar with this franchise already, this guide has hopefully piqued your interest more. If you would like to know more about the Persona series that spun off of the SMT franchise, be sure to check out guide to the various key terms that you should know about. Some of these are even shared across both series.