- Lyn Inaizumi Guide: The Heart of Persona 5’s Musical Style Explained - September 17, 2022
- Lotus Juice Persona Guide - September 3, 2022
- Raidou Kuzunoha Guide: Most Famous Devil Summoner Explained - September 1, 2022
One of the most fantastic anime characters of all time and a personal favorite of mine is Goku from Dragon Ball, one of the first anime I ever watched as a kid. The origins of Goku are found in Sun Wukong, the protagonist in the legendary Journey to the West story.
But it just so happens that Wukong is in so much more than just one of the biggest anime of all time. He is also part of Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, as you will see in the Seiten Taisei guide.
Seiten Taisei, Sun Wukong, Goku, or whatever you would like to call him is one such figure, too. You can acquire him in most games, and I’ve used him in almost every game I’ve played in both series. I will be sure to teach you how to unlock him in this Seiten Taisei guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Seiten Taisei is but one name for the protagonist of the famous Journey to the West story. Based on the unbelievably powerful character known as Sun Wukong and many other titles, he has appeared in countless Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games since the very beginning of the Atlus franchises.
He is featured in most games and is typically one of the more powerful, late-game demons. For Persona fans, specifically, he is also the ultimate Persona for Ryuji Sakamoto in Persona 5.
Seiten Taisei Overview
The Shin Megami Tensei series came first, introducing a widespread set of demons that players could acquire. When Persona arrived, spinning off of that series, it did the same but with Personas. Both franchises have a lot in common with the demons that they share.
To this day, though, there are only so many demons that have roots that go all the way back to the beginning. Typically, in these cases, that demon will be present in most games, given their foundational status. Such is precisely the case with Seiten Taisei in both series.
No matter what you want to call him, Seiten Taisei is one of the most prolific demons in both SMT and Persona. He is featured in every single mainline game in the series to date, something that not even a mascot for the series, Pixie, can claim having missed Shin Megami Tensei II. Well, that is, of course, if you count Hanuman as a version of him in SMT V.
This has solidified his status as one of the most memorable and recognizable demons around. I will even admit that the name, Seiten Taisei, might not be familiar to me, but that is because I am more used to his names like Sun Wukong, Son Goku, and others.
No matter what, this monkey-based figure from Chinese legends is among the most powerful demons you could add to your team. In almost every game he is featured in, he is generally considered one of the more powerful monsters you could add to your team.
Though you may not see him in the early sections of one of these JRPGs, Seiten Taisei is a demon you shouldn’t ignore. There are many ways to summon or acquire him, with almost every game having a different method available in it.
It is worth noting that Seiten Taisei has changed a lot in appearance over the years. After all, it has been 30 years since his first introduction. Going from title to title and 2D to 3D have resulted in just as many appearance changes as he has name changes.
This is quite unique since most demons, like Jack Frost and the others, had a significant change early on and then stuck with that for a couple of decades. In the case of the first SMT game back in 1992, his appearance was that of an intelligent monkey riding a cloud.
He carries around his signature pole weapon and wears red garments with blue pants. The hat on his head is luxurious, featuring a mix of red and gold sections. His long white beard indicates his wisdom and power, and this was a style for the demon that stuck for a good period of time.
But there were changes later on that kept the cloud but made his outfit more yellow and his skin red. This began in the first Devil Summoner game but didn’t stick around forever. In fact, the original design for the character was reverted back to in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne with the switch to 3D.
Hilariously enough, that same Devil Summoner design was then switched to again with SMT IV, which is where I first saw him in the series. If that weren’t enough, the changes happened once more in Persona 5, with the biggest departure for the character looks-wise.
This most recent appearance is his most bizarre and honestly ugliest. He has a black cloud with eyes now, which is fine, but his design and outfit are horrible. He is wearing this blue top with red pants that already has way too much going on in both camps.
It is a whole mess that is only compounded by the massive flowing yellow cape that he has. His face is red, too, but with this strange futuristic superhero look to it, that just doesn’t make any sense. To cap it all off, though, the greatest travesty is the insanely tall spiky yellow hair that he has on his head.
It is like a blend of Chinese lore, superheroes, metalheads, and emo kids, and none of it honestly works. I don’t dislike the other designs of Seiten Taisei, but this might be one of the worst demon designs in the history of Atlus making games.
Seiten Taisei gets his demon design and inspiration from the Chinese story known as Journey to the West. Adapted and reused in many other adaptations, games, movies, and so on, it is a famous story about the money known as Sun Wukong.
I won’t spend too much time diving into this character. Still, the general idea is that he was initially just your average goofy jungle monkey at one point in time. However, he gains knowledge and power, eventually teaching himself various magic skills that signify his awakened state.
When this happens, he names himself Sun Wukong. The actual story of Journey to the West, though, isn’t necessarily about the monkey that he eventually becomes. It is about the already near-god state that he is in and the journey that he takes with two others to the West to India.
This journey comes after his long imprisonment by Buddha. It is an intriguing story that pits various religions against one another, and these ideas combine into one legendary tale. The immense power of this monkey is seen in his desire to attack and challenge the heavens and the underworld alike, having no regard for who he will cross.
At the end of the day, the strangest part about the Seiten Taisei situation is the different names and titles that it goes by. In fact, the name that I am using for this guide, which was notably in Persona 5 recently, isn’t even the name that I most commonly associate with this demon myself.
I know him more as Sun Wukong or simply Wukong, or perhaps even Son Goku at times. There are so many names due to the aforementioned origins of the character. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue as Atlus would be able to agree on the name chosen for the character.
However, that isn’t the case with Seiten Taisei, as his name has changed perhaps even more than his appearance has. Let’s break these names down for a second, and you’ll see why this is. The problem is that these are Japanese games, so you have this disparity between the original Chinese character and the Japanese names given to him.
This reflects especially in the English localization of the games where it can be either name. Initially, he was known as Wukong, a shortened version of Sun Wukong. Other times he has his full title. Still other times, he is known as Son Goku, which is the Japanese version of that name.
Some have even considered him Hanuman, which is technically a completely different god, but they have some similarities. For the most part, though, Hanuman is a completely different Persona. And then there is Qitian Dasheng, whom he is also known by at times.
This is a title that Sun Wukong gives himself after breaching the heavens. In Japanese, this title is translated to Seiten Taisei, which is the origin of this last name you need to know about. All of these have been used in both the SMT and Persona series, so there is no telling what he will be called in the next game.
Key Moments in the SMT and Persona Series
For the most part, Seiten Taisei, or whatever you would prefer to call him, is in the background of the JRPGs. He is usually just one of the various demons that you can acquire, typically in the later parts of the game, and that is about it.
He doesn’t generally play a huge role in too many story beats like as a central boss character or even in some of the challenging side quests that some of the Velvet Room assistants will give you. That said, there are a few key moments that he has throughout both the SMT and Persona games.
The first of his notable appearances comes from one of my favorite Atlus games, Shin Megami Tensei IV. In this mainline 3DS title, Wukong is one of the bosses you can fight in a particular side quest. It just so happens that the person giving the quest is none other than Erlang Shen.
The general idea is that Wukong is up to no good once more, and the player must stop him before he tears the world apart. After two playful little fights, he confronts the player for reals. After his defeat, he stops his mission.
The other important part for Seiten Taisei is the game where he is actually as such: Persona 5. In the original Persona 5, he is the ultimate Persona that Ryuji Sakamoto uses.
If the player plays their cards right, Ryuji can awaken to this, technically, optional Persona before the end of the game. Perhaps he was chosen due to a similar personality to the jokester troublemaker Ryuji.
As mentioned, Seiten Taisei is one of the most commonly featured demons in all of Atlus’ games. This might be surprising since he isn’t the flashiest nor the most talked-about character. If you play a mainline JRPG from Atlus, chances are you will be able to find him there. However, it might not be that easy.
Here are all of the games to date that Seiten Taisei is featured in from Atlus:
- Shin Megami Tensei: His debut in the influential SNES JRPG from 1992
- Shin Megami Tensei II
- Last Bible III
- Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis
- Shin Megami Tensei if
- SMT Devil Summoner
- Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
- SMT 20XX Devil’s Colosseum
- Persona 2: Innocent Sin
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- SMT III: Nocturne
- Persona 3 and its various versions
- SMT Imagine
- Persona 4 Golden
- SMT Strange Journey
- SMT IV
- SMT IV: Apocalypse
- Persona Q
- Persona 5 and Royal
- Persona Q2
- SMT Liberation Dx2
There are still some other minor games like the DemiKids spin-off series and more that he is featured in. Suffice to say that he is quite the desired guy from Atlus. Except for one notable exception. For some odd reason, the most recent Atlus JRPG, Shin Megami Tensei V, doesn’t feature him.
It is possible that you could consider Hanuman to be a replacement or stand-in for him, but that is not necessarily accurate. It is strange, so we will have to wait and see if Seiten Taisei’s time in the series may be over.
How to Acquire in the SMT Series
The beauty of the Shin Megami Tensei (and Persona) games is that Atlus never fails to shake things up. How you might have acquired a demon in one game is not exactly how you get it in another one. This is doubly true for Seiten Taisei, who perhaps changes and has more options than anyone else in the series.
In some of the games, he may be an enemy that you encounter in a random battle. What you can do there is speak with him to negotiate with him to join your team. In most games, though, this is impossible to accomplish, and you must fuse for him.
The problem with this is that fusion requirements change from game to game. The one that I will use for reference is the first game where I used him, which was SMTIV. The reason for this was due to the challenge quest that he had where you had to face him.
I adored that game as my first mainline SMT title and tried to do everything in it. After defeating Wukong in his quest, you can then summon him by fusing in the Cathedral of Shadows. There is a single fusion possibility, and that is bringing Chernobog and Sylph together.
On the other hand, SMT III: Nocturne, which I played later on after IV ironically, had a different method. He is the only demon in that game where you can only acquire him through double evolution. How you went about this was first evolving Onkot into Hanuman.
From there, evolving Hanuman at level 50 into Wukong. Though there were other second evolution demons, he couldn’t be fused or anything else in this game.
How to Acquire in the Persona Series
When it comes to the Persona series, acquiring Seiten Taisei is still yet another story. Some of these games handled him differently, much like the situation on the other side in the SMT court. In some of the games, you might just acquire him through gaining his skills through fighting him in battle.
In some of the Persona games, like Persona 4, you must unlock him through fusions only. When it comes to two Persona fusions, there was only one possible option. If you fused together Chernobog and Magatsu-Izanagi, you would receive the level 68 Seiten Taisei from the Jester Arcana.
Speaking of Arcana, this was another aspect of the character that changed from game to game. The fusion requirements would change due to the fact that his Arcana changed, too. Initially, he was part of the Chariot Arcana in the first Persona game.
This continued throughout the initial trilogy of titles, including the two Persona 2 games. However, it changed in Persona 3, where he became part of the Tower Arcana. It changed once more in Persona 4 Golden, where he is exclusive to that version only as part of the Jester Arcana.
In Persona 5, this is where things get really weird as Seiten Taisei then returns back to the Chariot Arcana once more, where he first started. Perhaps that will be his permanent home now?
Speaking of Persona 5, this is a whole other ordeal entirely. His acquisition here in this game is by far his most unique, other than the double evolutions in SMT III.
How to Unlock Him for Ryuji in Persona 5
Seiten Taisei is the ultimate Persona for Ryuji Sakamoto in Persona 5, or at least the base version of the beloved JRPG. How you unlock this Persona for him is a little bit tough since you have to grind his Confidant relationship to get there.
How you do this is by first starting your relationship with Ryuji, which occurs relatively early on in the story of Persona 5. Once you reach the max level of 10 in the relationship, Ryuji will awaken to his optional ultimate Persona, which happens to be Seiten Taisei in all of his horrible appearance glory.
The tricky part about this is that he is no longer his ultimate when it comes to Persona 5 Royal. You still unlock this ultimate the same way in that game. Still, Seiten Taisei is used later in the Royal semester to unlock William, his true ultimate Persona.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this in both games. Because Seiten Taisei is Ryuji’s Persona, this means that the player themselves are not able to use it. Not even in the expanded Royal version can you use Seiten Taisei for Joker.
In fact, maxing out Ryuji’s Confidant will not unlock Seiten Taisei for Joker, even in the postgame. Instead, it will unlock Chi You, the ultimate Persona of the Chariot Arcana. This was a strange decision, but you can play use Seiten Taisei when you take control of Ryuji’s actions in battle, so there is that at least.
Question: Is Monkey King a God?
Answer: Oh, I forgot to mention that some will even call him the Monkey King. Yep, another name he can be mentioned as, though not used in SMT and Persona to date. It is hard to say if he is a god in actual myths, but I would essentially consider him to be someone who evolved to become a god.
Question: What Level does Hanuman Evolve?
Answer: Hanuman evolves into Wukong at level 50. This method is mainly only used in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
Question: How Strong is Sun Wukong?
Answer: He is immensely strong. So strong that he can rip the heavens and hell alike asunder. In more practical terms, he can carry up to 8000 kilograms, as noted by the number on his pole staff in Persona 5.
Seiten Taisei is a Persona and demon from the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, respectively. I will admit that he is not one of my favorite Personas from the series, but he is one that I typically use in most games.
He is one of the more powerful demons in most titles. He was especially helpful for me in SMT III: Nocturne, where I evolved to unlock him.
At the end of the day, though, Seiten Taisei is but one of the many iconic and frequently featured demons in Atlus’ games. There are others, too, some of which are even more famous than he is.
Jack Frost is one such demon I love as the main mascot of Atlus. If you’ve ever wanted to unlock him and his family easily, you can find out about that here.